Moving Back Home As An Adult Is Stressing Our Parents Out. But We Often Don’t Have A Choice

We’re the 'boomerang' kids and apparently returning home is affecting our parents' wellbeing. Shame. Maybe this will push the government into taking serious housing action because the pressure from struggling millennials clearly isn't enough

Moving Back Home As An Adult Is Stressing Our Parents Out. But We Often Don’t Have A Choice

by Jazmin Kopotsha |

Remember that little thing known as the housing crisis? Of course you do. We’re the generation of renters who can’t afford to buy our own homes. Rent often costs more than we’re paid, is largely unregulated and in the wake of consistently depressing news about the state of housing in the UK, there’s little progress being made as quickly as needed.

But never mind us moany millennials, quick to complain about these little problems that will continue to have a resounding effect on pretty much every aspect of our adult lives. This, apparently, is a real pain in the backside for our home-owning parents. Sigh

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According to a new study by London School of Economics and Political Science, parents whose grown up kids move back to their otherwise empty homes are experiencing a decline in their quality of life.

The research analysed the wellbeing of parents across 17 European countries whose lives had been interrupted by their adult children returning home after having previously fled the nest. Giving their quality of life a score between 12 and 48 based on factors that indicated ‘control’, ‘autonomy’, ‘pleasure’ and ‘self-realisation’, it was found that the parents of we ‘boomerang’ children had generally lower scores.

‘Over the past half century, intergenerational co-residence has declined dramatically in Western countries’, the paper said. Yet, in a response to things like financial hardship among young adults, poor job prospects and high unemployment rates, the study acknowledges that this trend has altered quite a bit recently. Those of you who, like myself, left home only to find that my wage wasn't enough to comfortably cover extortionate rent and still being able to afford things like bills, food, travel, and thus had to take out credit cards just to get through the month, will know all too well that having to return home isn't exactly a huge boost to our outlooks on life either.

The study explained: 'among boomerang children, 71% were employed, 12% unemployed and 17% out of the labour force. Most children moving back home (about 56%) were never married, while only twelve per cent were divorced or separated’. The fact that the vast majority of those who have moved home have jobs only echoes how bad the economic shit storm that whisked us back to our parents houses in the first place really is.

One of the crucial things with this is that there is a difference between being able to move out and choosing not to, and having left and then having to return to your parents’ sacred empty nest because of the multitude of financial hurdles that our generation is increasingly unable to safely jump in the current economic climate.

Although the UK wasn’t one of the 17 countries examined in the research, study author Dr Marco Tosi told the BBC that it’s highlight likely that similar trends in sentiment would be found over here too.

As of 2017, data released by the Office for National Statistics showed that there are 3.4 million young adults between the ages of 20 and 34 living at home with their parents – a huge rise from the 2.7 million twenty years before. We've watched this number grow for years, not unlike the way the housing crisis grew - ensuring that an entire generation will struggle to own homes in a way that none of our parents, or even grandparents have experienced before.

We've campaigned, we've petitioned, we've read and shared every new study and set of statistics that demonstrates just how dramatically the state of housing is affecting our generation of renters. But where are we now? Well, Theresa May only yesterday finally acknowledged the social-economic effects of the crisis, how there aren't enough affordable homes and how we're increasingly reliant on the bank of mum and dad. But we're still waiting for solutions. And if the last few years aren't enough to make that happen, maybe the strain of our baby boomer parents having to put us up for a while will make the issue a tad more #relatable for the politicians in charge...

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Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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