Bouncing Back Home

Record numbers of young adults live at home with their parents today. The economy accounts for a portion of adults returning home, but even during tough economic times in the past, more adults made a go of independence. Many care just being practical, saving money on rent even when they could afford to live elsewhere. But others move home because their plan to launch into independence fails. 

Lack of adult skills
Young adults bounce back home when they lack the skills to manage.
    Financial skills
Some young adults fail to plan financially. Credit card debt lands young people back at home. Others choose to move to a place where the rent is too high. Still others fail to do the math accurately to understand that their income isn’t going to cover their costs. Any of these mistakes can be prevented with the acquisition of skills prior to moving out.
    Emotional Regulation skills
Some young adults end up back home because they just can’t cope. As children living with parents, many kids have someone to soothe them through stressful moments. To get ready to go out into the world alone, young adults need to be able to deal with their emotions on their own.
    Interpersonal skills
Adulthood requires skills for communication, conflict resolution, and generally getting along with other people. From roommate problems to boss-employee conflicts, interpersonal skills deficits can sink a young adult’s ship and land them back in their parents’ house. 
Some young adults lack the confidence to go out on their own, or to stay out there and keep going when things get tough. A lack of confidence can create a bounce back home scenario for a young adult.
Being out on your own, making decisions and fending for yourself is fun for some, but others feel overwhelmed and distressed. A sure way to boomerang back to parents is a lack of skill for being autonomous. 
Stick-to-it-tiveness is one of the traits most highly associated with life success. Young people who haven’t learned to stick with things are more likely to give up and go back home to parents. 
    Problem solving skills
Solving problems is a big part of adulthood. Many of the other skills deficits can be resolved by a good problem solver, in fact. An inability to solve problems, on the other hand, can lead a young adult to end up going back home to let their parents find the solutions they can’t. 
Being accountable for one’s own responsibilities is a vital to successful independence. Young people who aren’t’ ready to be accountable are more likely to flail and end up back in their parents’ care than those who master accountability fully. 
Agency means “I’m the one to do it.” Young people who realize and accept a sense of agency are much more prepared to leave home than those who look to others, for example their parents, to be the agent in their lives. 

If you’re the parent of a teen or a young adult, is he or she ready with these skills? If not, what’s your plan to get them ready? 

Posted on February 15, 2016 .