The people's voice of reason

Tears & Laughter: All grown people need a place of their own

I heard a report last week suggesting one way to deal with inflation is to live with your parents.

As a parent, I would suggest that this might not be a viable plan.

And let me go ahead and make a disclosure, because I understand we live in a sensitive culture. To this day, I know if I have some kind of crisis, I can show up at either of my parent’s doorstep, and they will shelter me.

I offer this same umbrella to all of adult children who have already moved out and married and multiplied.

But…my mama and daddy do not want me to move back in with them. They love me. They want me to visit. But they do not want me to show up with a U-Haul.

The same applies to my own. I love them. I want to get together and have supper about once a week. I enjoy my daughters all coming over on a weekday just to hang out together. I planned my life in such a way as to include these things. I value them. And yet…I do not want my adult children to move back in with me.

Chances are your mama and daddy do not want you and your whole family – including that third husband of yours they have never been all that crazy about, and all your kids, and their dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, anxieties, retainers, and phone chargers – to move in with them either, no matter what kind of savings it affords.

In fact, if they move in, I’m moving out. That is how strongly I feel about the matter.

Many of you can remember columnist and humorist Erma Bombeck, she described family as being the ties that bind and gag.

If you do not understand Erma`s sense of humor, let your grown kids move back in with you.

Times have sure changed. Kids today do not want to be considered grown until they are around 30. They want to start living adult lifestyles at about 12, but do not want to be fully responsible for their actions and their emotions until much later. Financial independence is a foreign notion to many of them.

My friend Anna and I used to work on our own equation back in high school during Algebra II class. We would try and figure out how much we would each have to make to be able to afford an apartment when we turned 18. Neither of us had trouble at home, or felt pressured to move out, we just wanted to be grown.

We felt ready. We had our hope chests – a couple sets of dishes, a nice tablecloth, two sets of sheets, and an electric can opener. We wanted our freedom. We wanted to set our own rules and plot our own paths.

Parents today have become enablers. It is our tendency as parents to provide, to intervene, to cover. We do not want them to experience the pressure involved in figuring things out on their own and solving their own problems.

Few things are more difficult because we all love our kids so much, and yet the result if you can find the strength to allow it, is the development of fully mature adults.

On the flipside, there are also ramifications if you do not allow your adult children to figure out their own issues and find ways to solve their own financial problems. They start believing the way to handle inflation is by moving back in with you.

Amanda Walker is a columnist and contributor with, The Birmingham News, Selma Times Journal, Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Alabama Gazette. Contact her at or at


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