I posted a new article today that talks about setting rules for adult children who return home during college breaks. Some key tips from the article:
Make sure you talk about and agree upon guidelines for:
– Household rules, including swearing, late nights, and noise: Remember that your college kid has been dealing with college-style language, music, and hours. Talk about what you’re comfortable with, and what you’re not.
– Who covers additional expenses: If your adult kid is just home for a long weekend, this probably isn’t an issue. But if they’re home for three months, who’s going to pay for the extra groceries they consume and the electricity they use? What about long-distance calls they make keeping up with college friends?
– Fair use of shared resources: Make sure you all agree on appropriate use of the family computer and TV. You don’t want to have battles over the remote just as someone’s favorite show is about to begin. And be very clear about any guidelines for using (and gassing up!) the family car.
– The thorny issue of overnight guests: Whether you like it or not, your kid’s probably been having sleepovers with his girlfriend while at school. Can he have her stay over in his room at your home?
– Privacy rules for both you and your adult children: These rules will be different than they were when your kid lived at home full-time. You should agree to stay out of her room and her mail, and she should agree to stay out of yours.
– Which chores your grown kids will be responsible for: A summer break with no help from your adult kids could leave you fuming. Make sure you agree on what’s expected beforehand so your kid doesn’t feel imposed upon, and you don’t feel resentful.
If you need help setting up an agreement with your adult kids for their breaks at home, or if you just need some advice on how to renegotiate your relationship now that your kids are grown, you can find resources and tips at www.adultchildrenlivingathome.com.
You can read the rest of the article here.