Young adults living with parents
Young adults living with parents
My son lived with me until he was 30, but it was not a problem for either of us, certainly not for me. I understood how tight money was after the 2008 financial mess. There’s nothing wrong with supporting each other, and the idea of children becoming independent as early as possible might work well for some, but not so well for others.
When I researched my family history, I saw that generations ago it was not uncommon at all for at least one of the children to stay with the parents well into adulthood, with some staying until the parents died and then taking over the property.
It’s not so much a matter of whether they live with their parents, but whether and when they become self supporting. In some cases, they are using up their parents’ savings for current living expenses, which will put everyone in a bind as their parents age.
Honestly I believe it makes an enormous amount of sense for young people live at home until they can afford to pay off student loans and pull together enough for a down payment on a house. In the mean time they can chip in money to the family budget that means the parents are spending less money than if their child was not there and the young adult can get housing a fair bit cheaper than being on their own.
Yes, but how many of these were living in the basement?
On a serious note, this is very common in Asian countries. I lived with my parents until higher education led me to move out at 23. This is even more frequent in women, who often live with their parents until they are married, barring moves to college campuses.
Yes, in many Indian cultures children living at home until they marry is considered relatively normal as it is quite fiscally sensible.;
It is also very common in the Italian culture, at least in Italy if not as much among modern Italian Americans. Even the man often stays home with his parents or mother if he is not married. He may be in his 40s or 50s but he is still taken care of by his parents.
The thing is, we need to be looking at the expectations in each of these countries. Some cultures (Mediterranean, Latin American, Asian) have much closer-knit family structures than we have in the US. In the US, until recently, it was considered a disgrace for young adults no longer in school to be living with parents, which is why young adults living at home is such a shock here.
No matter how you slice it…it’s the economy. Nothing wrong with making a buck (pound, Euro or whatever…), but when your willing to put that in front of everything else; environment, tax-base, our health and the future generations. Than it is no wonder we are seeing the problems that we are encountering.
All the bickering and blaming each other does not get us any closer to a resolution.
This is common in some developing countries as well. Some people stay at home (even if they have a good job), save money and usually move out when they have acquired their own home etc. They may find it’s more economical to pay rent to their parents (who often charge much less than everywhere else) rather than to a stranger.
Perhaps it’s about the economy in the US. But, as other posters have noted, in many countries and cultures, it is nothing new for adult children to live with their parents.
Note that in many Asian countries, the eldest male child is expected to always live with his parents in the family home, even after he marries and has children, and also expected to eventually care for them in their old age – one reason many people from such countries are so fixated on having a son. And I know many Asian women who lived with their parents until they married.
The idea that adult children have to move out of their parents’ home to be totally independent, or indeed, that adult children even have to achieve “total independence” in the first place, is far from a universal cultural norm.
For example, in many cultures that traditionally conduct arranged marriages, even those who opt for “love marriages” would never dream of marrying anyone the parents don’t approve of. Indeed, the tradition of a groom “asking for the father’s blessing” still persists in the US though most will admit they’d go ahead with the marriage even without such a blessing.
This of course wasn’t always completely voluntary. In farming communities, the oldest son would often stay with his parents, or live on another home on the property if he had a family, and work the farm and eventually inherit it. But often, to keep the farm going, the parents would prohibit the son from finding work in other places (even other farms). Thus he had no wages to escape the farm if he wanted to. My own grandfather, was used as farm labor by his own parents long after he had become an adult. He finally made plans to leave and asked his father for the money for the train ticket the night before, that was the only money his parents gave him. He was luckily able to go to another relative who paid him like a farm hand, until he started farming on his own.
and in some cases the parent or parents live with their kids.
If kids live at home long enough, eventually the parents will move out.
They might move out to a nursing home. Or they might stay at home while the kids care for them. But somebody will need to have a job and an income to provide support.
The difference between countries such as the US and Asian nations is the attitude of the young adults.
Australia has seen a large increase in the number of kids staying at home into their twenties. What I see (and hear) is that the parents still take care of all the household chores and costs. They do the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry etc. They also pay for everything. The only thing the adult child pays for is a very very subsidised board which in most cases wouldn’t even cover the food they eat much less also cover things like gas, electricity, reasonable rent etc. In many case the adult children are working full time and spending their money on fun luxury items while mum and dad foot the cost of living.
If the adult child is studying or saving for a house deposit (and doing their fair share of cooking/cleaning etc) I don’t think anything of this. When it is simply a case of the adult child wanting to be able to have the freedoms of an adult but none of the responsibilities I think parents are doing their children a disfavour by allowing them to continue to stay in the family home.
I think many such young people happened to come of age at a time when the economy was in flux, and seemed to prove the idea that “There’s really no point in working hard or saving money when the System is Broken and could pull the rug out from under our feet at any time. Might as well mooch off those who are lucky enough to be financially stable, they probably did something unethical to succeed because that’s the only way you can make it in the Broken System, and it’s only right they pay their fair share and support the less fortunate”.
I certainly get this vibe from the many young Bernie Sanders supporters in the US. They don’t see any value in a “traditional work ethic”, they see it as just a lie the One Percenters and their cronies told their parents to trick them so they could be exploited, and they’re not going to be fooled. They deserve to have freedom without responsibility!
I’m not saying I agree with this reasoning at all, but I can certainly understand why many people think this way, especially those who don’t have any experience with the dark side of prior attempts at socialist utopia-making. Though that doesn’t quite explain why many young people are content to mooch off their parents, who per this reasoning aren’t the actual “greedy rich people who don’t pay their fair share”, but are just as exploited as they are. But I have noticed a general tendency for some people to assume they have the right to mooch off anyone who’s better off than they are, even if by a narrow margin.
I really think it is better to have kids stay home with parents if it is workable.
I think that you are right, in that this may often be their thinking. But when mom and dad’s money runs out, or the parents have to use it up for medical expenses and nursing homes, and global recession hits, it will not be pretty trying to learn a work ethic from scratch. There are some young adults who are unwilling to move even for a job opportunity, to take a different job than they trained for, to do anything except lay low and hope things work out, and that can be a recipe for disaster.
I’m not an economist - but I do wonder how much of it also has to do with US parents having fewer children and larger homes.
Ours were effectively “kicked out” as soon as they turned (will turn) 18 and headed (will head) to college.
We have approx. 900sq ft and 1 bathroom - no basement. Still have 4 (soon to be 3) kids at home. While we helped (help) with college the best we can, the intent is for them to get their degree in 4yrs and get employed to support themselves (2 down, 4 to go).
We have a couch/cot for college vacations, gaps between living places, etc. We have a working washer and dryer to use free of charge. We have food in the cabinets and running water for showers always available.But once one moves out - one does not “move” back in, in any semi-permanent kind of way.
There is no room - and what there is the younger kids grow (are growing) bigger and filling it.
(And to be fair, even the “baby” will be subjected to these same rules…after close to 40 years, I think hubby and I will have earned our space and quiet.)