Despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, Pew found that almost half of Boomerang children say they have paid rent and almost 90 percent have helped with household expenses. At this point, the caricature of the Millennial moocher belies the much more nuanced, pragmatic reality. Pooling resources and accepting help isn’t necessarily a sign of extended childhood so much as a smart recession-era move. Privileged kids are doing what they have to do to survive, and research shows they’re not planning on staying home forever, either.
All of that is why our culture should spend less time worrying about the “spoiled” Boomerang kids, and more time helping the ones who don’t have that option.
I was a boomerang kid for a split second after deciding I didn’t want to live and work in Washington D.C. I moved back to my folks’ place in Los Angeles for a few months while working at a trade publication and applying to grad school. It made more sense to do that and save money than pay for a sublet that I would abandon in a few months to move across the country again. I also think my parents liked having me home—especially since I only see them during the holidays now—and yes, they totally appreciated the monetary support (and still do). Were you ever a boomerang kid? Were your parents as welcoming as mine? I’m sure if moving back home wasn’t an option, I would have figured out something else out, but I’m glad I did have that option available to me.
Photo: Flickr/Rob Young