Advice For Parents Whose Grown Children Are Moving Back Home
Advice for Parents With A Boomerang Kid (of Any Age)
Dear April Masini,
My son just finished his senior year in college and is coming home for the summer, until he finds a job where he can make enough money to live on his own. While I love my son and am excited to have him around, I'm a little nervous about what we should expect of him and how he'll act. He's not a child anymore, so I don't know if I should be able to make rules for him and give him chores to do. Of course, he is still living under our roof so we should have some say in what goes on. Right? What do you think?
Sincerely, He's Coming Home -- Again!"
April Masini's Advice :
Dear He's Coming Home -- Again,
It's normal for parents to have mixed feelings about their grown children coming home, even if it's only for a short while. I can help you know what to expect so that your extended time with your child can go as smoothly as possible.
Advice for parents with a boomerang kid - even if it's just for the summer:
- Keep the lines of communication open -- not just between parents and children, but between husband and wife and between you and yourself!
Know what your limits are, as well as what your spouse's limits are in terms of taking a child back into the nest -- even if it's just for the summer. If you'd like the child to be independent in certain ways, communicate this to them in a way that makes your needs clear. If you don't want to feel like the child is freeloading, make clear a list of responsibilities for the adult child to complete each week. These can include maintaining the cars, doing the food shopping, picking up dry cleaning, taking Grandma to her doctor appointments, etc.
- Social limits.
Don't be afraid to put limits on your adult child's social life under your roof. If you don't believe in overnight guests of the opposite sex, say so, and make that a condition for the living situation. If you don't want alcohol consumed in your home, make that a condition. It's your house. As long as you are clear with your adult child, you do not have to feel guilty. If you don't want your adult child walking around nude or in their underwear, again, just spell it out and make it a condition of the living arrangement – just like a landlord would in a lease, only this is a more intimate set of terms.
- When you do communicate terms, choose times and places to have meetings.
Do not spell out your boundaries or conditions of the living situation in the middle or the end of a fight. These conditions should be imposed in calm times.