Diana Jenkins was happy to welcome her daughter back home after college — as long as there were rules.
No boyfriends sleeping over. No excessive drinking. A midnight curfew during the week. And her daughter had to tell her if she was not coming for dinner, well before dinnertime.
“We don’t nag her to death,” says Jenkins, 50, who has two other children. “They’re adults, and you have to understand for four years, they have pretty much called the shots in their own life.”
Nearly half of college graduates return to the nest, according to Susan Shaffer, co-author of Mom, Can I Move Back in with You?: A Survival Guide for Parents of Twentysomethings. And while these so-called Boomerangers may have come home for Christmas vacation and spring and summer breaks, moving back home for a more permanent period of time is a whole new ball game.
Here are some tips from parents and experts:
>>Plan ahead. Whether it’s applying to graduate school, finding employment, saving money or taking a break from life, recent graduates need to have a plan.
>> Establish rules. Make sure your child knows that the house is not party central, says Jenkins. Discuss whether friends and significant others are allowed to come over. >>Make them contribute. Many Boomer-angers are not going to have money to pay room and board, but you should make them contribute something to the household, whether it’s household chores or chauffeuring a younger sibling around.
>>Set a time limit. Most Boomerangers will move out within a couple of years. But there are some who are failing to launch, according to William Damon, author of The Path to Purpose.