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How to Deal With an Adult Child Living at Home

author image Kay Ireland
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.
How to Deal With an Adult Child Living at Home
Two young men playing video games at home. Photo Credit: ColorBlind Images/Blend Images/Getty Images

Adult children who move back home to live with their parents, also known as "the boomerang generation," are more common than you may think.'s 2009 Annual Entry-Level Job Outlook found that 40 percent of recent college graduates still live with their parents. With so many adults living under the same roof, a serious discussion concerning rules, responsibilities and boundaries should be initiated to ensure that your adult children aren't taking advantage of you in the living situation.

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Step 1

Set immediate rules and boundaries concerning visitors, noise level and schedule. If you don't feel comfortable with your adult child bringing a date to stay the night, say so. Remember that it is your house, and it is up to you to set the rules. Make sure you go over the rules immediately to reduce the amount of stress that can stem from misunderstandings and silent annoyances.

Step 2

Ask your adult child to pay rent, urges New York Life Insurance. If he has a job, he should be helping to pay for some of the living expenses he incurs while living with you, including electricity, water and household items like soap, shampoo and laundry items. Talk to him about a reasonable number that will help you keep the house running, and still allow him to save for his own place.

Step 3

Set goals with your child to help her make plans to eventually get her own place. This could involve opening a savings account, or applying for better jobs. Make it clear that living at home should be a short-term arrangement, and constantly urge and encourage her to find a way to get out on her own, says. Work out a timeline so that your child living at home doesn't become permanent.

Step 4

Give your child household responsibilities so that the burden isn't only yours, the University of Florida recommends. Any adult child should be able to do his own laundry and keep his room clean, but he can also pitch in to keep common rooms clean, help with the yard work and any other upkeep he would need to do if he had his own living space.

Step 5

Follow through with your plans and agreements. If you and your child agreed that she would pay $250 in rent per month, or that she would look for a job, and those requirements aren't met, ask her to leave the home. Don't allow your adult children to take advantage of you by using your home as a means to a lazy lifestyle or frivolous spending. Be gentle but firm, advise when you can and understand that sometimes tough love is the most effective parenting strategy.

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