Grand parents and their 5 children – a very different time
Several recent Australian surveys have shown that young people are choosing to stay at home longer than their parents ever did; or they return back home to save money. Although necessary, there is also a degree of the disagreeable to both.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 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.
Today like in the 50s, cousins have always been a feature of growing
As our children grew up in Moruya (NSW south coast) and then at Tweed Heads (North coast NSW), all left home in order to attend university / business colleges.
My wife of 40 years, Delma, established a different and more relaxed lifestyle when the nest became empty; as does for every other parent who experience this same phenomenon.
When children today, return home when away, such as on their academic breaks, the parents feel their comfortable routines get unceremoniously put out-of-whack. Again.
Consider these – mutual 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.
Maternal grand father died at the end of WWI in the Royal Flying Corp – a very different time
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.
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 ….
Recent reports have older children in their late 20's and early 30's now returning home to live! Moreover I saw an article on 'unemployment' noted 85% of protesters aged between 18-30 live at home. They certainly aren't at work. They are quite often paid to be protest.
This raises a whole lot of other issues.
My parents at the opening on Mackay Baptist Church in 1958
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at