Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Baby Boomer Parents of Millennials Need to Stop Enabling Them

A recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates more than two million millennials between the ages of 25-34 are still living at home with their parents and 1 in 4 is doing so at the expense of the baby boomers who raised them.  They're not working or going to school---they're just kickin' it with mom and dad--and, perhaps, waiting for their big break into the world of employment.  Or perhaps they're just waiting for mom and dad to die so they can gain their inheritance.

The study also reflects the fact that most of those who work at home have a high school diploma or less and may also be adding another mouth for their parents to feed with their own child or live-in mate.

Half of those living at home are white and the majority are male. How ironic especially since the unemployment rate is 9.7 for blacks (between 25-34) and 4.2 for whites in the same age group.

"Almost 9 in 10 young people who were living in their parents' home a year ago are still living their today, making it the most stable living arrangement for young adults," the report said.  "In 2005 the majority of young people lived independently in their own household, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states.  By 2015---just a decade later---only six states had a majority of young people living independently.

The Census Bureau study makes no reference to the circumstances that cause millennials to live at home but one can certainly make a case for the economic challenges they face as well as the after shock of the most recent Recession.

Whatever the case may be, parents must continue to encourage their Millennial adult children to leave nest and stop enabling them so they can fly on their own.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Moms of Millennials are Worried about their Failure to Launch

With Mother's Day just around the corner, a new survey has come out suggesting being a "helicopter parent" may have back-fired.  For the record, a helicopter parent is defined as "a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children." 

Parents, who spent years hovering over every aspect of the lives of their now-grown millennials, are now seeing the results of their actions.  According to a survey of 1000 mothers, conducted by the NHP Foundation, 63 percent said they don't believe their adult children are fully prepared to live on their own.  Only 30 percent of moms said their millennial offspring who live with them are actively looking for other places to live and less than half (41 percent) say their kids pay rent.  The good news from the survey indicates 65 percent of the millennials, who still live at home with their parents, are employed.

So what's driving mom's concerns?  The survey says a whopping 90 percent are concerned about rising housing costs but only a third of the moms said they would co-sign a loan for their children and 24 percent would help subsidize rent or a mortgage.  Nearly 36 percent said they are prepared to help their adult children financially in any way.  Add to this the fact that nearly 40 percent of moms in the survey said they have no confidence that the Trump administration will make affordable housing a priority.

Although this survey expresses the fears and concerns of moms of millennials, there is another telling piece to this.  Parents of millennials must point the fingers at themselves for creating children who don't feel prepared to take on adult responsibilities.  Indiana University psychologist Chris Meno says, "When children aren't given the space to struggle through things on their own, they don't learn to problem-solve very well. They don't learn to be confident in their own abilities, and it can affect their self-esteem. The other problem with never having to struggle is that you never experience failure and can develop an overwhelming fear of failure and of disappointing others. Both the low self-confidence and the fear of failure can lead to depression or anxiety."

Dr. Deborah Gilboa, Founder of, says "Engaged parenting has many benefits for a child, such as increasing feelings of love and acceptance, building self-confidence, and providing guidance and opportunities to grow. The problem is that, once parenting becomes governed by fear and decisions based on what might happen, it is hard to keep in mind all the things kids learn when we are not right next to them or guiding each step."

Failure and challenges teach kids new skills, and, most important, teach kids that they can handle failure and challenges. 

Perhaps these moms are feeling what it's like to reap what you sow.