Xinhua News Agency

'Boomerang kids' a burden on parents

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 4:12pm

Xiao Zhang, a member of the mainland's growing legion of 'kidults', left home to go to university and landed a job paying 2,000 yuan a month after graduation. Now he's back home, living with his parents, after quitting his job.

A recent study by China's Research Institute for the Elderly showed that about 30 per cent of adults, defined on the mainland as those over the age of 18, live at home, compared with only 7 per cent in the United States.

Most 'kidults' believed they had a right to stay in their parents' home as long as they wanted to and that their parents had an obligation to provide for them, the research found.

'My son quit his job because he said the pay sucked and there was not much room there for his personal development,' Xinhua quoted Xiao Zhang's mother, Zhang Baoguo, as saying.

'Since he is jobless now we have to support him with our income.'

Mrs Zhang said she was looking for jobs for her 20-something son, who just 'sits around at home and plays online games all day long'.

China's one-child policy should take much of the blame, according to mainland educators.

Under the strict family-planning regime that started in the late 1970s, parents tended to overprotect and spoil their only child, they say, which, in a worst-case scenario, could lead to young adults being incapable of living on their own.

And an increasingly tough job market combined with high rents made it more likely that parents would have to host their son or daughter once again.

Some young adults have never lived on their own, while others, like Xiao Zhang, have tried to leave the nest, started out on their own and then encountered setbacks that drove them back to the safety of home.

These so-called 'boomerang kids' have negative financial implications for their parents.

'Their retirement plan can be threatened by the returning kid,' an educator was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

'And the way they continue to finance their grown-up child actually doesn't do much good to the kid in terms of healthy development.'