NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Once parents send their kids off into the real world after high school and college, mom and dad are supposed to get the house to themselves and plenty of money to enjoy their newfound freedom.
But who knew the house had a revolving door and that many of those kids would come back home -- seemingly for good?
A study last year from the Pew Research Center says that 29% of U.S. adults between 25-34 have come back to live at home since the onset of the Great Recession -- and 48% of unemployed adult children between 18 and 34.
It's a cultural shift that predates the recession. Since 1980, the rate of young adults returning to the homestead has "risen steadily," Pew says.While this isn't ideal for most millennials, it's an adjustment for parents as well, says Colleen O'Brien, a branch manager at Charles Schwab (SCHW) who follows the issue of boomerang kids. "The reason households have multi-generational members is very simply the inability to get employment," she says. "Good workers are sitting on the sidelines, and that forces them back home, sometimes with their parents. I don't believe millennials want this lifestyle any more than their aging parents do."
- Set expectations upfront. So there's no confusion later, be sure to discuss personal space, meals, having friends over, curfews and sharing chores. This is also a good time to set a goal move-out date.
- Be frank about money. Having a child move back home will raise household expenses, so be clear about how your son or daughter needs to contribute. Rent, groceries, transportation and entertainment are all expenses to consider.
- Encourage independence. Your adult child is likely moving back home due to financial circumstances, but think twice about coddling them too much. Helping pay off debt, lending your credit card or co-signing for major purchases will only delay their financial independence. Instead, talk about making a budget, setting goals and saving consistently -- even if it's only a little at a time.