Parenting: college grads boomerang back home

August 7, 2012

While that prospect isn't always appealing, it can prove to be very beneficial.

They call it the "Boomerang Generation" because its members head out into the real world looking for a job, economic security and independence, but before you know it, they are right back where they started; living with their parents as young adults.

"When you move back home, it's nice to have your own place to go to," said Kelsey Stinson.

Kelsey Stinson of Phoenixville was certain she was on her way to a career in nursing and a life on her own.

The recent college grad did find work, but the pay was hardly enough, especially with her college loans.

Enter Kelsey's parent.

"They know what it's like to struggle. They know what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, and they didn't want me to have to struggle. They wanted to give me something more. So they said, 'Listen, come live at home and save up your money,'" Kelsey explained.

Economic conditions have plenty of young adults not finding jobs in their chosen careers at all, taking a lower-paying service job, and moving back in with mom and dad.

The Pew Research Center reports that 29 percent of parents had a child move back in with them because of the stalled job market.

"We both know how tough it is," said Kelsey's mom Lynn Stinson. "And things happen that you are not expecting. It is always, sometimes you think, one step forward and two steps back financially."

Dr. Christopher Coyne, a local economics professor, says Kelsey shouldn't be embarrassed, which she is not, but actually proud.

"You are going to sit there and do nothing as opposed to work for a minimum wage job? You take the job you can get. You take the money you can get. You do what you can, and you move on and work from there," said Dr. Christopher Coyne.

Dr. Coyne advises both parents and the returning nester to set some ground rules, and talk things over, to help make the new arrangement work.

"What's wrong with sitting there telling your child, 'Look, I know you are an adult, that doesn't mean I don't worry about you,'" he said.

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