YourLIFE: Back Home.Again; THE SKY-HIGH COST OF LIVING ALONE MEANS MORE GROWN-UP KIDS ARE MOVING BACK INTO THEIR FAMILY HOME... WITH MIXED RESULTS. HERE'S HOW TO KEEP THE PEACE WHEN YOUR CHILDREN RETURN TO THE FOLD
Byline: BY CHRISTINE MORGAN
IT'S never easy when the last of your children flies the nest. But it can be even harder when, just as you get used to the peace and quiet and start thinking about down-sizing, they turn up on your doorstep again.
The number of adults aged 25-50 now living with their parents has gone through the roof.
In the UK, a third of single people in this age group have returned to - or never left - the family home.
Debt, rising house prices and rents are the main factors. According to a recent European Singles Lifestyle Study, 36 per cent of single British men aged 25-50 are living with their parents, compared to 20 per cent of women.
The trend has even sparked a recent Hollywood movie. Failure To Launch stars Matthew McConaughey as a 35-year-old still living at home.
However, according to Susanna Abse, a psychotherapist at the Tavistock Centre For Couple Relationships (tccr.org.uk), it's not just about economics.
"I'm sure there are psychological aspects, too," she says. "We're living in a very child-centred society and, quite often, people have difficulty sending their kids out to forage as they don't want them to have to struggle in life."
But whatever the reason, when your grown-up child turns up at your door, suitcase in hand, the result can often be less than harmonious. If, for instance, your son or daughter is accustomed to being independent and keeping their own hours, living under your roof again may be difficult for everyone.
You, too, may have become used to living on your own, so having your kids move back in may make you feel that you've lost your privacy.
So to help you make the best of it, follow our guide to coping when your grownup children return...
Be clear about money
CASH is one of the biggest causes of arguments between parents and their live-in adult children, so before anyone returns, have a family get-together to establish who's paying for what, says Susanna. "You need to be clear about certain things," she says.
"Are your children coming back as your peers who are going to be part of a group working to support the whole family? …