Boomerang kids aren’t bad

Boomerang. Graphic by Heath VanSingel
Graphic by Heath VanSingel
A high rate of college-age Americans are moving back in with Mom and Dad.

According to information released by the Pew Research Center, about 30 percent of 18-30 year-olds will move back in with their parents. The causation of this is likely the recession that has been devastating to young Americans since the end of 2007.

This group of about 20 million people has been called the “boomerang kids”; assumingly because the nature of a boomerang is that it goes away and then comes back to you.

This is a terrible moniker for this group of people who have fallen on hard times. Anyone who is not an Aborigine, Mick Dundee or a manufacturer of boomerangs knows that they are just about impossible to work. There is probably a unique skill and talent for properly using a boomerang, whose original purpose was for hunting in the Australian outback, but it’s not common in the neighborhoods where I grew up.

This sounds terrible; 20 million young people moving back in with Mom and Dad, but I see this as a type of sensibility that perhaps contributed to the economic collapse. Recognizing the likely poor living conditions they would be able to afford individually and deciding that rather than settling for a job just to pay the bills, this demographic has opted to stay in school, continuing their education to better weather the economic storms in the future. The same goes for delaying having a child or getting married.

These may be kids because they are someone’s children, but despite what the data seems to suggest, they’re making some rather adult decisions.