Most of us think adolescence ends at the age 18, but the American Medical Association has defined adolescence as going all the way to age 23. What used to be a period of seven years is now fourteen years! And for many parents reading this article, this means that your kids may come back home to live with you after college.
We set our kids in motion to live as independent adults, and like a boomerang they just come right back to where they started. Sometimes it happens for good reasons because of issues outside their control. But when a child wants to disengage from a normal growth opportunity and fails to establish their own independence, it’s a sign that emotional problems are in play.
It’s been great for Jan and me to be empty nesters. We love it. Oh, sure, I like it when the grandkids pop in with their parents, but it’s good when they leave, too. Gratefully both our son and daughter have established independent lives of their own.
But maybe you’re in a different place. Maybe you’re dealing with the boomerang effect. So let me offer some helpful perspective and a couple suggestions.