How to Manage Your Boomerang Kids

Overheard at the gym: “I’m selling my house. It’s the only way I can get my son to move out and make sure the others don’t try to move back.” Apparently a boomer was downsizing sooner than planned because his 20-something son had become a squatter of sorts. The house was up for sale, and the couple was moving to a one-bedroom condo.

Many other parents share the crowded-nest problem. A 2015 survey found that almost 40 percent of young Americans are living with parents, siblings or other relatives, the highest percentage in 75 years.

Some parents expect and welcome the post-college sojourn for up to a year while the new grad finds a job and saves money to move out. The problems occur when a young adult refuses to leave or returns home with no game plan.

What can parents do in these situations? We chatted with Kim Abraham, a therapist in Grand Blanc, Mich., and coauthor of The Whipped Parent. Abraham takes a tough-love approach, with the belief that it’s a privilege — not a right — for children to live at home after age 18.

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