As the country heads into a recession, more and more children may be returning home with their parents after college graduation this spring. Boomerangers or twixters, as they are sometimes called, are the twenty-somethings who choose to move back in with mom and dad so that they save money and plan for the future.
Heading back to the empty nest can be a pleasant time for children and parents alike but the truth of the matter is that between adolescence and adulthood, the relationship between children and their parents’ changes dramatically. It is important for both parents and child to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them before they share a home, again.
Bill Duesse, president and co-founder of The Coach Connection, a life coaching company in Fort Meyers, Fla., says that the key to a success is for parents and children to first sit down independently to figure out what they would like to get out of the experience. Then everyone can decide together a set of workable ground rules.
Experts agree that the ultimate conversation should cover topics such as rent, groceries, curfew, guests and even television schedules. “Absolutely parents should charge room and board, maybe less than what it would cost them on their own, but rent none the less," says Jay Berger, a certified financial planner in Traverse City, Mich. "They should also have responsibilities like grocery shopping.”
Having a rules and a rental fee agreement on somewhat formal terms helps the child to experience what the real world will be like but still in a “safe” environment. According to Stuart Ritter, a lecturer at The Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University, both the parents and the child should consider the time a learning experience: Having a landlord tenant type relationship will bring more realism to that situation.