Boomerang kids a problem?

There may be health risks for parents whose children return to the nest

Download Perspecs
Perspecs

Are so called boomerang kids becoming a problem?

By Joe Harker

Ever heard the phrase "boomerang kids"? It refers to children who move back in with their parents after apparently flying the nest for good.

They move out with jobs or go to university and from there it may be assumed that they will get homes of their own and not be coming back on a permanent basis. As the boomerang name suggests, these kids go away and end up coming back.

A new study from the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that the parents quality of life falls if they have boomerang kids, as their return causes "stress and conflict".

They found that the drop in quality of life was similar to suffering from an age-related disability. The study said: "Parents enjoy their independence when their children leave the home, and refilling an empty nest may be regarded as a violation of this life-course stage."

It would seem that the boomerang kids aren't doing this for fun as 71 per cent of those recorded in the study were in employment. The cost of rent and housing deposits are rising higher than wages and more people are struggling to afford a place of their own, thus turning back to mum and dad to provide a place to live.

In the meantime mum and dad have adapted to living in an empty nest and started to develop their own hobbies and activities. That suddenly changes and has a significant impact on their health.

In the UK around a quarter of young adults are living with their parents and a predicted 500,000 more are expected to move back in to the family home over the next decade, some of whom are concerned that they will never make enough money to move out. It can take tens of thousands in savings to afford a deposit on a place to live and many young people just don't have that sort of money or the potential to earn it without several years of living with their parents.

The Daily Telegraph believes if you can't turf them out, charge them. Many parents charge their children board if they live at home and work and on average the cost is £132 per month to go towards rent, bills and food. While this doesn't tend to cover the true cost of having the kids move back in it does help them build up their savings so they can afford a deposit on a place of their own.

When the kids are all grown up and back in the house it can struggle to benefit anyone as the parents new routine is disrupted and the kids, now adults in their own right, are treated like children again. Nobody is really happy with the situation, but for many it is the only option available.

Download Perspecs
Download Perspecs