Some advance planning can really help to make sure you have a positive experience when adult children move home. I shared my advice for making it work with Wells Fargo Conversations.
Finances are always a concern when adult children move back in with their parents. I shared some advice on how to make a family budget and addressed the issue of whether adult kids should past rent in this interview by Lisa Coxon:
I spoke with Myles Ma at Policygenius about how to budget for adult children moving home.
“It’s a really good idea for parents to sit down with their adult children and work through this budget,”– Christina Newberry
Read the story at Policygenius.
The latest Canadian census data shows the number of adult children living with their parents is on the rise again.
As of 2016, 34.7% of adults aged 20 to 34 were living with their parents, up from 33.3% in 2011.
But that number varies quite a lot across the country. In Ontario, 42.1% of adults in this age range live with their parents, and in Toronto specifically, nearly half do so: 47.4%. In Quebec, on the other hand, less than a quarter of 20-to-34-year-olds live at home.
Twenty to 34 is a wide age range that includes university students all the way through established adults. Not surprisingly, more people in their early 20s live with their parents (62.6%) than do people in their early 30s (13.5%). The majority of those in their early 20s who were living with parents said they had never left home, where as most of those in their early 30s had left at some point and then returned.
It was a pleasure to appear this morning on the Global BC Morning News to talk about how to deal with adult children living at home. You can watch the entire segment below.
A reporter is looking to speak with a parent or parents of boomerang kids to find out how they have made things work, financially and otherwise, for an article in an ongoing retirement series in a major Canadian daily newspaper.
The reporter will need to use your real name, but there is no need to get into detail about financial numbers – just a sense of what agreements were in place, if any, and how you handled it more generally. [Note: I recommend you ALWAYS put an agreement in place – in writing! But the reporter would be happy to speak with you whether or not you did so.]
If you’re interested in sharing your experience, please email the reporter directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New research by MetLife shows that 25% of adults over 50 have children aged 18 or older living at home. Here are some of the other findings from the report:
- 43% of adults living at home pay absolutely no rent and do not contribute financially to the household in any way
- Parents are spending about 3,700 pounds a year (about $6,000) to feed and house their adult children living at home
- 21% of parents lend money to adult children (an average of 2,600 pounds, or $4,200) even after they leave home
I’m a huge advocate for adult children making a financial contribution to the household when they live at home (I explain why in this video), so it’s troublesome to see once again that so many parents have adult children living at home absolutely rent-free.
If you know a family with adult children planning to move home in the new year, or where adult children are already living at home (and maybe things aren’t going as smoothly as everyone had hoped), you might be thinking about holiday gifts that could help return peace to the household. Since you’re reading this post, you may even have thought about giving a copy of The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home.
You may also be feeling some hesitation, unsure how your friends or loved ones will react to the gift. Will they appreciate it? Or will it get their hackles up if you suggest they may need some help?
What I can tell you is that families who have implemented the advice in my book — and used the family contract template that’s part of the package to create a clear plan for their adult children’s stay at home — say that they have better relationships with their adult children, both during their stay at home and after they leave. Some parents have even told me the book has saved their marriage. What better gift is there than that?
If you want something to wrap and put under the tree, you can get a paperback copy of the book from Amazon (in Canada, Amazon.ca). If you’ve left your gift shopping to the last minute, you can order the eBook for an instant last-minute gift. Both the eBook and the paperback come with the family contract template and a family budget calculator.
Happy holidays to you and yours!
If you have an adult child living in your home (or are expecting one to stay with you over the holidays while visiting) the key thing you can do is sit down and talk about what the living situation will be, before your grown son or daughter comes in the door — or soon afterwards.
You need to make sure you all agree about what’s acceptable, and a written agreement can be an great way to make sure you cover all the issues and everyone is on the same page.
After all, the relationship between parents and their children is always a parent-kid relationship, with all that that entails, no matter how old the child is or how long they’ve been on their own.
