Is it okay now to be a 'boomerang kid'?
To be sure, we can’t say precisely what goes on in the social circles of parents.
No parent would outright admit it, but there must be a great measuring of offspring success among them, each boasting that their kid was “just made VP of his firm” or, while diverting their eyes to the floor, admitting that he’s “between jobs right now and moving back home.”
It must be a cruel exercise, my own extreme cynicism projects, but perhaps there’s a legitimate defence for boomerang kids – those who leave home only to come right back after the real world has slammed and pounded them.
New York Times blogger Randye Hoder argues a valid case on behalf of boomerangers, noting that at least one study tosses the perception of kids moving back in with their parents on its head.
According to the Pew Research Center, the number of people between 25 and 34 living with their parents nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, and certainly your own conclusions can be drawn as to how many more youths are back at home since the recession hit in ’08.
Further, and this may come as a surprise, the Pew study found that the “vast majority” of boomerang kids say living once more with their parents has been good for them, and parents of such kids have been “just as satisfied with their family life and housing situation as are those parents whose adult children have not moved back home,” Pew notes.
Such findings have brought other boomerangers out of the woodwork, certainly, using that age-old reasoning that, well, who wouldn’t want to live rent-free while building a career in a tough economic climate?
“Think about it – how many of you would rather be in debt up to your eyeballs instead of having the ability to put money away in the bank?” writes boomeranger Amanda Abella of the Grad Meets World blog. “How many of you would rather struggle, and I mean really struggle, during a Recession (sic) rather than taking it easy and trying to do things the smart way?”
Yeah, yeah, okay. In such an economic climate, perhaps these opinions hold a little more weight. Yet the Pew study, for instance, points out that many boomerangers today are angels, who pitch in for rent and groceries and other living costs. Surely, this flies in the face of the freeloader, non-starter stereotype we currently associate with boomerang kids.
Still, the critics will not relent: “Today’s generation is literally going nowhere,” two parents write in a separate NYT op-ed. “This is the Occupy movement we should really be worried about.”
Whose side are you on? Has there never been a more appropriate time to be a boomerang kid, or should parents still encourage their kids to make it on their own without the safety net of moving back home?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money