2022-02-04 s555555555 11774

When it comes to who is happier, people with kids or those without, most research points to the latter. But a new study suggests that parents are happier than non-parents later in life, when their children move out and become sources of social enjoyment rather than stress.


Most surveys of parental happiness have focused on those whose children still live at home. These tend to show that people with kids are less happy than their child-free peers because they have less free time, sleep and money.


Christoph Becker at Heidelberg University in Germany and his colleagues wondered if the story might be different for parents whose kids have left home. To find out, they analysed data from a European survey that asked 55,000 people aged 50 and older about their emotional well-being.


They found that, in this older age group, people with children had greater life satisfaction and fewer symptoms of depression than people without children, but only if their kids had left home.

Returning the favour爱好的回归

This may be because when children grow up and move out, they provide social enrichment to their parents minus the day-to-day stress of looking after them, says Becker. They may also give something back by providing care and financial support to their parents, he says. “Hence, children’s role as caregivers, financial support or simply as social contact might outweigh negative aspects of parenthood,” he says.


The picture is similar in the US, says Nicholas Wolfinger at the University of Utah. He recently analysed 40 years of data from the US General Social Survey and found that empty-nest parents aged 50 to 70 were 5 to 6 per cent more likely to report being very happy than those with kids still at home.


[–]townspersonB 8091 18
I wonder how the parents feel if the kids never move out though..

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[–]IncarnationHero 2381 16
And then, there's opposite where their kids want to move out and parent don't let them do it.


[–]Sisaac 1852 15
I think these studies don't take into account the cultural differences where some families outside the US or other western nations usually live all together under the same roof, or share family life much closely than what would be "normal" for others.


[–]LeftTurnOnly1 1649 15
In many cultures children don't move out until they are married. And even if they do get married, it is normal in some cultures for both families to live under the same roof.
It's a very western idea for kids to move out immediately after graduating high school/turning 18, and it's western to hold that expectation over the kid. I've knows friends in the USA who literally became homeless as soon as they turned 18 (if they couldn't afford to pay for college) because the parents kicked them out.
I think it's important for a young adult to move out and develop their own social life. Parent's "not letting" their adult children move out by using emotional manipulation or other unhealthy/emotionally abusive tactics stunts their emotional development and the child can result in being psychologically fucked up or unable to maintain healthy relationships because of it.

对孩子来说,高中毕业/ 18岁就搬出去住是非常西方化的想法,对孩子抱有这种期望也是西方的。我认识一些在美国的朋友,他们18岁就无家可归(他们上不起大学),因为父母把他们赶了出去。

[–]KolaDesi 792 15
It's not even a western thing, it's an American (and maybe north European) thing. In southern Europe kids move out when they marry, and even then they usually live under the same roof. Usually living far away is considered a bad thing and something that happens for necessity.


[–]foxcatbat 512 15
ye im from north europe where if you live with your parents at 20 you are complete loser, but now i live in spain and here people live together only separating if necesary for a job or bad relations.


[–]daebb 204 15
So what do you personally prefer? What are the ups and downs of each model? I think I’d go crazy if I had to live with my family for my whole life.


[–]KioskPlaya 298 14
You learn to take care of yourself at a smaller scale, ie, shopping for yourself, taking care of bills etc while still having a family you can fall back on if necessary.
Living with family, you have much less stress about housing situation and can focus on education or work and in general you have an easier time.
I've stayed with my parent for far to long and I have no clue how to do real life. It stresses me out a lot, but I'm tryna learn as I go.


[–]doozywooooz 173 13
and in general you have an easier time.
That really depends on the dynamics of your family home. I have to carry the burden of caring for myself in every capacity, yes, but now I don't have to deal with 24/7 drama, lack of privacy, lack of food choices, long ass commute.


[–]RivRise 30 10
This is why I lived out at 20. Living alone is just more relaxing.


[–]foxcatbat 204 14
i was embeded in spanish family, cause my ex was spanish, so i really saw both models intimately.
i would say family forever together model only works if all members of family are into happy flappy lifestyle which most southerners are, because as soon as you introduce burning ambition to be most powerful possible as north people have, all that becomes a nuisance and burden and you want only people you carefully sext to be in your life and cut all ties with anyone who even remotly bothers u.

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[–]Oh_Archie 73 13
Thank you for this perspective. I’ve always wondered about the 2 aspects and this confirms more or less my thoughts.
My Chinese friend used to say in a proverb “Lone dragon flies high” haha!


[–]Le_Oken 62 15
South American here, usually kids move out when married


[–]-Vertex- 58 14*
I live in the UK and there's definitely the expectation you move out somewhere in your 20's with there being a stigma if you live with your parents too long. At the same time due to the extortionate renting costs over here people are living with their parents longer than ever before so it's not all that surprising that somebody is 24/25 and living at home still.


[–]Malarkay79 84 14
My family is lily white American, and all but one sibling lived at home until they got married. I’m not married and I still live at home. My Dad is to the point where he needs someone living with him/managing the house, and we live in a high COL area. His money pays the mortgage and his insurance, and I take care of the rest of the expenses. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. We’re outliers.


[–]maryshambles 150 16
That’s what my family is like. I live 3hrs away, but if I don’t make it “home” to see my mom every other weekend she’ll throw a fit


[–]Watterbottlefullof 67 15
My MIL and FIL are like this with my husband and it annoys me to no end. If he doesn't see them twice a weekend some sort of "emergency" comes up during the week where he just has to come over right away. She will call his phone 5 times while she knows he's at work and then when he doesn't answer she calls mine. They have no friends or life of their own.

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[–]abnmfr 112 16
This was my mother-in-law until my wife and I moved and declined to share our new address with her or anyoneelse in the family who might give it to her.


[–]vferg 57 15
This was my wifes parents as well. They brainwashed her and her kids into feeling that they owe them and the other 2 didnt appreciate it but my wife tried her hardest to appease them and so we saw them a lot and planned things around them all the time... it was a really scary relationship and no matter how hard you explained to her this isnt right it I looked like the bad guy. Well her father just passed 4 months ago, and her mother passed less than a month ago. She is devastated but I think in the long run it will be much better for her to finally start living her own life for once.


[–]lolahaze11 48 15
If she’s so desperate to see you, she can go visit you.


[–]JustMeSunshine91 48 15
I’m gonna guess they wouldn’t want that, as some parents will take that as an invitation to disrespect their boundaries. It’s best to keep your distance with parents who have manipulative behaviors.


[–]xxllmmaa 136 16
Depends on culture I guess. As a first generation Asian American my parents want me to stay with them, both financially and since they don't really speak English. however, I wouldn't want my kids to stay with me.


[–]doozywooooz 78 13
however, I wouldn't want my kids to stay with me.
First gen Asian American here too. Parents wanted me to stay to save up money, etc., etc. too. I got out as soon as I could and never looked back.
However if I ever had a kid I'd strive to be the exact opposite of how I was raised in an Asian household. There was hardly any emotional connection, it was purely materialistic / financial driven. Study, study study. Take every AP, score high on tests, apply to every Ivy, study medicine, become a doctor yada yada yada (for the record I achieved less than half of that).
I'd raise my kid to WANT to be around me, to look to me as a friend as they get older rather than as someone who just pushes them around to succeed later in life just to further the "family success". In turn I would raise a kid who I wouldn't mind holing up in our home until he/she is ready to move on.