What are the problems and advantages of having adult children living in the family home?
If an adult child returns to live with his or her parents in the family home, or if the child never leaves home after growing up, what are some problems and advantages from both the adult child's point of view and the parents'?
This seems to be happening these days for such reasons as loss of employment, divorce, disability or can't find employment. Granted both parties have agreed to the living arrangements, then some guidelines have to be established that everyone can live by comfortably. For instance, who is going to to the cooking or is everyone on his/her own. What about guests inside the home? How will the household expenses such as electricity, water, etc. be divided between the members? It can work but it all must be discussed prior to living arrangements being settled.
They can do chores and pay rent. They are not becoming independent enough.
My son lived with me for several months after he got out of the military and I was thrilled to have him home.
The advantages are that he still likes to help me cook. He did help clean and he didn't mind helping around the house.
The disadvantages are that he tends to hog the remote control. I think that is an issue with the 'Y chromosome'.
The children likely will not be able to be independent. The children will not have privacy themselves or easily provide privacy for those they live with. Everyone will know all that's going on and perhaps boundaries begin getting overstepped even when they are clearly laid out.
Benefits might include being able to run errands or help out around the house. Perhaps providing medical and other care for aging parents would be a great help. Parents may enjoy having their children with them all the time.
As an adult child who did this SUCCESSFULLY, I can tell you what worked. First...
1. I had responsibilities (including financial responsibilities) in the house. I was responsible for all the dishes, all the shopping (including the cost thereof), and keeping my space & bathroom cleaned, as well as occasionally doing more major cleaning issues. I was also responsible for the cable bill (even though I never watch TV -- this was just my household contribution and since it was the same every month, I could budget for it). This allowed my parents to actually appreciate my presence.
2. It was time limited. My husband was deployed abroad, and I felt that I could not take care of our 3 children without any support in our east coast home so I move back to my parents' home in California for the 9-months that he was deployed (it was NOT unlimited). It allowed us all to appreciate the time we had together since we knew we would soon lose it.
3. We spent time together (it was NOT a hotel). We ate dinner together every night. My parents delighted in watching my 3 children (and I appreciated the break they gave me), and I delighted in going shopping with my mom (which my dad hates to do) or reading the daily news with my dad (which my mom hates to do). When I hear of situations where it does not work, it is mostly because the child goes out every night, and just uses their parents' home as a way to avoid paying rent and having responsibilities.
I believe that if you follow these three situations, there are MOSTLY benefits.
1. Time together
2. Help for each other (shared responsibilities)
3. A greater appreciation for each other
Indeed, the only problems are more minor: 1. lack of privacy (but temporary), 2. lack of "getting on" with your life (but again temporary), 3. difficulty when it ends (I faced this -- when my husband returned, it was very difficult for me who had become accustomed to my parents' help).
However, I DO believe that if you do not have these 3 requisites, you can have many SERIOUS problems:
2. Unbalanced registration
4. No appreciation
I should also add one other anecdote for a child who never leaves (i.e., after high school graduation). In that case, collect a set amount every month and save it for your child's move-out costs (i.e. don't actually keep the money). Otherwise it may be impossible for your child to save that money to move out because rent, deposit, etc are expensive. This is different.
For the home owners, potentially receiving rent from adult children
Efficiency of scale, since the same house uses the same energy to heat and cool no matter how many are there
Sometimes caregiving for the parents who are old, or low cost/no cost childcare of grandchildren
Parents conflicting with the "you're my child" view of adult children and treating them as visiting guests
Adult children who take advantage of adult parents, getting free rent and food and utilities with minimal contribution to the household
I have found you tend to Mother too much. Step parents aren't as excited about the living situation at least here and this causes a great divide. SIGH……..
The advantages include a family network of people who will support & be there for each other. Also, there is a continuation & evolvement in the parent-child relationship. Parents & adult child/children have come to an understand, even being comfortable in their new roles & relationships. Parents & adult child/children tend to see themselves less as parent-child & more like friends & peers with whom each can have an adult conversation/relationship with.
The disadvantages include that some parents still view their adult children as children, never allowing them to grow up. Such parents demand that their adult children adhere to their particular lifestyle & philosophy. There are some parents who infantilize their adult children as to prevent them from assuming any type of adult responsibility, even financially supporting them.
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