Red Flag No. 1: Stubborn Boomerang Children
By 2010, the economic recession had clipped many grown kids' wings, with high unemployment rates fiscally blocking them from flying the coop for good. That year, a staggering 85 percent of American college graduates planned to head back home for a while, up from 67 percent in 2006, according to one survey [source: Dickler]. Adult children living at home is a more common tradition in European nations, but the rise had been especially stark in the recession-era United States, where leaving home is considered a young adulthood rite of passage. Nevertheless, parents didn't seem to mind their kids camping out for a while [source: Newman]. And while economic turbulence may be responsible initially for directing kids back to the nest, overparenting adult children could delay their exit and provoke arrested development.
Certainly, moving home represents a financial safety net for the 3.4 million so-called "boomerang children" in the U.S. The question of whether overparenting is to blame arises when adult children stick around the homestead for extended stays. Experts disagree on whether the boomerang trend is a good thing, but statistics imply a generational uptick in parental dependence over the long haul [source: Newman]. In 2011, a public opinion poll found that 50 percent of 46- to 56-year-old moms financially assisted their adult children, whereas 85 percent of those moms had established financial independence for themselves by 25 years of age [source: Liston].