Q. We realize times are tough for our kids. They need to live at home with us.
A. Since 2000, families have seen their adult children either stay longer before leaving the nest, or returning home to live with their parents. Many were just for a short stay, while they get their lives back in order after going through difficult situations. The most often cited reasons include divorce or breaking up with boyfriend/girlfriend, loss of job, running up credit card bills and high cost of living, and trying to make a new start after a period of some form of addiction. Since around 2010 issues have also centered around loss of homes, having to take a lower paying job, trying to repay student loans, and going from two-earner incomes down to one, or none.
For adults in their 20s, 30s and even 40s, who are used to being on their own and making decision, returning home to live with parents can be a tricky, uncomfortable and often stressful time – for everyone – but usually more difficult for the older adults. This is where a family meeting can play a pivotal role in the welfare of the children
Questions to ask yourself:
- What will help me treat my children like the adult they are?
- Are there any “rules” that are non-negotiable. What are they, and why?
- How can we communicate better so we don’t get into squabbles?
- What about financial responsibilities – rent?
- Are there some ways my son and/or daughter can help around the house?
Helpful Tips: Put a process in place to deal with communication and conflict issues right from the beginning. As issues and concerns come up find ways to discuss them before things get dicey. Listen to your children, not as kids, but as adults. Be clear about expectations, each of you, and write them down. A family meeting could help.
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