Over the last few years more and more ‘parents’ seem to be talking about their children ‘still’ living at home. Here are some of the reasons that I’ve heard about: –

  1. They can’t afford to rent,
  2. They can’t get a mortgage,
  3. They’re unemployed
  4. It’s simply cheaper to stay at home

As far as I can see there seems to be a few different scenarios. This is how I see it but please do let me know if you have a different view.

  • Parents are happy for their children to stay with them until they ‘settle down’ with someone.
  • Parents want their children to move out and stand on their own two feet.
  • Parents feel lumbered and do not want to support their children into their 30’s or beyond.
  • Parents are willing to let their children stay with them if they help contribute whether it’s by paying bills, giving something in terms of rent etc.

What do you think?

Is it OK to support your children unconditionally until they leave the nest?

Should they contribute and relieve their parents of some responsibilities when they are old enough?

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Sagar · August 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Interesting post. What I find most interesting, however, is the underling presumption that there must something wrong with young adults living with their parents.
I live with my parents. And it’s not because I don’t have a job or can’t afford a mortgage (I actually own a flat). And it’s not out of convenience either: my parents live far away from most of my friends; my commute to work is much longer; I rarely eat at home; and living with my parents involves far more housework than I would ever need to do on my own.

My motivation for living with my parents is twofold:
i) I want to see my parents regularly (and my grandma, who up until very recently lived with us). And given my hectic work/social schedule, and my dad’s long hours it makes most sense to see them by staying with them around three days a week.
ii) I think it is wasteful to keep my room at my flat empty for just four days a week, especially when it’s likely I’ll spend very little time there and when I have friends who are willing to let me stay at theirs whenever I am out with them.
have spoken to my parents about moving out permanently on a number of occasions. And whenever I do, my mum tries to guilt trip me into not leaving home. Before I move out, I would like her to be comfortable with my choice to do so and for her to reduce her attachment to me.

Now my grandma is no longer with us, I am thinking more and more about moving out permanently. But my decision to do so is a selfish one, based around hedonistic desires, has several costs: Monetary costs (my parents aren’t going to rent out my room at home to a lodger, but I will lose rental income on my flat), environmental costs (my parents will continue to heat up the whole house, despite their being empty bedrooms) and emotional costs, particularly for my mum.

I think most parents actually enjoy having their children stay at home. The underlying reason they complain is not because they dislike living with their children, it’s because they are scared that their children might not ever be responsible enough to look after themselves or because their children do not conform with the standards dictated by society.

    Heena Modi · August 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks for this Sagar.
    You’ve been open and honest and that really helps. 🙂
    The underlying presumption honestly isn’t that there must something wrong with young adults living with their parents; the main reason I wrote this post is because of costs.
    Most parents whom I’ve heard complain have been worries about their child not being able to stand on their own two feet, run a home, pay their way, live responsibly and considerately etc. The view expressed is that they take their parents for granted and expect them to fund their lifestyle whilst they remain without any financial burden apart from what they spend on things that they want.
    It is nice that you wish to help your mum reduce her attachment to you. I think it’s difficult for many parents but it’s not impossible so good luck. 🙂
    I think you’re right. the fear is that ‘their’ children wont be responsible enough to look after themselves and how long can parents continue to ‘look after them’?

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