It is common these days for adult teens to be still living at home with their parents. The world is a different place and many young adults are still in limbo deciding what they want to do for the rest of their lives.
As parents, we can offer them all the support in the world. But having your adult child living under your roof is asking for some stressful and heated moments.
As a mom you may already be stressing about how they are going to cope out in the big bad world without you picking up after them, doing their laundry, making them snacks and the list can be endless.
But let’s get one thing straight, with the statistics of young adults still living at home on the rise, we need to realize you no longer have a toddler or young child. This can be a great way of easing them into running their own home, paying their own bills.
In this article
Should I Set House Rules?
Now I know what you are thinking, rules and boundaries worked when they were little but how on earth are they going to work now?
Rules you set for a grown child need to be created together. They need to have some input to see that you are not just dictating what they can and cannot do. Instead, you are creating a living space where all needs and wants can be catered for.
Creating rules for everyone in the home will promote a structured yet calm atmosphere.
You thought you were rid of the egocentric tantrums … think again! You are now battling with hormones and the opportunities to become rebellious can be overwhelming. Putting rules and boundaries in place will help keep these rebellious outbursts at bay.
Rules can also start to help build the building blocks for them to stand on their own two feet. You wouldn’t have to worry too much if you know they have learned how to control their finances, how to keep a clean home, and every other responsibility that can come with running a house.
Some Rules That Will Help
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Encouraging your adult child to get a job even if it is a stop-gap until they figure out what they want to do is extremely important. The world of work sets them up for life.
Nothing in this world comes free so it is better that they realize this when under your roof. Skills you learn when you work are imperative to skills you will need when living a life as an adult.
Things like time management, finance control, and enjoying the fruits of your own hard-earned labor can be invaluable in early adulthood.
2. Start paying their way
We have been there and done it, we have all felt the strain of our first paycheck going on bills. The agonizing realization that even water comes at a price.
What better way than to prepare your grown child other than getting them actively involved with the bills allows them to understand exactly how much it takes to run a house.
Start with showing them all the outgoings you have for the house then together you can agree on how much is a sensible amount to put into the pot to cover the bills.
They may take over one complete bill, or give you an amount to put where you see fit. Essentially they need to start paying their way.
3. Helping with chores
Gone are the days of tripping over toys and stepping on Lego. Now you face the handbags left out, clothes on the floor, shoes in the middle of the hallway.
Just because your child is growing up doesn’t mean they will automatically pick up after themselves.
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This is a life skill that they need to learn from you! Running a house has its stresses financially but when all the bills are paid who doesn’t want to sit back and enjoy their surroundings?
If only you could relax but the sink is full of dirty dishes, there is a mountain of laundry, the surfaces need to be cleared of last night’s meal. The list can go on and on.
With another adult living in the house, this will only add to the list of chores to get done. Making a chores board or a notice board of what needs to be done and when will help everyone in the house do their bit.
You cannot live your life picking up after your child when they are 18/19. Getting them involved will not only help you but will maintain the serenity within the house.
Not saying they may not want to do any chores but making it a rule that they have to do a few chores a day will benefit them when they are out living on their own.
4. We will respect your freedom but respect ours as well!
So you are sitting waiting for your child to come home, the clock shows 1 am, 2 am, and in they stroll fairly happy, no issues. It is at that moment you feel the fire in your belly unleash.
You want to scream and shout but you are simply too tired. You have sat up all night concerned and worried. Where are they? Are they in trouble? This is where this rule is important.
You don’t want to stamp on their freedom after all they are adults, but at the same time, you cannot live your life worrying till the early hours every night.
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Setting up an agreement where your child has to be in contact with you if they are out late can eradicate your worries and concerns.
Setting a curfew time so you know that your home is locked up safe and sound could work as well. Between you both, you can come up with the best solution that will suit you all.
5. No Bad Habits Indoors
There are many bad habits that your adult child can pick up that you may not agree with. Smoking is the most common in teens. You may not like the idea of coming home to a house that smells of cigarettes.
The idea of your garden being full of cigarette ends may not be your choice of décor. If you find this is the case you need to make it clear to your child that you will not stand for their bad habits destroying your home and solitude.
If they wish to continue smoking or any other habit whilst under your roof then they must go outside and pick up their cigarette ends.
6. Bank of mom and dad
Now the bank of mom and dad never seems to close. No matter how old your children are you will always be there to help them financially.
It goes without saying that when your adult child lives under your roof, you may feel pressured to continue buying them treats and clothes for them. You need to make the rule for you as well as them that the bank of mom and dad is only to be used for essentials and in an emergency.
7. Overnight guests need to be discussed
Having friends and partners over to stay is something that you may feel strongly about but if it is something you could learn to live with then this rule needs to be put into action.
Make it clear to your child that having guests over must be discussed, as first and foremost it is your home and you don’t want to bump into their girl/boyfriend half-naked in the morning now would you?
There needs to be a clear boundary on how many guests stay and when it is appropriate for everyone.
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8. Plan of life
The thought of your child living with you until adulthood can be daunting but allowing them to have a goal for their life can help ease everyone’s anxiety.
If they are happy plodding on paying the bare minimum doing their chores as and when they are asked or told to, then this is not allowing them to be free. It is not encouraging them to stand on their own two feet.
Ensure they have a plan, where do they want to be in 5 years’ time? If they don’t have a plan to leave then you need to be strong and tell them that they have a few years to get their plans in order.
Help them understand, have a conversation about how important it is to live without the weight of their overbearing parents.
The Final Thought
You must do what is right for you and your child. Some of the rules above may or may not suit you and your needs. But it is so important that your child has a clear understanding they are not a child anymore.
Mommy and daddy are not going to pick up after them and also respect has to be earned both ways.
It is silly to think that every day will go by without a hitch and there won’t be some arguments over time but if there are ground rules in place it may help ease the tension and allow for harmonious living.