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CHARITY Parentline Plus is calling for better support for parents of young adults as more and more stay at home for longer, thus increasing the pressure on families.

Money worries, clash of lifestyles and young adults treating the family home "like a hotel" are all piling on the stress and, in some more serious cases, parents are dealing with physical and verbal aggression, alcohol abuse and drug-taking.

One caller told the charity's free 24-hour Parentline: "I'm not sure what my role is with my son now. As a mother, I feel very insecure at this point. This is a transition and it is difficult for me as a parent to adjust to this new relationship."

In its report Will They Ever Fly the Nest?, the charity calls for more support for parents for young adults to assert what influence and authority they can have. For example, where adult children are violent or misusing drugs. It is also urging the Government to not only find ways of supporting parents of young adults to influence their children's work and personal choices, but also to provide them with information about issues like housing benefits, grants and training. It is as if by reaching the legal age of adulthood, young people magically become trouble-free and responsible," says Maureen Pearson, area manager for Parentline Plus North East.

"Living with young adults is as perplexing and concerning as any other stage in a parent's journey, yet parenting strategies seem to end with adulthood, as though once children become adults, parents are off the hook."

Key findings:

Callers to Parentline were very concerned about the aggressive behaviour, both verbal and physical, of their children.

When young people returned after college or university, there were more issues because it felt like they had a taste of freedom and so were more likely to treat home like a hotel.

Parents felt in many cases they could not see their children leaving home until their late 20s.

The clash of two different lifestyles was the main bone of contention.

For more information, log on to or call the 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 2222.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 5, 2009
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