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Harper College will be closed for Thanksgiving Break on Wednesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 26.

Secrets to Surviving a Boomerang Experience

  • Dr. Vicki Atkinson, Director, Center for New Students
  • January 20, 2016

We know that many parents of college-students face “boomerangs”–adult children who may be returning to live in the family home for a variety of reasons.  They look familiar--sound familiar--but the “house rules” and family by-laws seem to be ignored in every possible way. 

What happened?

At Harper, we see a serious uptick in the number of "reverse transfer" students on our campus in January. No matter what happened that resulted in being back home, at Harper, we can help your student find success. What’s harder for us is finding ways to support parents. We thought you might appreciate some words of wisdom we've gathered over the years from other parents just like you: 

4 Parent-to-Parent Secrets to Survive Your Boomerang Experience

  1. Rules Still Apply. It’s okay to have them, but consider this age-old wisdom:  Pick your battles.  Which house rules matter the most? Assert yourself on those.
  2. Rent. Although it might be hard, you might want to address how your adult child can contribute in some way to the overall household. The amount may not matter as much as the principle behind the contribution.
  3. Re-Negotiate. No matter what terms or rules you set, be flexible about amending them.  It might be better to avoid getting hung-up on details. Focus on the big picture and the ultimate goal: Leaving again. (Eventually)
  4. Relax. There can be marvelous benefits to having your adult child at home, but you won’t find them unless you begin to regard your “child” as an emerging adult. Take a breath. You’re doing great.