If you want to make your parents happy, move out of their house.
You may have heard that unmarried, childless women are the happiest people. Well, this study has a new contender for that title!
According to a recent study, parents with adult children can be happier- but only once the children move out.
The study found that those aged 50 and older with adult children who have moved out but still maintain regular contact are happier than parents with live-in children (adult or not) or childless adults of the same age group.
According to Christoph Becker at Heidelberg University in Germany, children who do not live with their parents are still important providers of social support for their parents at an older age.
The study finds links between non-residential adult children and a higher life satisfaction. The key here is non-residential, as those having adult children who still lived together reported more depressive symptoms.
Adult children who do not live with their parents but still maintain frequent contact also alleviate their parents’ stress levels by taking over household responsibilities such as paperwork and caregiving.
Non-residential adult children provide their parents independence and freedom without completely leaving them alone without a support system.
However, the study was conducted in Europe and does not take into account the traditional Asian cultures of living together as a family and supporting your parents once you’ve stepped into the role of an adult.
It’s an unspoken rule in Asian culture to “give back” to parents, whether in the form of monetary hadiah or taking care of their needs as a form of filial piety.
In Malaysia, it’s more common for adult children to stay with their parents and not move out until they get married.
While this may seem fine to you (and pragmatic, since Malaysian real estate is a big investment), you and your parents will be much happier if you moved out.
(Even if you parents may seem reluctant for you to leave!)
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.