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The Boomerang Effect

Get this one. You have gone through the angst of physical separation, maybe even the joys of a wedding, and then found your daughter at your doorstep, bags in hand. If this describes you and your daughter, we have a name for it: the boomerang effect. What you may not initially see is that boomerang kids, according to Seattle psychotherapists Jean Okimoto and Phyllis Stegall, feel disillusioned and disappointed by their failure to achieve independence.

Woman to Woman

Psychologists tell us moms what we already know but don't want to hear. We are uncomfortable when our daughters are not 100 percent happy. But that's the time they tell us that we have to be particularly careful not to give into their spoken or unspoken pleas for expensive items or money for credit card payments. If you fall into this habit you will prolong their dependency.

Serving Boomerang Style

The best things to serve your daughters when they show up at home as a boomerang kid are portions of encouragement and autonomy. These have the nutrients that will help them retain competence, confidence, and self-esteem. And these are three qualities demonstrated by emotionally mature and responsible young adults able to live on their own.

How to Avoid Feathering the Nest

Should you find yourself in the same predicament as Julia's mom, follow these four critical steps:

  1. Put a limit on time your daughter can nest with you.
  2. Expect your daughter to have a well-defined plan of action.
  3. Create mutual agreements for living together.
  4. Insist on setting up a formal loan and payment schedule.
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mothers and Daughters © 2001 by Rosanne Rosen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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