More young adults are moving back in with their parents than ever before, and if a recent think tank report is correct, both generations are OK with this.
The reasons are often economic, of course. Our children can't find jobs that pay enough to allow them to live on their own — and in the style to which they became accustomed under our roofs.
But they aren't down about it, according to the Pew Research Center. A significant majority say they are satisfied with their living arrangements and upbeat about the future.
And the adults whose children have moved back in report being just as happy with their living situations as those whose children have not moved back home.
It is easy to understand why neither generation is troubled by this "boomerang" effect, as the Pew Research Center calls it. Both report knowing plenty of multigenerational households, and it is hard to be irritated by something you perceive as the norm.
The Pew report took the measure of 18- to 34-year-olds on this topic, and the older our children are, the less content they seem to be with this arrangement. It is much easier for a 20-year-old to view living at home as a steppingstone than it is for a 30-year-old, who might have failed at marriage or career and had to return.
Education plays a role in this, as well. Young adults in their early 30s without a college degree are twice as likely as those who have graduated from college to be living with parents.
And I have no doubt there can be a world of hurt in these living arrangements, too. What if a son refuses to do anything but sleep and play video games — or worse — despite your pleas that he find a job or some direction? What if a daughter keeps making bad man choices and treats your front door like a revolving door?
But if we are able to get along with our children in such close quarters, there might be these reasons, too.
We probably agree about politics and social issues, or we are close to agreeing. And we aren't shrieking at each other about premarital sex and alcohol use. As parents, we have learned when to shut up.
And it turns out, the friendships we cultivated with our children — and for which we were roundly criticized by our own parents — have blossomed in their young adulthood.
I would never attempt to choose an article of clothing or a piece of jewelry for my daughter because she would tell me frankly how I had failed to match her taste. But we like the same food, and we can easily share a dinner out.
She moved out when the calendar told her she had lived at home long enough, even though she barely earned enough to pay her bills. I was desperately sad to see her go, and even now, I use all my wiles to tempt her home for a visit.
I suspect there is one more reason we like having our chicks under our roofs.
We have been a generation of professional parents. We took this job very seriously — from breast- instead of bottle-feeding to SAT tutors.
And we don't think our work is done.
Our children are navigating a complicated path through work, career, relationships and even children of their own. We believe we still have a lot to offer them, beyond help with a down payment or a weekend of baby sitting.
We believe they can still learn from us, even if they do not.