I wrote this commentary on boomerang children in 2013 at the height of my kids coming and going from my house (for University). Before they move back in, maybe lay down some ground rules first?
The concept of the Boomerang Children or KIPPERS can be viewed in two ways:
- Kids that move out initially, however, for any of 100 reasons, move back in with you.
- While kids are at University they go away for 8 months (you get used to a particular lifestyle) and then they return and muck it all up.
In the first case, the kids move back in, and you create a different lifestyle while they live with you (my suggestion would be to make sure that they give to the home, don’t just let them live with you “gratis” (unless you want them never to move out)).
The second instance is an issue we have run into in the past few years. Here are a few of the interesting issues that arise when kids “come home” from being away at school:
- They stay “at home” for the summer, however, they don’t manage to sublet their apartments at school, so you end up paying rent in an empty place. This one makes you wonder if the high price you pay for residence might not be wrong, given you only pay fees while your kids are living there. My kids have been good at helping pay for this as well (or getting sub-letters).
- Blossoming food costs, thanks to more mouths to feed around the house. Kids come home and wonder why there is no food around the house. Here is a hint, you are eating it all!!!
- Vehicles suddenly disappear, or there is an assumption that cars are always available. Do you know which car you can have access to when you want? Your own damn car (so go out and buy one, or stop grousing about cars not being available).
The main issue however that my wife and I have found is the cost of utilities suddenly exploding. Our electric bill goes up a little, our water bill goes up a fair amount (when did a normal shower last 45 minutes long?), but the Internet costs are what hurt.
It seems young folk believe that Internet is free, and unfortunately with my current service provider, their overage fees are astronomical. Both my kids seem to have access to other folks’ NetFlix accounts and download a great deal of stuff, and two years ago I actually had $120 of overage fees from Rogers one month. I did call Rogers and got that lowered, and also got a cheaper rate (after complaining about the overage charge), but even when my kids visit for a week, that month we almost overrun our Internet Cap.
The easiest solutions, from what I can tell are:
- Change the locks and don’t let anyone move back into my house, but that does seem a little bit harsh
- Make kids pay for the overages (which will be happening this summer if they occur)
- Find a better service provider that does not gouge their customers like TekSavvy or use Bell Fibe and pay the extra $10 which is allegedly unlimited.
We have a few years before our kids launch, much less “boomerang” but the high internet usages are already an iceberg in the mists. So far, we’ve been warned by Bell twice that we were approaching our cap. Turns out the kids didn’t know the difference between watching TV on the computer monitor and watching TV streaming from the internet. Now they check before watching too much/too long from the ‘net.
Do free wifi sites (McD’s, libraries etc.) let them do major downloads? (I somehow doubt it.) If so, send them out to do their dirty deeds.
I think making them pay is totally fair considering they’ve probably got jobs to have money for other things. TechSavvy is another good option that would work.
At the end of the day the extra cost is annoying but going over the top with your kids over something relatively small isn’t really worth hurting the relationship, you might need their help one day too.
My daughter and her room mates ran into the challenge of wanting subletting a 1 year lease for 4 months as well. In the end they had to lease it for less than what they paid. Since then they have easily sublet from others for 4 months at a time. It works well in Waterloo with lots of coop students, maybe not so easily for not so coop oriented universities.
For Internet I just bit the bullet and upgraded my Bell Fibe from 25GB to 75GB which also came with higher bandwidth. It costs more but my wife and I started watching more movies on the Internet instead of going to theaters to recoup some costs.
Found you via Twitter. Yes, been there, done that, let it go until it started to negatively affect our relationship. 🙁
Never did consider changing the lock, although as you note that does seem a bit harsh. 🙂
We enabled our youngest until we realized we were a big part of the problem (we never saw it as enabling). I wrote a post a couple of years ago—Surviving Young Adult Children Who Move Back Home—and it contains links to a couple of my other posts on Boomerangs. Good luck, and may your relationships with your children stay strong!