No less an authority than the London School of Economics tells us that we suffer when our adult kids return home to live with us. There is, the newest research finds, a decline in parental quality of life and well being when our adult children return to live with us.
This is based on research and surveys in Europe--not here. That said, roughly a quarter of young adults in the UK and throughout Europe are living with their parents -- the highest number since records began in 1996. The move home is driven by the unaffordably high cost of housing and job insecurity on the part of our adult kids.
When these adults return home to an empty nest--that is, no other children are still at living at home--our brothers and sisters over there experience loss of ‘feelings of control, autonomy and pleasure in everyday life’--regardless of the reason the children returned home.
How deep do those feelings run? Pretty far down. The scale for quality of life measures ranges from 12 to 48. When a child returns home to a previously empty nest (and it's not for the purposes of parental support), researchers found that the parental score went down by an average of 0.8 points. That's a big enough drop, researchers said, to be similar to developing an age-related disability, such as difficulties with walking or getting dressed. Oooph.
Here's the bottom line from Dr. Marco Tosi, one of the authors of the study. :
"When children leave the parental home, marital relationships improve and parents find a new equilibrium. They enjoy this stage in life, finding new hobbies and activities. When adult children move back, it is a violation of that equilibrium."
And then there's this from British therapist and author Andrew Marshall:
‘Living with adult children can be destructive for trapped nesters’ relationships. Lack of privacy means the biggest casualty is the parents’ sex lives – just when they were beginning to recover from years concentrating on the family – and the children can also take a lot of the emotional focus a couple should be giving to each other again.’
To say nothing of single parents with an eye on dating and putting a little more zip into their social life.