Last year my 23-year-old daughter moved back home for about eight months. The year before my 26-year-old son moved back home for about six months. My 20-year-old daughter still lives at home. Living with adult children, especially after they move out and come back can be a huge help but it can also be very stressful.
My older two struggle with emotional and mental health issues stemming from early childhood trauma. The trauma occurred before we adopted them at eight and eleven years old. When they moved back home, their baggage came with them – and I don’t mean their suitcases. In the end, they both moved back out and it was for the best.
I’ve put together some tips that will help anyone in the same situation, even if your child is emotionally and mentally healthy.
1. Set boundaries and guidelines before they move back in.
2. Respect their privacy.
3. Don’t baby them. They may be your ‘babies’ but they’re adults and should be treated as such.
4. Don’t feel pressure to give them back their bedroom, especially if you’ve converted it into something else.
5. Don’t clean up after them.
6. