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.

\

 

Hashtag politics: 4 key ways digital activism is inegalitarian

Many believe that the internet has made it easier for us to participate in political activism. But is that really true?

Videos
  • Protesting in person is costly in terms of money and resources; some people have children to take care of, jobs that can't be away from, or may not have time to attend a planning event.
  • The internet was supposed to be a way to sidestep this barrier to political activism. But this doesn't consider the other barriers preventing poor and working-class folks from participating in digital activism.
  • In particular, these people lack ASETs: access to computers, the skills to use them, the empowerment necessary to feel that using Twitter or other social media is for them, and the time to make use of digital platforms in an effective way.
Keep reading Show less

The 5 most intelligent video games and why you should play them

Some games are just for fun, others are for thought provoking statements on life, the universe, and everything.

(Photo from Flickr)
Culture & Religion
  • Video games are often dismissed as fun distractions, but some of them dive into deep issues.
  • Through their interactive play elements, these games approach big issues intelligently and leave you both entertained and enlightened.
  • These five games are certainly not the only games that cover these topics or do so well, but are a great starting point for somebody who wants to play something thought provoking.
Keep reading Show less

The Danish shoot down Trump's plan to buy Greenland, call the idea 'absurd'

The bid to buy Greenland is unlikely to become seriously considered.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Greenland and Danish officials alike think the idea is ridiculous.
  • The island is an autonomous state, and it's unlikely the Danish would sell it because of yearly subsidies costs.
  • After hearing the Danish Prime Minister call the idea absurd, Trump cancelled their forthcoming meeting.
Keep reading Show less