The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2009 reported that their most recent statistical analysis showed that one in four young people aged between 20 and 34 were living at home.
In South Australia the figures are particularly high, with 53.5% of young people between the ages of 16 to 29 live at home.
But although this may reflect the realities of the modern city and suburbs, the statistics do not reflect the realities of the children whose parents live in regional and rural Australia.
In these families, children leave home for study, some of them go to boarding school as early as twelve years old; others at senior high school or when they attend University.
Even if they attend the local high school then decide to attend University (whether it be in the city or a nearby regional area), it is necessary for them to live away from home. It is only possible for these students to return home on academic breaks.
Of course, a higher proportion of young people leave the country to go to work if they choose not to further their studies, and these children cannot return to the family home even as often as students do.
Well-Being Australia chairman Mark Tronson, a Baptist minister explained that in their family situation, where they lived in Moruya and now at Tweed Heads, all their children had to leave home in order to attend University.
He and his wife, Delma, establish a different and more relaxed lifestyle when the nest is empty; as does for every other parent who experience this same phenomenon.
It is when the children return on their academic breaks that the parents feel their comfortable routines get unceremoniously put out-of-whack. Again.
Access to the Internet becomes a fraught negotiation with the children, meal preparation and eating times are altered, the washing loads are increased, the cleaning processes are necessarily changed, the young people's sleeping habits are totally out of sync with the household program. It all changes. Again.
Parents become protective of their own routines - even the necessary shopping for provisions – or for pleasure - or of maintaining their own social relationships.
When it's time for the children to return to their academic existence back in the city, they're generally very pleased to get back to their friends and their new life; and, while hating the 'goodbye's' all over again, the parents are nevertheless generally happy to get their own lives back.
Easter is upon us where such children will return home for the break. Ecclesiastes 3 speaks of this; that in everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to break down, and a time to heal, and a time embrace ….