Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Time to Get Tougher on Boomerang Kids? AS MANY ADULTS RETURN TO LIVE WITH THEIR PARENTS, PARENTING EXPERTS OUTLINE THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS TO LISA SALMON AND SUGGEST SOLUTIONS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Time to Get Tougher on Boomerang Kids? AS MANY ADULTS RETURN TO LIVE WITH THEIR PARENTS, PARENTING EXPERTS OUTLINE THE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS TO LISA SALMON AND SUGGEST SOLUTIONS

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA SALMON

INCREASING numbers of adult children are still living with their parents, or are so-called 'boomerang kids' who return to live with mum and dad after university.

But while keeping a family unit together may have many benefits, there can also be huge problems, both financially and emotionally.

The parenting charity Family Lives says: "Living at home might sound like a great idea at first, particularly for parents who are still trying to adjust to the empty nest, but this situation can put additional financial and emotional pressure on families. It can also delay children becoming independent and taking real responsibility for their adult lives."

Here are the common dilemmas families face - and some suggestions that could help restore harmony.

IS LIVING AT HOME TOO EASY? WHILE some children stay at their parents' home, or return after college or university, because they have huge debts and can't afford to rent or buy their own place, research suggests many choose to live with their parents simply because they like it.

A Thinkmoney study found one-in-six adults aged 18 to 34 who lived in the family home did so because it gave them an easier life, with their doting parents still doing their washing, ironing, cooking and cleaning.

But Family Lives says it's reasonable to expect grown-up kids to pull their weight around the house, and parents shouldn't feel obliged to do their chores.

SHOULD PARENTS ASK FOR RENT? ALMOST half of the young adults questioned by Thinkmoney admitted they paid no rent, even though the majority of them worked.

Family Lives says some parents feel guilty about asking for rent, but new research from Comparethemarket found 74% of parents feel there just isn't enough information about how much to charge adult children for living at home, despite over half of parents (53%) admitting to charging.

The poll showed parents request an average of PS68 a month towards their mortgage or rent, PS31 on bills, and PS33 for food, from each child. But more than half of parents said they weren't sure what to charge, and 19% were too embarrassed to ask kids to cough up.

However, an ungrateful 12% of children have actually refused to contribute towards household bills.

To help guide parents, Comparethemarket has created a tool which calculates how much parents could be charging, based on factors including local rent, food, gas and electricity prices.

IS IT CAUSING ARGUMENTS? AS well as financial confusion, having grown-up offspring living in the family home can cause tension between all members of the family.

Rows can start when so-called 'boomerang kids', who return to live at home after university, expect things to be as they were before they went away.

Parenting expert Sue Atkins explains: "As well as potentially causing problems between parents and their grown-up kids, it can also cause rows between the parents themselves. …

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