Moving Back Home Again

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Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More

There was a time when going to college meant leaving the parental home for good. Now, in 2012, young people are returning home in greater numbers than ever before. The reasons for this trend are not difficult to understand. The down turn in the economy and the fact of fewer jobs available in the labor market make the job search longer and, therefore, the ability to declare full independence from home. Of course, the return home is not permanent. It simply gives people more time to hunt for the job that they trained for in college. An alternative explanation is that it gives graduates time to figure out what type of career they want to start.

Many American families have difficulty adjusting to the fact that there is return home. Conflicting ideas about house rules, the fact that this adult child is no longer a child and, thus, old rules about curfew no longer seem relevant. and other similar areas of conflict are fertile ground for arguing.


*Susan Newman, Phd, in her article, “10 Tips for Moving Back In with Parents,” suggests these ten items for adult children who return home:

1. Remember your parents are doing you a favor. Be appreciative-say thank you for the things your parents do for you.

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2. Develop an exit plan early and let your parents know when you hope to be able to leave.

3. If job hunting, don’t waste your days. Unemployed Americans are sleeping more and watching more television.
4. Avoid “trashing” your parents space by leaving your shoes and possessions scattered about.

5. Make yourself useful, as in be helpful wherever and whenever you can. Surprise parents by preparing dinner, for example.

6. Be responsible for the cleanliness of your own space…and for doing your own laundry.

7. Be considerate: Call if you are going to be late for dinner, later than anticipated, or to let them know you will not be home at all. Once a parent, always a parent: They will worry about you.

8. If you have an intrusive parent, keep your personal life separate by limiting the amount of information you share.

9. Focus on your parent’s positive traits, not the things that drove you crazy as a teenager.

10. When a parent upsets you, speak up: You might say: “When you do that, I feel as if I’m 15-years-old again.” Or, you might say: “When you say that you make me feel as if you are judging me.                                  * Quotes from, “10 Tips for Moving Back In with Parents.”

There is no reason why this has to be a painful experience for parents and adult children. It provides an opportunity for everyone to get aquainted in a way different and unique than during childhood. That can provide opportunities to appreciate each other at this new stage of life.

Dr, Newman published a book worth reading on this topic, “Under One Roof Again, All Grown Up and Relearning to live Live Happily Together,” that is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Have you moved home again or do you have an adult child who moved in again? It would be interesting for readers to share their experiences from the adult child’s and parent point of view.

Allan N. Schwartz, PhD

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