June 2, 2012

"The path to independent adulthood... often must, and actually should, lead back to the family home after college."

"The good news for parents is that your graduate will achieve economic independence eventually. In the meantime, accept a basic fact of life: Given the realities of today’s economy, your nest will not empty out right away."

To what extent do you agree?
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SteveR said...

There is room at home for my daughter. There is not room for her stuff/cat

Paco Wové said...

When they hand the Post Obama-lemons, the Post makes Obama-lemonade.

Synova said...

It depends on why someone moves home, I suppose, and what they do when they get there.

I've "moved home" several times in my adult life. Everything about it was temporary. My parents would somehow find a way to take in their child, her husband, whatever kids we had, for the few weeks or whatever. I wouldn't even ask my in-laws.

We've taken in a number of adult friends, too, and their families, while they're looking for a place to rent. I don't particularly *like* living in close quarters with another family, but it's what you do, you know.

madAsHell said...

I tried reading the WaPo article, but I couldn't make it past the first paragraph. The paragraph asserts that people left the farm, went to high school, and everyone acquired a good job.

They discovered an effect, and assigned the cause.

ndspinelli said...


paminwi said...

Gee, from the Post's perspective I am a bad parent because both of my children graduated from college, got jobs and never moved back home again?

cubanbob said...

Same tiresome tripe about inferior schools yada yada yada. No mention why the schools are inferior and no mention why the dysfunctional class is growing.

wyo sis said...

It happens, it happened in our family for a few years, but it's not a good thing and it's not the way things should be. Kids are supposed to be able to achieve a better life than their parents, not hijack it from their parents.

Anglelyne said...

Hmmm, wouldn't the "realities of "today's economy" more forcefully suggest - if one has soberly assessed reasons for investing in a college degree in the first place - either living at home while going to the local college, to save money and avoid debt, or just staying at home while pursuing apprenticeships, saving up/lowering expenses while holding down those entry-level low-wage jobs?

Seems like skipping the "leaving home and wasting money for a worthless degree" step would show a clearer grasp of today's realities.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

The hawklets have to leave the nest, as long as they stay away from NE OH.

The WaPo is going to be a laughingstock by the time the election's over.

Lem said...

The correct answer is media spin to help Obama.

traditionalguy said...

It's all about two million jobs gone to China long time passing, oh when will they ever learn.

Give a man/woman a job at age 22 and they will do whate it takes, buy houses and raise the fruit of the Heterosexual marriages.

It's not rocket science. It's deliberate sabotage by the Bilderbergers and enviros playing with their New World governance game.

tim maguire said...

It's a thing, neither good nor bad in itself. If it led to tighter families of independent members, then it's good.

If it led to children being children for many more years, then it's not good.

But it probably won't lead to either--most children will probably ultimately move far away from their parents and not talk to them very much, just like now. So it's just a thing; unfortunate delaying of independence, but not a big deal.

nana said...

My son moved home for about 4 years after college. He was able to pay more on his college loans during that time. He helped with things around the house like a responsible adult that he is. He is and always has been respectful to us. Don't judge if you don't know the facts.

traditionalguy said...

The Red Tailed Hawks are facing the same dilemma.There are only so many nests on campus.

If Planned Hawk Parenthood could be funded, then the females could be all be plucked for pillow feathers thus relieving the male Hawks of competition for nests, which would in turn save the planet from the sea level rising 100 feet and the world ending.

If I can think of why that happens in my computer model of settled science, then that brilliant idea alone should get me an easy Grant and a tenured Phd and a Nobel Prize.

Synova said...

"Seems like skipping the "leaving home and wasting money for a worthless degree" step would show a clearer grasp of today's realities"


Synova said...

Looks like two hawks again... but maybe the other is just too far down the little ledge to see it.

Biff said...

"Young people increasingly realize that they cannot earn a living wage without going to college."

The ignorance of many Ivy League professors never ceases to impress me.

I wonder if Professor Mintz has ever spoken to a plumber beyond saying, "Yes, yes, just fix the damned thing. I wouldn't know the first thing about turning a wrench. How much do I owe you?"

More than you know, Professor Mintz. More than you know...

sleepless nights said...

When I did a walking tour of smaller towns of Germany during the late 90s economic pump, I was struck by how *normal* it was for 20-somethings to live with their parents. There was not the shame that exists here. Same with the blue collar neighborhood, heavily filled with recent Catholic immigrants (then Italian and now Croatian) down the way from where I grew up. It's just completely average that adult kids might not be able to move out right away, and conversely that parents will live with their middle aged children when they get older - most likely in a guest house on the same single lot. The "kids" also still go straight from the parents' house into home ownership and their own kids rather than having a single decade in the city in a condo or apartment.

