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Stop Being a Codependent Parent and Let your Kids Grow Up

Updated on May 1, 2016
Stacie L profile image

Stacie L has been an educator for many years and likes to share her experiences and advice.

Why Some Kids Won't Grow Up

An adult child staying home or moving back with his or her parents is detrimental. The focus of this article is to highlight the growing trend of adult offspring staying home with their parents or moving back such as boomerang kids.and the reasons.

The schools, colleges and parents prepare young adults to be successful and productive citizens. Teenagers grow up wishing they were adults and in charge of themselves. Parents strive to raise their children the best way they know how. The ideal is that kids are supposed to achieve good grades, apply to a good college and try to earn a scholarship to pay for most of it. No one expects them to fail or have such a hardship that they end up back home.

Anyway, when adult children graduate college owing a tremendously large loan and can't find any work in their field or any work, they usually wind up back home.

Some never attend college, work a few minimum wage jobs,or stay up playing video games or going out with friends. They are not pushed to leave.

Are You Co-dependent with your Grown Children

Adult kids moving back or staying home to mooch off their parents is becoming a growing trend in recent years. Are these kids just selfish or are the parents too lenient and afraid to make them grow up?

Many parents have feelings of guilt when they think their adult offspring should move out on their own. Why do parents allow this? Being a co-dependent in this scenario is detrimental to all involved. Many moochers will sponge off their mom and dad as long as they are not forced to move. Those that move back because of financial reasons may or may not help out and use their money problems as an excuse. Why do parents allow this? Why are parents afraid to lay down the law?

Why does mom and dad have feelings of guilt and need to have their kids stay dependent on them. Is it a failing in the parents? Did their parents do the same with them or did they feel deprived and want to help their kids more? These are questions to ponder.

Why Adult Kids Don't Move Out

Reasons for adults to stay home

There are all sorts of reasons for adult children to stay home with their parents. Almost all of the time the reasons are due to money issues or lack of. The recent economic crisis is draining savings accounts and bankrupting families.

Some adults move back after a divorce and were wiped out financially. Divorce is very expensive and will drain savings and force the sale of a home.

Still others just can't seem to cope with the demands of the outside world and return to the safe haven of home. There are those parents who unwittingly make their kids dependent upon them under the guise of love. other reasons for parents allowing their adult offspring to come back are purely selfish. Parents such as a widowed mother or those who are not emotionally ready to let go, are typical.

Not letting kids grow up and learn to become adults is allowing the parent to still feel young and needed, which feeds their ego and feelings of self worth. It does nothing for their son's and daughter's egos. In fact, it may create hidden feelings of resentment and anxiety. Not allowing your children to experience the possible failings or successes of adulthood is almost abusive.

The only exceptions should be a mentally handicapped or physically handicapped adult child. If there is a group home, or agency in their area that can place them in one, then it's essential to do so. I have known parents to keep their handicapped children at home for fear that they will not be taken care of in a group home. This delay creates great stress on the parent and only puts off the inevitable when the parent dies.


an old flier telling teenagers to get out of the house
an old flier telling teenagers to get out of the house

Different Mindset years ago

The adult offspring of today's world seem to be a far cry from those of the 1960's who ventured out into the new world with such anticipation of changing the world.

Living on the land, without the modern conveniences in communes or on the streets such as those in San Fransisco is a distant memory. Perhaps those kids grew up and regretted that lifestyle. They wanted their kids to have everything.

No matter the reason, adult offspring are moving back with their parents in record numbers.

The economy is the number one reason for the trend today. Record jobs lost in this recession, is the number one problem, followed by college loans, foreclosures, astronomical health care bills, taxes and so on.

60's hippies
60's hippies

New Rules for today's generation

I remember the early 70's recession and how hard it was to find work. My brothers and I all worked any odd jobs and together we helped out with food and bills. When I graduated years ago I wasn't able to find a job in my field. I applied for months after graduation and started applying out of state, where eventually I landed a job in a rural, impoverished area. Some people are working in states many miles away while leaving the rest of the family behind. Whatever needs to be done is being done.

A new trend is happening in the last 3-4 years that's affecting recent graduates. The grads fresh from the university are facing the daunting task of landing their first meaningful position in their field of study. They are not finding any work or don't want to and use this as an excuse.

