(NEW YORK) — Baby boomers are much more communicative with their 20-something-year-old children than they were with their own parents at that age, according to a new survey published in the latest issue of AARP The Magazine.
The online survey, “Parents and Kids: Then and Now,” finds that 31 percent of today’s young adults communicate with their parents more than once a day; only 13 percent of their parents said they were in touch with their own parents daily.
The survey of 1,034 young adults (aged 21 to 26) and 1,229 parents (aged 47 to 66) is accompanied by an article, “Are You Too Close to Your Kids?” In it, AARP The Magazine asks if today’s parents are too attached to their adult children, hindering their independence.
The survey showed that 60 percent of today’s young adults got together with their parents at least once a week; 79 percent said they were comfortable discussing emotional life events; and 81 percent felt comfortable sharing information about their finances.
Both boomer parents (53 percent agreeing) and their children (63 percent) were divided on the statement: “It’s better for young adults to live with their parents then to struggle on their own.”
“For the last couple of years, we have been bombarded with media reports and all kinds of musings on kids coming back home, and what that means for boomers and the difficulties of young kids getting jobs,” said deputy editor Marilyn Milloy about AARP’s decision to conduct the survey. “We tried to figure out a new way to look at this.”
AARP The Magazine concludes that millennials are experiencing a new stage of development from their parents’ generation — “emerging adulthood,” a term coined by Clark University psychology professor Jeffrey Arnett.
“When I was 18 and went off to college there was absolutely no expectation that I would be coming back home — you were on your own,” said Milloy. “You had some contact with your parents, but you pretty much survived on your own.”
“I couldn’t get out of the house fast enough,” said Milloy. She is now the mother of two college-aged children, who still live at home.
“Jeffrey Arnett suggests we really have given short shrift to what is really happening to kids in that period from 18 to 29 — it’s a period of searching and self-discovery, particularly now in a time so complex, where the job market is dicey,” she said. “There are so many options for our kids on a number of fronts, sexual choices and work choices, that they need more guidance than ever.”
December’s Millennial Jobs Report reveals that youth unemployment rate is at 11.5 percent, according to Generation Opportunity, an organization that advocates for young adults.
Though the survey never specifically addresses the issue of whether parents are too close to their adult children, Milloy said experts interviewed conclude this new connection is positive.
“It’s actually nice to be in contact with our kids and have a real adult relationship,” she said. “There is some give and take and a level of respect for advice you have. Frankly, one of our experts said that historically, [the rebellious boomers’] separation from [their] parents is a cultural blip.”
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