Moving out of your parents’ house

I recently came across this interesting article from Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, “Moving Back in With Your Parents? 5 Tips to Make It Easier.”

And that, of course, got me thinking about multicultural differences.

For many cultures, living with your parents is the norm. It’s moving out (when you don’t yet have a family of your own) that’s unusual.

During a brief stay in Africa, I noticed fully grown, single men living with relative ease in their parents’ houses. My mother, who comes from an Asian family, also knows of adult sons still at home.

The same goes for single, unmarried daughters who are 21 years or older. The family wouldn’t dream of sending them out, alone, into the world. “You’ll have a roof over your head until you’re married,” their father will say.

Now I’m not at all in favor of going back to Regency times when a woman’s only ambition in life was to marry and raise kiddos. I value and encourage the independence that an education and a career can provide for girls.

That said, I still think there’s merit in examining why the Western culture promotes “moving out” as part of a rite to adulthood. Not so in many parts of the world, including Asia and Africa.

Of course, even in these cultures, living with your parents shouldn’t be a free ride. The adult children are expected to pay for their room and board or at least contribute to the family’s upkeep if they don’t yet have a job.

And they’re looking forward, young men especially, to the time when they can exit gracefully after they’ve built up some capital and obtained steady employment.

As more young adults in the U.S. are discovering, it’s cheaper to live with your parents while you seek more economic stability. It has its challenges, but it can also make families stronger. And that, in itself, is almost always a good thing. 🙂

About multiculturalmarriage

I'm glad to be part of a multicultural marriage! I grew up in the U.S. but am married to an African husband. This makes life challenging, creative and cool - all at the same time!
This entry was posted in Communicating/Relating techniques, Faith/Values, Family matters, Ways of life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Moving out of your parents’ house

  1. It is so interesting to think about the differences in how families live together. I have a few Latina blogger friends who’s parents moved in with them. They say that it is typical in Latino families for the parents to move in with their grown children and grandchildren. Each culture has its own version of “normal.”

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