I have noticed that same pattern reasserting itself with the current college-educated 20-somethings. They only had about a year after graduation to have a single life with roommates before the economic collapse hit. At that point they paired up, moved back home, then bought houses with their partners, whether they were married or not or joined the military. The ones with more marketable degrees are living the single life as per usual, but had to get jobs with the defense industry instead of the private industry jobs they wanted. They are all voting for Obama again, btw, because they now all work for the government even though that was not the plan. He is the guarantor of the security they do have.

sleepless nights said...

Note: The last paragraph consists of observations of the 20-somethings in my own greater family, not general trends.

Ross said...

I consider moving in with my parents a last resort.

EMD said...

I checked the source before voting.

Scott M said...


Send them to the military. Send them to trade school, whatever. If your kid is obviously college material and has a PLAN, fine. Send the rugrat to college and be prepared for what happens. With a plan and a marketable degree, the likelihood of them using home for anything other than a way-station between moving out of the campus area and into their first job increases substantially.

If they want to get a PhD in Sanskrit or any of the "aggrieved identity" studies, make them foot the bill themselves.

We need to raise the bar substantially for our children at all stages in their development. They will rise to it. It's this last bit that I think we've somehow forgotten.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It depends on why someone moves home, I suppose, and what they do when they get there.

Yes. Moving home with the parents and lapsing into a parent/child relationship is not a good thing. The living at home young person needs to be responsible, pull their weight by getting a job....even a menial one, contributing to the economy of the household and helping out with the chores. Sitting around playing WoW or just hanging out being an adult teenager isn't going to get it.

I lived at home (for 1 1/2 years) and worked full time while going to college with a full class load. I paid my parents the same rent that I would have had to do if I were on my own. I didn't expect my Mommy or Daddy to take care of me and my needs anymore than I would expect a roommate in an apartment to do those things either.

"Young people increasingly realize that they cannot earn a living wage without going to college"

Bullcrap. There are plenty of jobs that provide a "living wage". You just need to adjust your expectations as to what constitutes "living". My hubby does not have a college degree, but did go to college for a couple of years before he figured out it wasn't for him. He has his own plumbing/well/water system business for over 20 years now. Not one time EVER has anyone who needed his services to reconnect their water, reset their domestic or ag pump, re-plumb the bathroom or anything else ask if he had a college degree. Not ever.

In fact it is quite common for this non college graduate to have to educate his lawyer, doctor and other clients with degrees up the booyang, that if they don't winterize their homes.....water freezes at 32 degrees and their pipes will break....EVERY YEAR. D'oh!!!

So, a college degree is no guarantee of a job, a living wage or intelligence.

Henry said...

The way things are is that your kid is going to college and you look at your kid and you say "why?"

It's not like college is bad. It's that you need a reason to do it. There are lots of other alternatives.

I wrote this before I read the article. Then I read the article:

colleges do a poor job of helping students figure out what they want to do once they enter the working world.

You don't say.

Bob R said...

I could have gone with "all of the above" on the poll. I think that boomerang kids are more likely now, so you have to muddle through and make the best of it. (If this is the worst we have to put up with in the "great recession," it's a good thing. We're not talking Tom Joad.) But the happy talk is kind of annoying. And I think it's an excuse for more than just Obama. There is a huge social class that is largely responsible for this. It is the choices made by the Nomenclature that have driven up the cost of college and made it and "meaningful work" an important class/status marker. Mintz is defending much more than Obama.

David said...

Usually I read the link first. Not this time. What utter bullshit. Get the kids out to some job, any job. They can share an apartment, live cheaply, not have a smart phone or a nice car or any car. I made $4800 a year in my first job and lived in NYC. Things were a lot cheaper then but not that much cheaper. My wife and I got along. Get out there and find a way, you pampered little pussies.

Joe said...

A single person can live on minimum wage with their own place. They may have to give up a lot, including a smart phone, but you can do it. This is about mooching; being able to blow money on toys at the cost of their parents, nothing more.

Joe said...

Who the hell wants to live with their parents anyway? As soon as I graduated, I found excuses to not be at home and left for good once I went to college. My senior year of high school I found out that New York had an early graduation program. I was pissed that I hadn't heard about it sooner.

vbspurs said...

Have you guys heard of mammone? It literally means a man who suckles, or, "mama's boy". Such guys are very common in Italy (I remember a60 Minutes segment on them, recently).

There are twists to the stay-in-the-garage mammone: the men whose parents cook, clean, iron, and generally paper EVEN though they live outside the childhood home.

I don't think American society is culturally attuned to this phenomenon. Ya'll are too independent, and let's be honest, sometimes very generationally at odds with your kids to allow for such long-term indulgence.


vbspurs said...

(...'generally pamper...)

sleepless nights said...

@Joe What area do you live in?

No they cannot... at least not here.


At the very least, you need to pair up and form one economic unit of miserable wage slaves.

Sorry, but I don't think the answer is to lie to people and pretend that they aren't relative wage slaves compared with the recent past. They are. We shouldn't expect adult kids to live at home now nor should they have to adjust their expectations downward as much as they are being asked.

