Opinion | Family

The Upside of Never-Empty Nests

Why having our adult daughter and son-in-law move in is not 'enabling' them.

The U.S. Department of Labor is reporting the hard news that our unemployment rate is just under 9 percent. If you think that's bad, take note of Spain, a country experiencing a 17 percent unemployment rate that's rising. But unemployed Spaniards aren't sleeping in cars and under bridges. They are moving in with family. Spaniards show more reluctance than Americans generally do to move away from family to take a job elsewhere - a fact that has been used to help explain Spain's less productive economy. But that same reluctance keeps them from facing the harshest effects of economic downturns …

Many white Americans commonly assume that once children and parents go their separate ways, they should keep those ways relatively separate. Good parenting is captured by mother robins that push their children toward independence by knocking them out of the nest. We encourage our children to move out and away and our parents to retire in the Sunbelt or in a community filled with other older ...

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