Look Who May Be Moving In With You [AUDIO]
It seems to be happening more and more in New Jersey and across the country, homeowners are taking in an adult son or daughter, or an elderly parent to live with them.
New Jersey psychologist Dr. Steven Tobias says, “The kids coming home trend is okay, if the parents and their adult children are able to renegotiate their relationships. If it continues to be a parent-child relationship, that’s what’s going to lead to conflict.”
He says adults can certainly share a home and live together peacefully.
“But it requires both parties to sit down and talk about what are the rules – talk about how they can get along in a respectful way. And I think that’s very hard actually for parents and children to do sometimes- to change the dynamic, the roles that they’re used to. A parent is always going to worry about their kids and parent the kid and tell them what to do, and from adolescence the kid is always going to rebel.”
Dr. Tobias also points out when a college grad returns home to live with mom and dad, it isn’t necessarily something the young adult looks forward to.
“It’s a little less psychologically difficult now because all their peers are doing it as well. Unfortunately, with this economy it’s more of the norm, so I think that people are able to commiserate with one another. It’s not seen as much of an embarrassment or failure – it’s really recognized as an economic reality, so I think that there’s probably a little less stress, or feeling of shame associated with it.”
He says what’s even tougher is if an aging grandma or grandpa moves in, because “there, you really have a role reversal sometimes, where the child ends up parenting the parent – parenting is when a parent takes care of a child- but what’s it called when a child takes care of a parent?
“It’s more of an unnatural and difficult role – many grown-ups help take care of their parents, but it’s different when the parent moves in – especially in our current society where we really don’t have that concept of extended family, multi-generations living together for long periods of time. In other cultures, it’s common, it’s accepted – it’s easier, but it’s going to be a big adjustment for us.”