Here are some issues that should be part of the conversation, to ensure peace and goodwill in your home this Christmas:
– Household rules, including swearing, late nights, and noise: Especially if your kids are coming home from college and is used to 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 the holidays, this probably isn’t an issue. But if they’re home for a month or more, who’s going to pay for the extra groceries they consume and the electricity they use? Remember that food bills especially can pile up over the holidays.
– Which chores your grown kids will be responsible for: A Christmas 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.
For more tips on keeping the peace — at any time of year — check our my 115-page eBook, contract template, and household expense calculator, all for only
USD $27.97 now just $19.97 for the holidays for a limited time!
Daisy Goodwin, a writer for the UK paper the Daily Mail, recently wrote about her experience living with her adult daughter, Ottilie, who has recently moved home. And I have to say, Daisy is doing it all wrong. Her 22-year-old daughter is walking all over her and making her miserable in her own home. Here’s what she should be doing differently:
- “Even before Ottilie moved in, an email arrived laying down her rules: ‘I am not a dogwalker,’ she stressed, putting paid to my hopes of an extra pair of hands to help with my daily chores.”
I’m sorry, but Ottilie does not get to lay down these kinds of rules. She is an able-bodied adult living in her parents’ home completely rent-free. She absolutely should be a dogwalker – she just needs her mother to work up the nerve to tell her so. And she should be helping with the other chores, too.
- “And the day after: ‘I think I will need a bigger bed, the one I have at the moment is for a child.’”
I know it is hard on an adult child’s self-esteem to sleep in a single bed. This is exactly what I did when I moved back in with my parents when I was going through a divorce. It was a difficult symbol to deal with, as it so clearly meant I was not operating in grown-up territory. But it would have been outrageous for me to ask may parents to buy new furniture to accommodate me, and it is outrageous that Daisy did exactly that for her daughter. An adult is absolutely capable of sleeping in a single bed!
“Then there is the matter of the family car. Every time we go out as a four, there is a moment when, instead of us both automatically climbing into our allotted seats — me in the front and her in the back — we pause. ‘Do you mind?’ I ask. She never objects, but I can see it is only a matter of time before she is asking me whether I mind going in the back with the dog.”
She may ask, but I sincerely hope Daisy never says yes, unless Ottilie is offering to help share the driving on a long trip.
- “God, the mess. I am not a fanatically tidy person by any means, but my daughter is the sort of person who leaves a trail everywhere she goes. You can tell a child to tidy up their stuff but when that child is an adult it is rather different.”
It is absolutely no different when that adult is living in your home. If your adult child wants to keep her own room as a pigsty, bite your lip and just make sure she closes the door. But the rest of the house needs to be comfortable for everyone. This is why I make the distinction between house rules – which parents can and should enforce with their adult children – and life rules, which are a no-no. The short version is that rules for how adult children behave in the parents’ home are completely fair game. When they’re away from home, even if they live with you, they are adults and should be left to their own devices. With the following exception…
- “Adults should be allowed to come and go as they please but, when you are lying awake at 3am straining to hear a key turn in the lock, it’s hard to remember that.”
There is no reason an adult child can’t let you know when to expect them home. I’m not a fan of curfews, but I am a BIG fan of respecting the people you live with, and not causing them to worry about you.
“Unlike, say, a paying lodger — and no, we are not charging Ottilie rent — no room in the house is sacrosanct, and despite having a perfectly nice room of her own (with a new bigger bed, as requested), she likes nothing better than to spread out on my bed, leaving a spoor of paperbacks and soya-milk cappuccinos in her wake.”
I just cannot understand why Daisy allows this. One of the most important factors when adults live together is that everyone has their own space. Those boundaries need to be established and respected. I cannot imagine ever having behaved in this way, even as a petulant teenager. To do so as an adult is inexcusable, and Daisy needs to tell Ottilie that.
This post has gone on long enough, so I’ll end it there. But parents, please, remember that your home is your home. When your adult children move back in, you need to establish boundaries and outline your expectations so that everyone can live happily together.