Parents should show "tough love" to graduates

Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:21am EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - With growing numbers of graduates returning to the family home after college, parents should be supportive -- but not too much, the British government warns on Tuesday.

Allow them some time to relax once they graduate but don't let a few weeks turn into months, it says, and don't make the home environment so comfortable that they don't want to leave.

"Sometimes, it really is necessary to show tough love," says advice published online by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

"If you are making life too comfortable at home, why would they get a job? If you are providing free board and lodgings, a well stocked fridge, washing and ironing done, plus an allowance, there's not much drive there.

"So cut back to help increase their motivation."

Graduates are facing the toughest jobs market in years as the recession bites, but parents should resist any temptation to nag, the advice says.

"Nagging can make young people feel more stressed and makes the failure to get a job worse," it adds.

Parents should not dismiss ideas but should encourage their children to be realistic.

"Yes, some people will make it as actors and film script writers but many just waste away the years," the guide says.   Continued...

<p>Graduating students enter the Paladin stadium during the commencement ceremony at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina May 31, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing</p>