Millions of Young Adults Move Back Home

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been unavoidable and for many former empty nesters, job loss has forced adult children to return to their family home to weather the storm.   According to a recent report in The Atlantic, a Zillow analysis of government data found that 2.9 million American adults moved in with a parent or grandparent between March and May.

Many young adults moved home as on-campus classes switched over to an online format and with many businesses shuttered, young people living with roommates found rent and other expenses harder to cover.  Young single parents may have elected to live with their parents not only to save money but also to have help caring for children.  With the coronavirus crisis far from over, families must adjust to a new normal in which not only do parents and adults children need to share space but also household responsibilities and some of the expenses if possible.

There is no roadmap for how to integrate a once-independent young adult back into their parents’ home and there are bound to be a few bumps along the way.   Space may be a primary concern among parents who downsized after their children moved out; others may find the hours each generation keep are in conflict.  Many older adults are also suffering from job loss or reduced income that makes feeding another mouth more difficult.  Mothers can easily fall back into the habit of doing all the cooking and cleaning for the entire household, even though they are all adults. 

Good communication and a plan to share costs or household chores is key in adjusting to quarantine “boomerang” young adults moving back home.  Consider holding a family meeting to talk about expectations and roles in the household and how they may have changed.  A fast internet service won’t hurt either to keep everyone able to continue to work remotely, take online courses, or escape from reality with a video game or Netflix marathon. 

Learn more about how to parent an adult in these challenging times by following this link to author Julie Lythcott-Haims’ website.