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Recently I took part in a radio CBC call in show. A 34 year old son, "Moocher" had sued his old retired parents because they asked him to leave their home. The folks gave him a year to find work and a place to live: he felt that "they had disregarded his need to find himself". They had graciously paid for his four years of university education including room and board and tuition.

Moocher is not unique to-day. He qualifies as an adult-child who has boomeranged back to good old mom and dad. You probably have heard of welfare ( Ontario Works) where the only qualifiers are to be out of work. Welcome to the new world of Pappa/ Mama fare where the folks are on the hook to continue to support their sons daughters.

We are in new age of parenting where it is common to support your children. A recent survey by the Royal Bank of Canada found that 96% of parents were still subsiding their children 18-35. Too often the parents are helping their offspring with the money that they should be invested for their retirement. The price of the gifting is that the seniors may outlive their money or have health care costs as they age.

I have had mothers who tell me that they pray every night that their daughter will find "Mr Right" with the means to support her in a fashion that she has become accustomed to and assume their financial burden.

Recently I counseled a 25 year old former athlete, "Jock" who had not quite graduated from university after six years. He thoroughly liked school but was afraid of the dirty four little word WORK. Being an academic he did not see physical work as appropriate designation for a life long student. For the most part he saw himself as a "Player", he played video games, hockey, soccer. When I asked him, where he saw his future? He told me that" he was a waiter." "What restaurant? No waiting on tables"; "He was waiting for his parents to die." In the interim Jock was able and very willing to marry a rich manís daughter. He even pointed to my daughterís Sarahís picture and asked me: "if she was married"?

Last week a women from Dorchester told me that she had to ask her two adult sons to leave home and find another place to flop. The boys quickly moved out/ in with their girlfriendís motherís home. No pain or shame.

If your son or daughter has boomeranged back home for a very long extended visit there are solutions. If they are looking to find themselves in far off destinations at your expense they do not have to travel far afield. All they have to do is look in the mirror in the bathroom and voila there they are.

To avoid conflict between parents and their adult children there has to be a conversation with meaningful expectations/time lines for them to stay in your home. A best before date for them to find work and a place to live. There are help wanted signs by employers looking for part time/full time work for your unemployed child. Mc Donaldís/ Tim Hortonís offers up minimum wages and a chance to learn on the job.

Please do not let your children play the role of the victim. I still remember a video of a very attractive mother with a young baby in her arms for her parents to take care of. Poor mom and dad looked worn out caring for the four other children that their daughter had brought home . Mom angrily scolded her husband;"What do you mean; Give her another chance?"

Len Lesser is an education/career counselor

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com