As children grow up and venture out into the world, the transition from a bustling household to an empty one can be difficult – so, why not skip it all together? That’s what millions of families are doing, not just in the U.S., but across many developed countries. In Italy, the culture of “mammismo” or mamma’s boys, is widely accepted – today, 37 percent of men age thirty have never lived away from home. In Japan, “parasite singles” are chastised in the media for depending on mom and dad, but having few other options, they do it anyway.
What happens when the significant other doesn’t measure up to mama or papa later in life?
In the U.S. the proportion of people age 30 to 34 living with their parents has grown by 50 percent since the 1970s, and the recession has only made things worse. In 2010, over 5.5 million young adults moved back home with their parents, a 15 percent increase from 2007. The shift is so widespread, parenting guides for this stage of life are even starting to crop up, like the recent How to Raise Your Adult Children. Author Katherine S. Newman explores the effects of this growing phenomenon in The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents, and the Private Toll of Global Competition, and talks with The Fiscal Times about the troubling future consequences of this new family structure.
A book on how to raise an adult child? In my day, that meant your adult child had a functioning IQ of 100 or less. If I hadn’t read this, I would have sworn it was a humor book written by some witty comedienne.
Today 85 percent of college graduates have either come home or have stayed home.
Yes, life is harsh. To which I would ask any of these “parasite singles,” would they move back in when their parents needed a caregiver and the roles were reversed? It should work both ways, right?