The Meeting Place

How to handle boomerang kids

Q. Bill,
My wife and I love our two children and, like most parents, treated them well and always made them feel welcome at home. Too welcome it seems. Despite being 35 and 37, they keep coming back and expecting to stay for as long as they want. My wife and I were dearly looking to some time on our own to rediscover our relationship once our children had moved out but it seems we’re more involved in their lives than ever. My son and daughter expect my wife to cook, clean and do their laundry for them and they think I’m a glorified taxi driver! We don’t want them to think we don’t care or are not there to support them but seriously, this is just too much. Can you help?

A. Bill, Bill, Bill, I wonder how many parents out there are nodding in agreement as they cook their son or daughter’s dinner for them. Children are a wonderful gift but sometimes they become the gift which takes more than it gives.

Firstly, you can try being subtle. Ask them if they’re happy in their lives or is there a reason that they feel unable to settle in the world on their own. Perhaps financial pressures are making it difficult for them to pay rent or buy a house. I don’t know if you’re in a position to help but perhaps you could assist by drawing up a budget with them.

Secondly, don’t make it so easy for them to come back. I’m assuming from what you say that you still maintain a bedroom for each of them in your home? Consider turning at least one of these rooms into a hobby room, study or second sitting room. This might make them realise that you and your wife have interests of your own which you wish to pursue. You could go a step further and consider downsizing to a home which suits just you and your wife. Although you will need to be aware of any financial implications this has if you are claiming an Age Pension or other Centrelink payment. Find out how Centrelink assesses your assets.   

Lastly, you may need to be blunt. Sit your children down and explain to them how lucky you and your wife are that you are still in love with each other and wish to spend more time alone. Let them know that you will never turn your backs on them but it’s time for them to stand on their own two feet. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, you could consider writing a letter but direct action is usually the best option.  Relationships Australia can help with advice on how to tackle such issues and can even arrange mediation if things don’t go to plan. For more information, visit Relationships Australia.   

For what it’s worth Bill, I think you and your wife have been great parents but can’t help wondering if there’s a part of both of you which enjoys the feeling of being needed by your children. This is not unusual and all too often when adult children become independent they tend to forget all that their parents did to help them achieve what they have.  Being open and up front with your children will enable them to see that you respect them enough to have this discussion face-to-face but perhaps you and your wife need to be honest about the need to let your children go – and if you are truly capable of doing this.

Can you relate to this dilemma or have some advice of your own? Or perhaps you have a dilemma of your own which you would like answered. Let us know –

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Visits are nice but NOT living with them on an on going basis

I know a couple with two sons in their late 20's, who had no thought or intention of leaving home. So the couple declared to them that they were going to retire up the coast.

The son's said, almost in unison, "Where are we going to live?"

Answer: "Wherever you like!"

I know a couple that has bludgerss like that -- but they  are to blame as they have always replaced cars these creeps have destroyed and always paid their bills and never made them stand on their own two feet.


Children who stay at home obviously have it too good AT home. Parents should insist the children contribute to the running of the house, while they're still children. Then the kids are busting to get out on their own ASAP.

There is a generational thing happening here, too. When I finished school I moved to the city and worked for a year (on a minimum wage), rented in share houses and hauled my dirty washing bag on my back to the laundromat. Then I went to Uni. and again, lived in share houses. Young people these days are not prepared to live in a house less salubrious than their parents', with the added bonus of all the free mod cons, no rent, borrowing a parent's car (or using parents as a taxi service) and meals shopped and cooked for, on tap. No wonder they don't want to leave! Even if the parents don't ask for board or rent money, which is understandable in cities like Sydney with huge rents, they should still insist on making the children contribute to the work and time taken to the running of a home, even if it's just a practice lesson on how adults should live. The main obstacle to this is that in many homes the mother does most if not all of the housework, so she never plans to pull back from that role because her husband is the child that never grows up and leaves home either. The kids can just say "I'll start doing housework when Dad starts doing housework." Poor Mum, the eternal maid.

