Sleeping in the Past: Relics of Childhood
During college, it’s totally normal for a 20-something to keep their bedroom at their parents house all done up like they still live there. Even if they now share a dorm and are rarely there. It provides a space for their things that didn’t make the cut to ship to a new space, and also the person themself when they come home for the weekends or during holidays to do their laundry and eat as much non-pizza and ramen as possible. Soon after graduation when said person then moves into their own place that doesn’t have a RA but instead an actual landlord, that’s when having a room at one’s parents not only takes an odd turn, but also stops the growth for everyone involved.

Michael V. Bloom’s Adult Children Who Won’t Grow Up breaks down the growth processes five steps. The first and second being about children and adolescents rebelling and trying to prove separation, but then the third is where this whole living situation comes into play. The third step is “moving on” in which the child, now young adult, is grown and moves out either to college or to an apartment. Soon after this is when they and their parents redefine who they are in the world. This young adult should no longer feel like a kid, and the parent who may be left with empty nest syndrome has to find some new way to get their kicks and find fulfillment because finally, they are no longer the core person responsible for that kid’s life. After new images are defined, new relationships can form based around this maturity.
With that, keeping a room all done up like this 20-something still lives with their parents like they’re still in high school seems to be like a bolt tossed into the machine of this process. How can one feel grown when they’re Pokemon collection is still on display? Now, it’s totally cool if they want to take that to their new space and rock it, but when it’s sitting somewhere like an odd shrine to their childhood, that can create them to backpedal into that childlike mindset. On the flip side with the parents, having that room constantly there doesn’t allow for them to move past that time either, so they can never see their child as an adult now. Both instances result in a failure on both parts in creating these new images for oneself, thus creating new, mature relationships with one another falls flat too.

On another note, when you choose to move out – give their parents their space back out of respect. They did everything the could for you for x-amount of years. It’s only fair that they now have full control over that room in the home they made for themselves. Maybe this stems from a jealousy that I couldn’t leave my Backstreet Boy altar AKA room intact when I went off to college and later moved out, but at the same time…I grew up in a trailer and to insist my space be left untouched for the past decade would’ve been as rude as my younger brother insisting that my mom just up and move instead of him growing up and finding his own place.

The Highs and Lows of Having a Room at Your Parents

  1. Of those of surveyed who’ve moved out, 54% of them said they still have a room at their parents and it’s decorated as if they still live there.
  2. 75% said it was their parents idea to keep the room so their parents didn’t feel alone.
  3. More than half of those surveyed said they’d have a room like that for their children when they were older.
  4. While it was the most popular reason for having a room at their parents, only 8% of people surveyed said the biggest high of having this room was that it helped their parents feel less alone. 62% were more about themselves and said they liked have somewhere to sleep.
  5. Almost 70% agreed there’s absolutely no low when it comes to having a fully decorated room in their parent’s house after they move out.

The following days will be filled with an interview with a woman I consider my second mother about keeping space in her own home for my best bud, discussing why a forever room is like giving the Loch Ness monster a dollar, thinking like a man and giving you the top 10 that come to mind when you think about a person who still has a room at their parents house.

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