How to Get Rid of Your Boomerang Kid

NEW YORK (MainStreet) – When Jayne Pearl graduated from college in the 1970s, she didn’t have a job lined up. So she did what many graduates in her situation do: She moved back in with her parents to live rent-free.

The honeymoon period didn’t last long.

“I partied for a couple weeks, then my parents handed me the New York Times classifieds and said, ‘Here’s some train money. Don’t come back without a job,’” she recalls.

These days, parents can count their lucky stars if their adult child is only home for two weeks. The Great Recession caused job prospects for young adults to plummet, with the unemployment rate among Americans aged 20-29 currently standing at 12.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As one might expect, that has caused unemployed and underemployed 20-somethings to take shelter from the economic storm with their parents, and the spectacle of young college graduates returning home en masse to live rent-free has given rise to the term “boomerang kid.”

While many parents welcome the return of their graduate after four years with an empty nest, a boomerang kid can quickly wear out his or her welcome. So if your kid has boomeranged back home and is showing no signs of leaving the nest, how can you put him or her on the road to independence – and on the road out of your basement?

Draw Up a Contract

With college graduation season almost upon us, you probably have a pretty good idea of whether your newly-minted graduate will be boomeranging back home or not. If they will indeed be returning to the nest in the next couple of months, there are steps you can take now to ensure that it doesn’t become a permanent arrangement.

The first is to clearly communicate that you’re only accommodating them temporarily until they get on their feet.

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