Happy Boomerang Kids?
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR reports on the fast-developing tend for adult children to continue to live with their parents well into their twenties and even thirties. Maybe 30% of so-called "young adults" are now "boomerang kids."
We read that the BKs often blame their living situation on a weak economy, which keeps them from being able to find good jobs.
But we also read that their parents' generosity allows them to be picky in pursuing employment possibilities. So they can choose against "traditional" jobs that don't pay much and might cause them struggle on their own.
BKs report, a bit surprisingly, that they're pretty happy with their living situations and often in no hurry to move on.
They also claim that it's the economy that's causing them to delay getting married and having kids. But (obviously) if they had strong longings to engage in such characteristically adult behavior, they'd be more open to the risky business of moving out now. Or they would have their spouse and kids move in with the parents too, as was quite common not that long ago.
The parents who report that they're happy to have their kid or kids not leave home—because of the loving intergenerational bonds such an arrangement favors—might be even happier to have the grandkids living with them too.
But the evidence, to repeat, is that their kid is usually happier to stick round as, in effect, their kid and nothing more.
To make some tentative and lighhearted connections with some of my earlier posts:
The BK trend might reduce the amount of "grey divorce" occuring among people in their fifties. Staying together for the kids might, once again, start to approach until death do us part.
The Tea Partiers might be right that the dismantling of the welfare state might restore stronger families ties. And the same might be true of the more likely accidental implosion of the welfare state and the other safety nets--such as pensions and unions--that have supported our lives. The family as a safety net might already be on the mend to compensate for collapses on other fronts.
The same would also be true, of course, if we really get plunged into a long-term severe economic downturn. Then surely separate houses and all that would become, once again, unaffordable luxuries.
In any case, the view that the galloping individualism characteristic of capitalism progressively weakens the family--especially the extended family--through the force of the mobility required of a meritocracy based on productivity needs to be reviewed.
This trend might also be good news for those worried about who's going to take care of our rapidly growing number of old and frail Americans. Or it might not: Kids who haven't developed the moral virtue that comes with supporting oneself and one's own family might not be all that reliable in stepping up to the plate for a parent with Alzheimer's.
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.
- Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
- He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
- His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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