Childhood memories or arrested development?

Millions of UK adults still have a room in their parents’ home, preserved as it was when they were a child.

New research conducted for the Prudential shows that more than 4.6 million adults in the UK have their former bedrooms preserved by parents who can’t quite let go of their memories. 

A staggering 42% of UK adults whose parents still live in the family home say their former bedroom is still decorated as it was when they were a child, with 44% sleeping in their childhood bedroom when they return to see their parents. Many of them still have their childhood trophies and toys stored ‘at home’ and regard their childhood bedroom as still ‘theirs’. 

Well how weird is that? Talk about arrested development. 

One of the virtues of coming from a dysfunctional family, I guess, is that it makes you grow up a bit quicker than that.

When I left for university, my dad converted my room into a clock-mending workshop practically before you could say knife.

It pissed me off somewhat, as I did technically own the furniture – they’d made me pay for it after a family snit. Remember the scene in ‘Friends’ where Ross’s room has been kept like a shrine while Monica’s has been turned into a gym? Sentimentality wasn’t one of the Devine family faults, I’ll say that for my father. 

The upshot, of course, was that I went back a few times, but since I never really felt like I had a ‘home’ to go to (and they also charged me rent), I soon knocked it off and stayed in town and worked.

This – to tell the truth – was probably exactly my Dad’s intention. I’d hung on the longest, after all, in living at home to the age of 18, whereas my sister married at 17 and the two boys left at 16 and 15. When I went, I think he was glad that his parental responsibilities were finally done with and he could get on with the real love of his life – making clocks and hiding from my mum in the garage.

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