Leaving home is now no permanent event. In fact, the trend of young adults returning to live with their parents has now got a name: they call them “boomerang kids.” Often, young people will leave home to live in the city, or somewhere in a sharehouse, only to find that flatlining wages, a rapidly changing job market, and high living expenses force them to “boomerang” back to the family home.
There can be a lot of shame and stigma around young adults living at home with their parents. Many see it as failure, are dubbed lazy, or useless, as though remaining at home is something that should be avoided at all costs. Some of the rhetoric around current young adults’ reality/life choices is toxic and negative, and is no doubt adding to growing mental health concerns around the country.
Change is in the wind
However, this seems to be changing somewhat. Between 2011 and 2016, the amount of 20 year olds, all the way to 34 year olds, living at home has increased. In New South Wales – state of the gorgeous Central Coast region – roughly one in five people in the 25-29 age bracket are living at their parent’s address.
While there is no specific data, the sudden impact of Covid-19 around the country and the world, which will see an economic downturn such as we haven’t seen in possibly a hundred years, will no doubt drive this trend upwards even further. Parents, brace yourself for a young adult invasion!
It’s not all that bad
The news around young adults living at home with their parents is rarely positive. We think that’s unfair, and want to point to some of the possible positives that can come from having adult parents and adult children sharing the same house.
Psychologist Sabina Read makes the case that there are some “very positive possible outcomes when adult children share the family home”. If both parties are willing to collaborate and communicate, then the parent-child relationship can strengthen and mature rather than disappear and become a source of anxiety and stress.
Of course, this won’t just happen by hoping for the best, it requires intention, and maybe at times, tough conversations. For example, acknowledging that you are entering into a new phase together, rather than a simple continuation and lengthening of childhood, is important. Establishing new boundaries and making sure that an open reciprocal communication occurs is critical.
There is an opportunity for children to see their parents as more than an interest free bank, and rule-maker, just as there is an opportunity for the parents to begin to see their children growing into independent adults themselves. While there is no guarantee, or even assumption that this idea will turn into a perfect paradise of family bliss, the point is to shift the conversation and begin to look at some of the possible positives, rather than focussing on the negatives.
Why a granny flat is perfect for this situation
Space and privacy is critical not just for the adult children in this case, but for the adult parents! Having the freedom and privacy to live individual lives is crucial to provide a successful living arrangement.
Of course, part of the benefits of this living arrangement is the chance for a more constant connection. Setting up the house so that you never see each other kind of defeats the point of living together; shared meals or a coffee in the morning can really add a spice and texture to both of your days.
Having a granny flat either joined to the house or in the backyard could just be the perfect plan for this separated connectedness to occur: solitude when needed, and communal spaces to share the evening entertainment with. We have a range of beautiful pre-existing designs waiting to be built, or, if you need something more customised then we would love to talk to you about that too!