Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Monday | June 1, 2009
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Adults living with their parents - good or bad idea?
Nadisha hunter, Gleaner Writer

POSITIVE Parenting

A new trend is changing the fabric of society as an increasing number of adult children are choosing to reside in their parents' home well into their 30, experts say. They are not necessarily linking this to the hostile economic climate that is broadsiding everyone at this time, however, they are pointing to advantages and disadvantages in opting to stay home.

"The parents can rightfully make demand of you the child because you live in their house, so you can't assume full adult responsibility. Once you are living in the parents' house you are partially a child," argued Dr Leachim Semaj, psychologist at the Job Bank. He said while there are also advantages to living with their parents, adult children need to move on with their lives.

Among the advantages he identified is the ability of the children to save towards buying a house or to further their education.

But Semaj noted that this arrangement may be mutually beneficial.

"For parents, having adult children at home provides companionship and security, especially if it's a small family, so both sides can benefit from this," he told The Gleaner.

However, the psychologist said it must be a case where the parents accept the adult in the home as part of the family, as well as on the grounds that the adult child is willing to be obedient.

But another psychologist, Lorna Eaton, said whether living under their parents' roof or not, adult children are just that - adults - and they should be treated as such.

It could be a worthwhile move by the adult children, however.

"Sometimes when parents are ageing they tend to give up on life and the child could very much take over caring for the house, so it can be a good move," she said.

Inevitable squabbles

The downside include the inevitable squabbles over money and the rules the adult children are expected to follow, she said, but also, the adult children may not be fully mature, they may have developed a low self-esteem and lose some sense of responsibility.

The parents may feel cheated out of the freedom the empty nest offers, resent continued financial burdens and wonder if they have failed in their responsibility to raise well-adjusted citizens.

Eaton further added that the hike in crime could be a reason why adult children are unwilling to leave their parents' home.

Those factors, along with failed marriages, unmanageable debt or the loss of jobs are challenging circumstances in today's society which make the home of Mom and Dad an attractive option, some of these adults said.

Angella Richards informed that her daughter, Kimone Jackson, was unable to manage her finances due to the failure of her business, which was the sole source of an income for her.

Richards said she didn't hesitate to welcome her daughter back to the Linstead home which she left for seven years.

"I love my daughter and I think I am the person to be there for her when she needs help," Richards said.

Though little arguments take place between the two adults from time to time, Richards stated that she is happy for the company.

Richards' 29-year-old daughter, Kimone, said she has no plans to leave her mother's nest again anytime soon.

"I am just going to stay with my mother, and sort out my life," she informed.

Financial difficulties

Along with her financial difficulties, the safety of her mother, who lived on her own, was also a concern.

"I was also worried about my mother, it's not OK for her to be living on her own, so I am happy I am here with her."

She admitted that sometimes her mother goes overboard with the restrictions which sometimes cause mild argument but, despite this, she tries to be obedient.

"My mother is sometimes miserable but I try to understand her and try as best as possible to do what she wants me to," she added.

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