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How to avoid the top 5 mistakes parents make with adult children living at home

Whether they’ve never left the nest or, like so many in the boomerang generation, are returning home after time away, chances are you’re struggling to find ways to make your relationship with your adult children living at home work. . The good news is that adult children can successfully live at home, but only if you avoid some critical mistakes early on (or correct them right away!).

1. Foster rebellion by picking up parenting right where you left off

Sometimes it can be hard to remember, but adult children living at home are still adults. A sure way to prepare for conflict is to overprotect them.

Over-parenting and over-supervising adults will rebel just as quickly as teens, so you need to develop some strategies to establish a new adult-to-adult relationship, fast!

2. Stealing your child’s independence by giving him a “free ride” independence

It can be very tempting to try to help your boomerang children by covering all of their living expenses, especially if they have returned home after a personal crisis such as the loss of a job or the end of a relationship.

But why should they learn to take care of themselves when you’re too eager to do it for them? Even a short-term stay should require your “boomerang” children to contribute to household expenses and chores. The best way to clearly establish these expectations is to create a family budget, so that everyone agrees in terms of the additional costs that your adult child is causing in the home.

3. Assuming that since everyone is an adult, there is no need for rules

If you think you don’t need ground rules for your adult children living at home, consider how you would feel if they smoked, drank or used drugs in your home, or even brought a lover to stay the night.

Oddly enough, experts agree that the best way to discuss — and abide by — these house rules is to write a personalized contract between you and your boomerang kids.

4. Compromising your own financial situation to support your adult child

With adult children living at home, you will use more heat, hot water, and electricity. You will have to buy more groceries. In fact, all of your household expenses will increase. But no matter what you do, don’t risk your own financial future to support your adult child. It doesn’t do you or your children any good by creating additional debt or obligations for you.

If you don’t know where the money will come from to make it work, you need to think hard about whether you can help your adult child by having them live in your home.

5. Assuming they will leave when the time is right

The best way to ensure your boomerangs leave within a reasonable time is to set a clear timeline for their stay and milestones to help them achieve independence.

Most adult children who live at home do not plan to stay forever. But if they don’t have a clear idea of ​​when they need to leave, or how they will work to get there, they can get stuck.

By setting a timeline with clear milestones, you can empower your adult child to leave the nest. If you don’t create a timeline, you may end up calling your house “home” for much longer than you, or even they, had planned.

final thoughts

Having adult children living at home can be extremely challenging for everyone involved. But there are some simple ways to make things easier for everyone, and avoiding these 5 dangerous mistakes is a key step.

Remember that a successful relationship with your adult child really comes down to setting good ground rules and managing expectations. One of the best ways to do this is to create a contract that everyone in the household follows.

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