“In a way, you’d like to move with them”: Young people, moving away from home, and the roles of parents

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Abstract

This article develops a nuanced understanding of the role of parents when young people move away from home. The moving processes of young people have grown more temporary and reversible, and parents are increasingly expected to be involved in the lives of their children after they move away from home. This points to changes in the notions of parenthood, which have been described as “involved parenting”. Building on qualitative interviews with 36 Danish young people and their parents, the article contributes to differentiating this involved parenting by presenting a typology of parents’ practical and emotional involvement in the moving processes of young people, and the consequences thereof on the young people’s experiences of leaving home. The article identifies three principles for parents’ involvement in the moving processes of young people: “The bulging heart”, “The soft nudge”, and “The slammed door”. Whereas the first two principles relate to parents deeply involved in their children’s moving process, the third relates to parents who are far more distant. Despite the pervasive criticism of “curling parents” who are overly involved in the lives of their children, the article shows that leaving home is particularly difficult for young people of distant parents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
ISSN1367-6261
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Youth
  • moving out
  • parents
  • transitions
  • boomerang generation

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