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Quiz: Are You Ready for Your Grown Child to Move Home?

Issues to consider before refilling your empty nest


Quiz: Are You Ready for Your Grown Child to Move Home?
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Depending on distance and family dynamics, a grown child's move back home can be a major undertaking. If you're pondering whether you're ready to refill that empty nest, this quiz may help. And if the answer is "no," consider that there may be other, less drastic ways to help your child get back on his feet.

  1. Does your child have specific plans - he wants to buy a house, pay off debts, go to grad school or find a job - that would be made possible by a dramatic, temporary change in his living situation?

    OR: Does he need to get his feet back on the ground after a devastating life event - a bad break-up, divorce or medical crisis?

  2. Is your home and bank account large enough to accommodate your returning child?

  3. Do you have a good, supportive relationship with your child? Does he visit frequently and without any particular problems?

  4. Does your child respect your privacy and your needs? Can he be relied on to follow mutually agreed upon rules?

  5. Are the chances of his finding satisfying full- or part-time work in your town better than where he is now?

  6. Does he still have close friends in your area? Depression and loneliness are, unfortunately, common problems for the "boomerang generation." His support network needs to encompass more than his wonderful parents.

If you answered "yes" to all - or nearly all - of these questions, welcoming home a returning, grown child may be a great solution for your family, particularly if you talk frankly and openly about concerns, lay ground rules ahead of time and keep the channels of communication open.

A "no" answer to any of these questions is a red flag - not insurmountable, but definitely worth exploring alternative ways to help your child deal with his challenges, short of moving in with you.

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