Adult Kids Moving Back Home with Family

It isn't easy to live under someone else's roof and live by their rules; it's even harder when you have been on your own for years and the family needs to move back to one spouses parent's home. Moving into someone else's home is difficult by yourself, but add a few kids, a spouse, a few dogs and your stuff, creates a recipe for disaster. The kids are uprooted and must assimilate into a new community, new school, with less amenities and increased tension in the house.

The old issues come back with arguments, memories of conflicts while growing up and dominance issues. Parents want to have a say-so about how their grown kids live and discipline their own kids. There may be minor clashes but stress can strain a relationship. Oftentimes the clashes are serious enough to damage relationships for good.

Discussing the arrangements ahead of time and making a contract that everyone can live with is a good idea. Deciding who will do the added chores, times to be quiet, times to have company should be discussed beforehand and storage space needs to be addressed.

If you had a good relationship in the first place, it may work. No one wants more mouths to feed, or others sharing your space, disrupting your schedule and routine, but these are the most difficult times we have seen in many decades.

Downsizing is a practical and economic solution that will solve a problem temporarily. Everyone hopes it is temporary. Adult offspring should be on their own. It's healthier for all concerned but when it is necessary to share, then everyone needs to work together. Having the support of parents is important but getting out as soon as possible is best. I know people that moved into basement of parents and it wasn't easy, but they made it work.

Tips for Helping Adult Children grow up

Adult moochers are a pain in the butt but your own adult kids are even worse. If your son or daughter has stayed beyond 21 with no future plans in sight or marketable skills for work, then it's time to get serious.

Dr. Phil has some suggestions in his video. Your moochers didn't become free-loaders overnight. You as a parent have enabled them to do so. You need to work on yourself first if you don't have the knowledge or will power to get them out.

Taking food, money,and free housing from a parent without giving is disrespectful, so you must try to gain some self respect and risk losing them. Give them an ultimatum and a date to go. help them find a job and a place to live. Help them to grow up.

Another idea is to draw up a legal contract if necessary but do it. consult an attorney for suggestions.

Go to a counselor for yourself and maybe with your adult child. Find out what's holding you back.

The longer you wait the worse it will become.



Boomerang Generation Poll

Did you or your adult children move back home?

See results

© 2010 Stacie L

Comments

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  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    9 months ago

    It seems to be a sign of the times. More adult children can't or won't grow up.

    I think time away from each other will help you and her both.

  • profile image

    Sunshine81 

    9 months ago

    Thanks for the article. I am a stepmom and had to put my foot down 5 years ago and have 24 year old move out or me as she expected princess treatment and would not work or help in any way. She moved in with her mom, still there babysits occasionally but no other job finished her bachelors, internship and passed state exam 2 years ago, she is gonna apply for jobs soon but is well entertained with frequent trips, Disney , beach weeks, all the time. Now my husband and I are taking a trip over 5 days right after Christmas as a gift to each other as we have had no time away together or hardly together at all in 3 years as we had ailing parents and the last one passed away last month. My husbands 29 year old daughter expects a paid vacation with us. I refuse to enable this lifestyle and her permanent retirement plan with paid vacations without contributing to anyone or anything. She will not help anyone in need especially family members. We see her 3 times a year birthday Christmas and our beach week timeshare once a year. Am I wrong refusing to go in those circumstances. I would rather take a few days alone and see some places and relax as I can not afford to provide another a vacation all expenses paid. One week a year is enough.

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    2 years ago

    Thank you Stella for your insightful comments. Things are so different now. I think we(society) are overprotecting kids too much.Codependent parents are doing more harm than good.Kids and adult kids need to make mistakes in order to learn and grow(up).

  • ladyguitarpicker profile image

    stella vadakin 

    2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    All so true. Everything is different then in the 1960 era. We left home and never came back. It was understood when we left, you do not come back unless your spouse hits you, that was the rule. Wonderful hub, Stella

  • Stacie L profile imageAUTHOR

    Stacie L 

    3 years ago

    Thanks for reading my hub on being a co dependent parent. This is becoming a very immature generation that relies on their parents too much. And parents need to let them grow up .

  • MarloByDesign profile image

    MarloByDesign 

    3 years ago from United States

    Great Hub! I know too many adult children who have moved back home where their parents still support them...and the adult children become so lazy!

working

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