Sexist comments as usual

many kids stay at home with dad - no mums around 

and many dads do housework  even if mum is around 

you must have only sexist family and friends 

Ah Raphael, I'm SO glad to hear you're not the chauvinist pig you've been pretending (very convincingly) to be.

Big cheers to ALL those parents who run their family homes, without expecting a medal for "helping".

Don't know where you got the isea that i am a male chauvinist

You just assumed that because you are a man-hater 

You're deluded, Raphtroll. I just gave my beautiful man a face massage and a big kiss.

If you're not a male chauvinist pig then you deserve an Oscar for portraying one. Have we EVER had an exchange when you haven't acted like said pig? (except for your 2nd-last post)?

face massage and kiss - was that his halloween present ?

and please stop picking on me - I am a pretty sensitive guy 

Oh pleeeeeease. Now I know you're lying again.

If you were pretty you'd show your face, not hide it.

posted my pic on another forum and got hounded by so many single women on that site.

you stick to your haloween man, Jan. I have enough on my plate without driving the women on here crazy as well

Yep - deluded for sure!

Halloween man just in from a surf on his short board (that's the type of board young, fit people ride). Sorry to have to tell you Raph, he's built like an Adonis.

Janran, Raph informed us he's "well hung" LOLOL

Are you sure "he" said that Reagan? I thought only donkeys were "well hung", hahahaha

You reap what you sow as the saying goes, sounds like two very pampered, spoilt adults with no respect for their parents.  If they did, they wouldn't dream of trying this on.  

Yep, these kids were never forced to grow up...UNTIL THAT POINT!

Off the subject entirely: Hey toot2000, I suggest you change your logo quick smart. That's a registered logo you're using here. They've paid lots of $$$ for it and they could sue you.

Just found this thread and had to comment.

As someone who had no choice but to live and work on my own.  Came from the country and straight into a private boarding place at 15 years of age.  Got myself up every morning to go to work in a bank and as I only got bed and breakfast provided I had to get my own lun ch and evening meal every night.

Fortunately the other boarders (in their 20's and 30's) took me under their wing and every night we would all go into Fortitude Valley and eat our evening meal together.  The boarding house I lived in was right at the end of the Storey Bridge (the boarding house now demolished) and my room overlooked the bridge.  The room was so small ...only enough for a bed and about 2 feet to the window overlooking the bridge...a small wardrobe was all that was in the room.

So if I was able to look after myself at 15 years of age I think it shocking that people in their late 20's and thirties are still bludging off their other word for it, sorry.

They should be out on their own and learning life skills in how to look after themselves.  How on earth are they going to be if they ever marry???

I have absolutely no problems with children returning home ... it is the family home after all.

It is just, as adults, we lead separate lives.

They must do their own washing, cleaning and often cooking (I do love to cook)





geez, things are getting rough around here if you have to exhume 6yr old threads, LOL

Btw, nothing wrong with boomerang kids, they help clean the fridge!

Image result for funny picture of a boomerang on a couch

yep, that's fine mate, but then they end up here after living with mom and dad

Image result for a boomerang on a psychiatrist  couch


There are a lot of parents who want to spend their retirement years "without" their kids.  Parents responsibiltiy is to raise their children and then they are kicked out of the nest like birds to fend for themselves.

You are doing your kids no favours by letting them stay at home into their late 20's and above and NOT learning the life skills they need to get along when you are no longer around.

Paying mortgages/rent/bill, cooking, washing and ironing are all things they need to know;  relying on good old mum and dad is not the way to go.

Many of them are going to be in for a rude shock when eventually they have to stand on their own two feet.

It seems like the parents should lay down some groundrules. Adult  children should be contributing to household expenses  I have a family member whose son has reurned home due to the n need of  finding another place to rent. Personally I do not have  problem with young people returning home if they need to. My daughter is 24  saving for a house .She contributes to house hold expenses.We lead seperate lives

I have an adult daughter and her friend living in my house.

They buy and cook their own meals. 

If I look at the lawn and think that needs mowing I hear the mower start up and the lawn is mowed.

We have seperate living areas so really only need to share the kitchen and laundry and of course the bills.

works well.

Great to hear Wilhelm,  you obviously brought your Daughter up right --  they are an asset to you

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