“Adult Children” living with their parents has always been a bit of a “phenomenon” as most people want their independence. This post is going to talk to you about the list of house rules for adults living with parents.
Since the pandemic it has become the case for many families as a lot of people have lost their jobs and as such are unable to afford to pay all their expenses and such.
Some relationships break up leaving single people who no longer want to live together with an ex or people who had to move out for other reasons. Regardless of the reason this living arrangements may lead to a lot of arguments and stress if some ground rules are not set and if it’s not properly handled.
Parents with adult children living with them debate on what set of rules is best for this situation but they all agree that it’s different from when they had little kids who were dependent on them for everything so now a new set of rules is needed.
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List Of House Rules For Adults Living With Parents
Having understood that rules are very important to maintain a healthy relationship and environment when adult children move back home, the next question is what sort of rules should be applied?
Here are some rules for adult children living with their parents:
- It is your house: it’s very important for adults living with their parents to come to terms with the fact that it’s their parents house before anything else. You get to make all the final decisions and “I don’t want it” is I don’t want it. If your adult child doesn’t respect your decisions or opinion it might mean that this arrangement isn’t an option for you.
- Talk about the rules you want to apply: it’s very important that you have a conversation with them about what should and shouldn’t be done and how things should be done in your home. It might not work out if you just dictate what they should do instead try talking and figuring out what’s best for you and them.
Try to discuss every possible scenario or event that could happen, from doing the dishes, to doing the laundry, to how late they can stay out at night, to if they can have friends over or if you want rent from them or just a little bit of contribution to the household expenses.
You should be clear about what you expect from them from the beginning so as to prevent resentment, arguments and stress later on.
- Set a time limit: your adult child can’t stay with you indefinitely, they most likely moved in for a reason so it’s just right for you to give them a sort of motivation to become independent again. You can say to them “ you can live with me until you’ve saved up for the deposit on an apartment or a house” or you can say “ you can stay with me until you have a job and you’re back on your feet”.
This time limit should be discussed and mutually agreed upon by both of you but that doesn’t mean you can’t redress and/or change if it doesn’t work out as planned or if you child had a setback.
- How to share living space: with everyone living in the house, space and some alone time to do personal stuff is important , this is where shared spaces comes in; you have to understand that it’s not only you or “me” anymore you have to make time for everyone else.
After negotiations you may decide on letting the kids have the living on some days while mom and dad has it on other days; this is called compromise and it’s very much important to building a health relationship between the family.
- Rent or no rent? You may want to be nice and offer your adult child a place to stay perhaps because he or she is going through difficulties, but you shouldn’t feel guilty for asking for a little contribution to the household expenses especially is you can’t afford it alone.
Also charging them even a stipend is also a way of reminding them that they are adults and have their own responsibilities and so they have to learn to be self-sufficient rather than depending on people (even if it’s their parents).
As long as they have jobs and money they should contribute even if it’s a little and if they can’t they should contribute with chores so they know that things cost money and nothing is free especially good things.
If your adult child is desperately saving for rent or money to buy a house or pay up their mortgage, or they are looking for a job; you can let them be to relieve some of their burden the important thing is that you don’t let them become irresponsible or over dependent on you.
- Regarding chores: every one should do chores, they are not kids anymore. You shouldn’t have to do all the chores yourself, they are benefiting by staying in the house so they should at least do some chores. You can make a weekly roaster of the chores and who it’s assigned to for each day.
You can have someone do the dishes on Monday and take out the trash on Tuesday and then have some one else take out the trash on Monday and clean the living room on Tuesday, however you do it try to dish out the chores fairly.
- You shouldn’t have to pick up after them after all they are adults, if you do so you’re only enabling them to become comfortable in their bad habits. Let them clean up after themselves, they are not kids anymore they should at the very least put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket abs clean up after themselves.
- Practice mutual respect and courtesy: Treat your adult child the same way you treat your friends. Try not to interfere or comment on their social or sex lives. They are adults, they don’t need a curfew or you to tell them what kind of friends the can and can’t have.
That will only build up resentment. Both you and your adult child should learn to treat each other with respect and courtesy so as to maintain a healthy relationship. Courtesy is about informing you if they will be home before diner so you know how much to cook or explaining their schedule to you so you’ll not be overly worried about them. It’s not you controlling them it’s simply asking them to be courteous.
- Try not to get pulled into power struggles: always try to avoid reacting to your adult child’s anger, you should try to be kind and thoughtful to them but not so much so that you become a push over.
So when your adult child gets angry or upset about something you can say “we’ll talk about this later when you’re calm” rather than exchanging words because people say a lot of things they don’t mean in the heat of the moment.
It wouldn’t do for you to become scared of saying what’s on your mind because you’re scared of your child getting angry or upset. If you do so you loose control of the situation and become unable to make them take responsibility for themselves.
- Try not to get “guilt tripped”: try to be firm in your decisions especially if you’re asking your child to be responsible for himself and contribute to household expenses.
He has to come to terms with the fact that things cost money and you don’t have to fend for him anymore even if you’ve been doing just that.
Your child may make comments like “ how could you treat me like this?” because he is upset, try not to feel guilty and change your decisions instead ask yourself “am I being over expectant?” or “ is this the best step for me to take?” if yes stand your ground if no you can discuss with your child and decide on new rules or boundaries that work for both if you.
- When you feel like it’s time for your adult child to move out: you may feel like it’s time for your adult child to move out for a series of reasons it’s ok especially if you feel like the situation is becoming toxic or you just can’t put up with him or her anymore you can ask them to move out.
You can also help them come up with other options like living with a friend or paying the first rent for an apartment; that way you have set them up and it’s up to them to become responsible and take care of their expenses.
- If you feel like your adult child isn’t keeping up with his or her end of the bargain or the relationship is becoming abusive you can redress all issues with your child and wait to see if there are any changes in his or her behaviors if not you may ask them to look for another place to stay.
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Summary: treat your adult child like an adult and let them know you expect them to behave like and adult. Another very important thing is that you and your adult child comes to an understanding at the very beginning of the arrangement and if for some reason you have an issue you want to redress have a conversation about it.
I am a proud mother of two, a lover and home builder. My love for children gave birth to the bestofmotherearth.com with the aim to cover topics from child health, pregnancy, parenting, family, relationship, struggles in families and also food.