Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

There's a synchronicity created as boomerang kids move back home and their helicopter parents are more involved in their day to day life. For some this is a problem, for others it meets some of the needs for all - at least for the time being.

Recently a story by Ms. Jennifer Lee appeared in the New York Times about another dimension of this phenomenon - parents have been including their adult children on their health insurance policies. In the past, insurance companies would not add dependents over the age of 21, but now that practice is increasing. These adult children, or "kidults," either cannot afford to purchase their own insurance or choose not to do so.

We wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times which appears below:

"Jennifer Lee hit the mark in describing one of the latest trends in our society - the transformation of young adults in their twenties into kidults experiencing “adultescence,” unprepared to handle the challenges of adulthood. Often they become boomerang kids moving back with their parents, delaying their independence and maturity. When given financial assistance, it generally comes with a price for all – with potential conflict around issues of control, co-dependency and unsolicitied advice. In our work with the sandwich generation, we have noted the stressful impact on boomer women caring for both aging parents and boomerang or dependent children. The prevalence of these concerns today has prompted us to address these issues in our forthcoming book highlighting how baby boomers can nourish these family relationships while still taking care of themselves."

Is this practice one more way to keep your adult children dependent and /or connected? Is it a way to help them financially and not put any more stress on you?

Have you been in this situation? What would you do if you were?


Blogger Allison Bottke said...

A volatile subject, to say the least. I appreciate the way you have addressed this subject in your blog posting today...using terms that do not spark ire in the readers heart or mind. However, I would take it one step further and posit the question that has prompted me to write a book on a similar topic. "When does the desire to help our adult children become crippling enabling?" I will be anxious to read your book and will stay tuned to this insightful blog. Bravo!

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once saw a book entitled "Raising an Adult." Isn't that what we're supposed to do? How can someone function like an adult if he/she is treated like a child and given the privileges of a child without any responsibilities? Without fully realizing what they are doing, some parents may want to encourage dependency, but they are not helping their kids mature into functioning adults. After finishing college, our 3 sons were offered 6 months rent free at home, but they were expected to help cook, clean and do yard work. One chose to stay for 3 months until he had enough money to move out. The other two figured out how to be financially independent right away. Two live about 5 minutes away from us, and the third is in grad school.

4:26 PM  

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