Smartphones are inconsequential compared to housing, fuel, insurance, food, and taxes.

RonF said...

My nest emptied pretty much right away. My daughter went off to school and never came back at all to live. My son came back to live for about 5 months and then was able to move out.

But then, both of them got engineering degrees.

Freeman Hunt said...

Why would you have a two bedroom apartment while working a minimum wage job?

sleepless nights said...

For the kids of course. That's what the statistic was about. That sounds bizarre doesn't it? But really, if you check the statistics for boomer age people, they could actually support a family on *one income* minimum wage back in the late 60s to early 70s. That's the original meaning of minimum wage.

bagoh20 said...

It's a growing phenomenon of leftist opinion and study to take a failure and rewrite it as a success, healthy and good.

It's like saying: "I meant to do that", after falling on your face.

When successes are rare and failures abound, you make lemonade.

bagoh20 said...

After college in 1980, I tried to find work, but it was a recession - worse in many ways than today's, and in my small rust belt western Pennsylvania town there was absolutely nothing. I lived with my parents for a while, and even went on food stamps for a few weeks. Then I saved up $300 and left for California with no prospects for work or housing out here, but it had much better employment opportunities than home. I just had to go for it. I could not live off my parents if I wanted to be a man. The idea of living like that - dependent and unproductive - was disgusting and just not an option. My parents would have been fine with it, but not me. I would rather end up in the gutter, but I knew I would never let that happen.

As I have said before, I ended up homeless for a while, but found minimum wage work and then followed Bago's patented "Steps to Wealth":

1) get a job
2) get a better job
3) get a better job
4) repeat until satisfied.

MarkD said...

My son graduated with a Computer Science degree into the teeth of the dot com bubble. When he was starting, every member of the graduating class was offered a $60K job by IBM. When he graduated, nobody was even recruiting. Good plans don't always work out.

He did stay with us for 4 years and paid off over $20K in student loans, went from a part time job in IT to full time and saved a twenty percent down-payment for his own house. He could have left earlier, but I don't think he failed.

I was in the Marines at twenty and when I got out my wife and I did stay with my parents for a couple of months while I found a job. In the pre-internet days, it was tough to search for a job from Japan.

My daughters never moved back. One married, the younger one is in grad school

Frankns said...

Up above, bagoh20 said:

"It's a growing phenomenon of leftist opinion and study to take a failure and rewrite it as a success, healthy and good."

And I have to say that this is an old, old Marxist meme. Growing up in the Cold War, we heard re-framing statement like this all the time. By in large, we laughed at them. They WERE funny. The formula becomes obvious after a while: Take some pressing crisis that will make you and your people look bad (poor harvest in the Ukraine), pretend that you no part in it, blame someone/thing else (I can't tell you how many years of bad weather we heard about.) and then twist the story until you look good (O! those noble farm workers!!).

It was a crock ... we all laughed.

Today, when we see that kind of lying manipulation, I suspect we need to laugh ... loudly. We need to embarrass the fools who make these comments, and remind them that they sound like old time Politburo Hacks.

Joe said...

sleepless nights, that chart is a joke. Two bedrooms at fair market rent? There are one bedroom shit holes that you can afford.

And why do you need insurance? See how you rigged the game immediately. The notion of actually living and slowly, patiently working up escapes so many. The notion of real, genuine sacrifice seems to be a forgotten notion.

Many people here, including me, have lived in very high cost areas on minimum wage.

When first married, my wife and I lived in LA on minimum wage (she worked 40 hours on slightly more than minimum, I worked 30 hours on slightly less--I was an independent contractor--while going to college at night. Our one bedroom apartment was a shit hole with no air conditioning and a space heater. We had no phone, no TV, no Microwave. Our furniture was a bed, table and two folding chairs. We shared a crappy car.

Joe said...

But really, if you check the statistics for boomer age people, they could actually support a family on *one income* minimum wage back in the late 60s to early 70s.

Bullshit. Do you understand what people gave up to live on a low salary/wage? The past wasn't this nirvana and teens and twenty-somethings need to stop being so fucking delusional, claiming things are so fucking hard while playing their X-Box and yacking on their smart phones.

Minimum wage of 1970 was $1.60 per hour. Using various inflation calculators, that's between $8.88 and $9.49 an hour.

Teens and twenty-somethings tend to see how their parents live now and assume it was always that way. They hear about how people were just handed jobs (which never actually was true) and assume placement rates out of college were always that way.

bagoh20 is right. Get a job, any job, work hard at it. Hell, get multiple jobs at once. Get a better job and so on.

I can't resist telling about a former neighbor. Was married with children, unemployed back when things were worse than they are now, took a job as a night manager at a fast food restaurant. Worked his ass off. Became a day manager, store manager, turn around specialist and is, for lack of better word, regional VP of rescue restaurants at at that company. It took him 20 years and a lot of hard work (and had nothing to do with his college degree.)

So stop the whining, get off your ass and get a job, any job, and do your best at it. At them.