Ways to Deal with Kids Returning to the Empty Nest
family sit at kitchen table laughing

There can be challenges and rewards to having an adult child move back home for a brief period. Just be sure to outline the ground rules ahead of time.

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After the door shuts behind the last kid leaving for college, the house is quiet. Many parents feel lonely for a while, but after a period of adjustment, almost all come to enjoy the "empty nest." It isn't empty, after all -- it's a chance for a couple to get to know one another again without the distraction of kids, or an opportunity for a single parent to enjoy new freedoms.

Sometimes, however, kids don't stay flown. If the job market's in the dumps, they may not be able to survive on their own -- and their first call is going to be to mom and dad, asking to come home.

But things have changed since they've been gone. You've gotten used to a life the way you want it, and so have they. And, likely, yours doesn't involve taking care of kids anymore.

Here are some tips on navigating life with your "boomerang child."