Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) April 30, 2009
Families with children graduating college this spring need to start talking about what life will be like after graduation right now, according to one expert on families with adult children living at home.
"The class of 2009 will be entering the job market at a time when unemployment is skyrocketing and the economy is in the tank," said Christina Newberry, founder of the website http://www.adultchildrenlivingathome.com. "For many new grads, the only option will be to move back in with Mom and Dad. There will be a lot of adult children moving home."
Parents should consider the results of recent surveys that show the default trend is for new grads to return to the nest, Newberry warns.
A 2007 survey by MonsterTRAK, a division of the Monster.com job search web site, showed that 22% of new grads said they planned to move home for more than six months. But the truth revealed much higher numbers - US census data shows that 65% of new grads return home. And according to MonsterTRAK 43% of 2007 grads had yet to leave home a year almost after graduation, and 40% percent of 2008 grads are still living at home now.
For parents who think (or know) that adult children will be rejoining the nest come graduation, Newberry recommends five key strategies to establish the foundation of a healthy relationship with adult children moving home:
- Establish ground rules now: Some families with adult children living at home find a contract can help formalize the rules and keep everyone on the same page.
- Decide ahead of time how they will contribute: They may not be able to afford market-value rent, but adult children living at home should help make a dent in the extra expenses they create (extra gas, higher phone bill, etc.). Make sure this is clear before they start packing up the dorm.
- Don't help too much: A college grad is capable of painting their room and planning their own move. Don't take care of all the details or you'll find yourself doing laundry and making lunches once they're home.
- Set a deadline for them to leave: Though it may sound harsh, setting a time limit ahead of time helps keep everyone focused on the fact that eventually the new grad needs to establish their independence.
- Above all: Stay calm. Planning the details of your new grad's return to the nest can be stressful, but anger isn't helpful. Try a time out, or work on developing new communication techniques - they'll come in handy once you're all sharing a home.
Proactively setting the ground rules for adult children moving home can help prevent stress-induced blowups that can permanently damage important family relationships when there are adult children living at home.
More helpful tips for dealing with adult children moving home are available at http://www.adultchildrenlivingathome.com.
About Christina Newberry: Christina Newberry is co-author of The Hands-on Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home. Her web site - http://www.adultchildrenlivingathome.com - offers detailed information on how to establish a workable living arrangement with your new grad, including lots of great tips and strategies, plus a customizable "Under One Roof" contract and household budget calculator.