Maybe you’re thrilled to have your adult child living at home again, or perhaps you’re, ahem, secretly horrified. The emotion you feel shouldn’t get in the way of taking care of business. And that business is RULES.
Lay Down the Rules
While it may seem off-putting to lay down rules for a grown child, you absolutely need to do it to protect your sanity, your emotional well-being and your nest egg. It’s a privilege for your child to get to move back home, and it shouldn’t necessarily be a super comfortable experience. After all, you do want your child to leave again, right?
Seven Steps to Prepare Yourself for Your Adult Child at Home
You’re not a bad parent. You’re a responsible parent who doesn’t want a your grown adult child living with you indefinitely. Even if your child appears to be the most responsible person on the planet, it’s easy to slip into a pattern of laziness when mom or dad takes care of everything. With that in mind, here are some things to do when your adult child moves home again:
- Create a written agreement, or even a lease, that everyone signs. This agreement should clearly spell out your expectations (no parties, no smoking, no pets, no dirty room, no overnight guests, etc.). Most importantly, your temporary boarder should understand that if he or she doesn’t like the rules, it’s time to move out.
- Set a departure deadline. Consider it a motivating kick in the, you know….
- Demand help. If your kiddo is living at home again, said kiddo should help out. Assign jobs, such as lawn mowing, cooking or cleaning.
- Send a bill. Unless your child is absolutely financially broken, ask for help with the grocery bill. Food costs are rising, and you shouldn’t have to spend your funds supporting an adult with some means.
- Don’t allow loafing. Relaxation is one thing, but if your unemployed adult child expects to sit around the house day after day, don’t put up with it. Even in the absence of a dream job, there’s never nothing to do! Suggest volunteer work.
- Don’t loan money. The more cash you lend, the less the incentive to turn things around. Remember, your child is likely living at home because there’s no other option. Loaning money could turn you into an enabler and prolong the stay.
- Discuss expectations. Will your child join you for family dinners? Who will do the cooking? Is there a community laundry pile, or do you expect to keep things separate? Is there a quiet time?
Some of the suggestions above may sound harsh, but you deserve your peace, your hard-earned cash and your home to yourself again one day! Stay strong.