Getting Your Adult Child to Grow Up: Paying Rent
- Give them advanced notice
- Set a reasonable price
- Follow through
The Young Shall Grow
You raised them. You taught them how to tie their shoes. You shed a tear on their first day of school. You nursed their wounds, washed their clothes, helped them with their homework, saw them off to college, and now you just want them to GROW UP!
If you have an adult child, most of you probably want to know, how to get your child to become responsible and move out on their own. The rest of you probably just want your baby to stick around as long as they can, even if that means letting them live in the basement of your home for the next 40 years.
Here are some tips about what to do with an adult child who just won't grow up. Tips about getting him/her to pay rent while living in your home.
Getting Your Child to Pay Rent
It's a difficult thing to ask your child to start paying rent. After all, (s)he has lived under your roof for most of his/her life without paying a dime. It almost seems unnatural to start asking them to pay you for a service you have granted them for free all these years. But it is a part of growing up and having to accept responsibility. One of the things an adult does is pay rent. So if you want your child to grow up into a healthy adult, when (s)he graduates from college, a good thing to do would be to let them start experiencing what an adult experiences. The first thing you do is:
Getting Your Child to Pay Rent
- Give them advanced warning- My uncle says that you should give a child six months advanced warning before you start charging them rent. This should give the child enough time to get a job (if (s)he doesn't already have one), save up some money, and/or decide to move out if (s)he so chooses.
How Much Is Reasonable to Charge A Child Living At Home
2. Set a reasonable price- You don't want to set the rent too high or too low so that your child either won't be able to afford to live there or will have an unrealistic expectation about how much the cost of living is. A good step (if you want to be generous, would be to base your rent on how much your child makes. Sit him/her down and work out a budget. Perhaps (s)he could chip in on the food expenses too and in exchange you can reduce their rent. For example: Rent would have been $500 a month, but since you will be buying food for the house, I'll only charge you $350. You may want to decide whether or not you will be charging him/her for utilities (i.e. gas, water, electricity, etc.). Like I said, this can all be based on how much you know your child is actually making. If you don't want to base the rent on how much the child is making, but the child is still not making enough to meet your rent expectations for him or her, in order to not let your child be living out on the street, you may want to supplement the money he would have made for rent by allowing him to work off his/her tab. For example: Giving him/her extra chores to do in place of the money (s)he would owe. The child owes $500 this month in rent, but can only afford $400. So, to make it up (s)he cleans the garage, bathroom and kitchen every week or whatever you think is a fair trade off.
3. Follow through- A lot of times, because we are parents, we want to go easy on our child. We let him/her get away with things, even though we know we shouldn't. This should not be the case with paying rent. You must instill in your child the value of money. Let him/her know that you pay rent every month, and you have been paying for the roof over their heads and the food in their plate all this time and it is their turn to learn to do the same. (S)he needs to know that if (s)he doesn't learn it here, (s)he's just going to end up learning it out there on the streets. And you as a parent need to understand this lesson as well. So, stick to your word. Each month collect the rent from your child no matter what! If the child is unable to pay the rent off one month, because he missed some days at work and couldn't earn enough money, give him an extension, but don't let him/her get away with paying whenever (s)he wants and however much (s)he wants, because (s)he or she will just end up taking advantage of you (even if (s)he doesn't intend to).
Well, I hope that helped you to come up with a comprehensive strategy for charging your child rent. Trust me, it's easier than it sounds. Your child may be upset about it at first, but it usually is easier with a parent that it would be in the real world. Good luck!