Tips for young and old

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Cover Story -

Head of ad­vo­cacy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Age Ac­tion Justin Mo­ran:

Adult child should ask per­mis­sion be­fore pos­si­ble re­turn home. Be aware par­ents are un­der no obli­ga­tion. Adult kids say­ing ‘I’m go­ing to get this in the will any­way, so ba­si­cally it’s mine’ isn’t re­spect­ful of par­ents.

Ground rules need to ad­dress in­de­pen­dence needs of both par­ties. Older cou­ple must be con­scious their son maybe left home at 20 and is now back at 35 and is en­ti­tled to his own in­de­pen­dence/au­ton­omy. Adult child should know older cou­ple are en­ti­tled to not have their lives dis­turbed too much.

Con­tribut­ing even a small amount fi­nan­cially recog­nises the re­la­tion­ship — this is some­thing your par­ents are do­ing to help you out. Fam­ily ther­a­pist Anne McCor­mack:

At out­set, have con­ver­sa­tion that clearly com­mu­ni­cates each party’s ex­pec­ta­tions. Per­haps par­ents ex­pect to know where their son/daugh­ter is at night, but young per­son ex­pects this isn’t the par­ents’ busi­ness — ‘I don’t need to ac­count for where I am as I did when I was a teen.’ Frame con­ver­sa­tion along lines of ‘this is up for ne­go­ti­a­tion’ rather than ‘here are ground rules you must obey’.

Par­ents should make clear their lives are dif­fer­ent to when the kids lived at home as teens. Ex­plain: ‘I now do this as part of my weekly rou­tine. I’m away on Wed­nes­days and one week­end a month — I’ll still be do­ing that.’

It’s OK for par­ents to want to know, prior to pe­ri­ods when they’ll be away (week­ends/holidays), the young per­son’s plans for that time. It’s fine to say ‘can you reas- sure us by let­ting us know what your plan is when we’re away?’ State your ex­pec­ta­tions: Food used to be re­placed, house cleaned up be­fore par­ents re­turn, no smok­ing.

Par­ents need to re­spect young per­son’s pri­vacy. Part of be­ing an adult is hav­ing your own space. Boomerang kids should state ex­pec­ta­tions around this: They won’t al­ways be ex­plain­ing where they’re go­ing; their bed­room is their own space where they watch TV/contact friends.

It’s rea­son­able for par­ents to say ‘this is what we ex­pect as fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion’ if they know the child can af­ford it. If they’re deemed not to be in a po­si­tion to con­trib­ute, yet they’re out so­cial­is­ing ev­ery week­end, this can feel un­fair. The young per­son might say ‘it’s re­ally hard to be liv­ing at home — the one thing I have is my week­end out’. It’s im­por­tant to talk about this. Frank Con­way, founder of fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme Money­whizz: Con­sider all fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions/po­ten­tial­i­ties and ne­go­ti­ate th­ese.

Can boomerang kids bring their friends, lovers, part­ners home for din­ner or to stay over? If so, how of­ten? Can friends move in? If so, is rent paid? Who pays?

If kids aren’t pay­ing rent, are they sav­ing the cash? If so, for what? A house? How will par­ents know kids are ac­tu­ally sav­ing that 10% de­posit?

Are kids a fi­nan­cial de­pen­dent? If they’re un­em­ployed, they might be. If they have loans par­ents co-signed for/guar­an­teed, then par­ents are li­able — this will im­pact their per­sonal credit re­port and fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity too.

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