Over-feathered nests could be stopping adult kids moving out
Published 30 September 2014 by Hayley Cox
Would you tidy your adult child’s bedroom? Parents around the country may be guilty of spoiling their grown-up children to the point that they don’t want to leave home.
For many of us, the best thing about staying at our mum and dad’s is that we get to enjoy all of those home comforts again. In fact, it’s not unusual to want to revert to childhood and just spend the weekend being spoilt.
Perhaps that explains why some 18 to 34-year-olds say they still live with their parents because they simply prefer it that way.
Whether the UK’s mums and dads feel the same is another matter though. New research* conducted for us as part of our Great Escape campaign has revealed that more than one in 10 parents with children in this age group living at home with them say they just “can’t wait” until their kids fly the nest. And even the third of parents who said they didn’t mind their children living with them admitted it would be “nice” to see them go.
It’s perhaps no wonder, then, that 17% of Brits aged between 18 and 34 who live at home admit they prefer it that way – and one in eight claim they have no plans to move out.
However, the survey shows that some parents might be making a rod for their own backs. When asked if they did chores for their grown-up children, a staggering 96% of the parents questioned said they did things like the laundry, cooking, food shopping or ironing. A quarter admitted they even still cleaned and tidied their child’s bedroom!
Having all these jobs done for you might let you lead a pretty cushy life – and it doesn’t end there. Two-fifths of the 20-somethings living at home who were questioned for the poll revealed they don’t pay rent. So, not only are they getting their washing and ironing done for them, their meals cooked and their rooms tidied, but they’re also getting it all done for free. Certainly beats having a landlord!
Learning to fly
However, there are lots of perks to living away from the family home. For one, it gives adult kids their independence and lets their parents enjoy more space and privacy. It might even improve the relationship between parent and child, if the atmosphere at home has become frosty.
Many parents let their kids stay with them rent-free so they can save up a deposit for a new home – whether they plan to rent or buy. In return for this generosity, their kids could offer to help out around the house wherever possible – and could certainly take responsibility for their own laundry and keeping their room tidy.
And if mums and dads are lumbered with a big kid who simply doesn’t want to fly the nest, perhaps it’s time to start cutting back on some of those home comforts. Telling them they will have to start cooking for themselves, handle their own washing and do their own shopping could convince their offspring they might as well get their own place – as could charging them rent.
The great thing about staying with your parents for a while is it gives you the chance to budget your spending and save up for a place of your own. And while you might always enjoy going home and being pampered from time to time, few things beat the freedom of having your own place.
*OnePoll questioned 1,000 adults aged 18 and over between 8th August and 14th August 2014. 500 respondents were aged between 18 and 34 and living with their parents. 500 respondents were aged 18 and over and had children aged 18 to 34 living at home with them.