You know you’re getting on when you find certain headlines a bit, you know, obvious.
‘Empty Your Nest Of Adult Children‘, said The Herald Sun this morning. Er, isn’t that how it’s always been?
As far as I knew, parents were obliged to feed you, change your nappy, teach you about the bird, bees, and STDs, shoot you through twelve-odd years of schooling, teach you how to drive, and then boot you out the door.
That was always the natural order of things.
That’s how the cavemen did it, and how it’s been done ever since. Yoo hoo, happy 21st, see you later.
According to The Herald Sun, “nearly 25% of people aged 20 to 34 continue to live in the parental home,” with most of them citing financial problems as their reason for being unable to leave.
(Financial problems? Wait, aren’t these the years we’re actually meant to be poor?)
The side effects of Failure To Launch are many and varied – you need to check the pockets for tissues before washing – but as the article points out, some could be more serious than we thought.
“A recent Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics survey of 17,000 found those who left home after the age of 25 earned $6,000 less that those who fled the nest earlier,” said life skills coach Michele Jones, adding that there is set to be a higher welfare dependence as a result by 2020.
Jones also pointed out that a reluctance on the parent’s behalf to move their children from home can result in feelings of worthlessness or anxiety.
“…Parents are sending the message to their child that they are not resourceful of capable to live out in the world on their own, and they won’t be successful enough to afford a house without their help.”
OK, HOLD UP.
This is all feeling very negative.
What happened to wanting to move out of home?
As far as I remember, we were chomping at the bit to get out from under our parent’s thumb by the age of 20. I was 18 when I moved out, as were most of my friends. We were young, poor, and ill-equipped to feed ourselves. It was GREAT.
And I wouldn’t take back those years of cold showers and baked-bean dinners back for anything, because I learnt lessons that will stick with me for life.
Here’s some of the best.
1. Tinned food will save your life.
Baked beans. Tinned tomatoes. Refried beans. Tinned spaghetti. Tuna. Peaches. Chickpeas. These are the things that will form the foundation of every semi-edible meal that you will exist on in those dark few days before pay day each month.
(Note: You will end up doing this for the rest of your life. Think of it as pantry post traumatic stress disorder.)