Adult children living at home: It's not all bad!

Wowza. I just read an article from The Winnipeg Free Press that begins with the following paragraph:

Accumulating statistics show today’s mollycoddled kids prefer the comforting velvet-cushion homespun pampering of the parental home to the cold realities of independent living. Life on a silver platter sharing the parental home is the option of choice for young people facing uncertain economic times.

I think the author has some negative feelings about adult children living at home! The truth is, some adult children living at home ARE mollycoddled. They live at home with no expectation of contributing to the cost of their stay there, they come and go as they please with no responsibilities, are fed and clothed, and may even have their laundry done for them. Sure, this is life on a silver platter. But it’s also not the only way.

If an adult child moves home for a defined period of time to allow him or her to achieve a specific goal (find a job, pay off debt, complete school, etc.), contributes financially to the household, and behaves according to the parents’ expectations in the home, it provides that young adult a huge advantage in what has become a very financially challenging world without creating ongoing dependency or mollycoddling. The key is to set a timeline for the stay and expectations for behavior and contributions (financial or otherwise), and to expect the adult child to take care of his or her own household responsibilities (keeping things clean, making meals, and so on). When the stay is managed intelligently, it can actually be a positive for both adult children (who get obvious financial and emotional benefits) and parents, who get to know their children as adults in a way we often don’t make time for in our culture.