Not too long ago if an adult was to say to someone that they just met “I live with my parents”, it typically would have set them up for quite a bit of ridicule and disdain. That social stigma has fallen away in the last few years as more young adults are staying home with mom and dad than ever before. In fact, nearly 22 million so-called “millennials” were living in their parent’s home in 2012, nearly 40% of all adults between the age of 18 and 31.
For parents who thought that sharing their home ended when their last child turned 18, adjusting to having their adult children living back home again can take a little bit of time. It’s for that reason that today we bring you some rules and tips that should help you to live in harmony with your adult children if they haven’t moved out, or they’ve recently moved back in.
First and foremost, set some realistic goals. If you’re not comfortable with the thought of your adult children living with you for the long term, sitting down with them and setting some realistic goals, including a time schedule for moving out, might be necessary. Also, helping them set their own realistic goals about finding a “dream” job might be necessary, as many young adults just out of college think that they will instantly fall into a job, or profession, that they love.
Some parents have taken to setting a “reverse curfew” in order to make sure that their adult children are out looking for a job during the day (if they’re unemployed, of course). What this means is that, from a specific time in the morning until a specific time in the afternoon, say 9 AM to 3 PM, they aren’t allowed to be home because they should be out looking for a job. The benefit of doing this is that, once they actually do find a job, they won’t be home during the day either.
If you need to put in writing, and make an actual contract with your adult child, then so be it. There’s nothing that says that parents and their adult children can’t have legal and binding contracts between them and, if you have already agreed on some specific factors like a moving out date or an amount to be paid for rent, there’s no harm in having some basic paperwork drawn up and notarized so that everyone knows where they stand.
Finally, always remember that communication is key. Even if it means that you “over communicate” or talk about what you want, and want for them, more than normal, make sure to keep the lines of communication open. Even though they may be adults, your adult children might not be as mature as you think and your communication, and loving words, are still very necessary.
If you want them to pay rent, pay their own groceries, do some chores around the house and so forth, communicating these wants and needs to them is vital. If you don’t then there’s going to be a lot of problems when you get angry at them for not doing the things you want, and a lot of resentment as well. Avoid that resentment by communicating openly and often.
Some families can live quite well together for years without any sort of problems. If you have a big house and you’re comfortable letting your adult children live with you, then so be it.
On the other hand, some adult children tend to take advantage of their parents and their parent’s generosity. They don’t work, don’t pay rent and spend their days watching TV or playing video games. In these situations it might be a little bit more difficult to get along and using the rules and tips above will hopefully help you to keep things under control.