When the Kids Come Back Home: Boomers and Adult Children

When the Kids Come Back Home: Boomers and Adult Children

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Once the kids are grown and gone, they're supposed to stay gone. Their parents are supposed to have their time, money and home to themselves to do so as they please. While this is often the case, there are times when the script doesn't always go as planned. Whether it's a divorce, job loss or health issue the fact is sometimes kids who are now adults come back home to live. For some it's only a temporary stay, while others make it an extended and indefinite stay with Mom and Dad. When the kids come back home, there are issues that must be addressed to keep everyone happy in a home sweet home.


One of the first things to be established is how long the stay will last. Many adult children don't want the visit to last any longer than necessary, and work from day one to get back out on their own. Others, however, decide they like living with their parents again and look at it as an extended vacation. This is usually where the trouble begins, because more often than not folks who are on vacation do little if any work while there. When this is the case at home, it can lead to much conflict between parents and kids.


Speaking of work, deciding who will be responsible for the chores around the house is also important. This should be decided upon as early as possible, therefore avoiding any needless arguments about who was supposed to take out the trash or mow the yard. Adult children who are willing to take on responsibility while back home are often the ones who move back out the quickest, giving their parents hope that life will soon return to normal.


There is much debate about whether adult kids who come back home should pay rent during their stay. While some do, others do not. This is a very personal decision, and should be discussed before the child moves back home. Some parents naturally expect to be compensated for the room and board they provide, while others simply see the arrangement as an extension of their parental duties. For those adult kids who have lost their job or are going through a divorce, paying rent can be a tough thing to do at that moment. If that's the case, other arrangements can be worked out such as doing more around the house or paying only what they can afford. Whatever decision is made, this issue can create much tension in a household if not taken care of promptly.


Establishing ground rules is also important when adult kids and parents are living together. Problems sometimes happen when kids want to live one way, while their parents want them to do something else. As adults, the kids feel they should be free to come and go as they please. Parents, however, still see them as their kids and sometimes try to impose curfews on their adult kids, which almost never works. Working out a reasonable time to come and go, how late to stay up for television and so forth can often keep a home in harmony.


By working together to get through a tough situation, parents and adult children can make their stay together one that can turn out to be surprisingly successful.


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Editor, 10/03/2013