Refreshing Relationships with Boomerang Kids

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Refreshing Relationships with Boomerang Kids
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Refreshing Relationships with Boomerang Kids
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Stepping Stones
January, 2015
Issue #132
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Refreshing Relationships with Boomerang Kids       

In this economy, adult children are moving home in record numbers for many different reasons. Some are frugal and planning ahead - they want to set aside money for a large purchase. With unemployment still high in many areas, others need to come back after a job loss or foreclosure. They may be forced to declare bankruptcy and return until they can build up credit again.


Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.         Robert Frost 

                                                                                    While the reasons may be different, the means of making the situation work for everyone are variations on the same theme-recognizing change and the need to respect the rights and autonomy of everyone.


After spending years without the responsibility of hands-on mothering, you don't want to pick up your old role where you left off. And your adult children would feel smothered if they were mothered in the same way. So you can design a new relationship with a set of family CC&Rs. And enjoy the maturity that each of you has gained.


If you're going to have an adult child back at home, planning with your family in flux is the name of the game. Use these tips to get started:


Have a family meeting. Try to be open about your needs and expectations. Listen to what is essential to your offspring. Talk about your own values and what you need to make the change work for you. You can set the tone by agreeing on guidelines that will help you structure a compatible framework for living together.


The first "C" of the CC&Rs is communication, communication, communication, just as in real estate the most important characteristic of a property is location, location, location. Make it a priority to keep the lines between you open. And commit to be honest and direct as you work through the issues that come up.


Cooperation is the second "C," so remember to come from a place of love. You're more than just a landlord; you share their desire to succeed. And your child is more than just a tenant. Don't forget other "Cs" as you decide on the specific rules and regulations of your new relationship - courtesy, consideration, community, collaboration, competency.


The "R" is respect - and it's needed on both sides of the generation gap. To avoid hot button issues later, discuss the boundaries you each want to set and be sure to adhere to them. When you make respect your mantra, you all have the opportunity to take each other's opinions and needs into consideration.


Prepare a Plan B to use when you are readjusting in case your initial plans don't work out as expected. Be flexible. Both you and your boomerang kidult need to accept that nothing is set in stone and your changing relationship is a work in progress.


If your adult child moves back in with you, it can be a win-win for everyone rather than a cause for alarm. When you follow these tips, your new arrangement opens up the opportunity to see each other through fresh eyes. You can let go of the old hurts and memories of conflicts. Experience, first hand, how your offspring have matured and let them see you as more than just parents.


(c) Her Mentor Center, 2015  


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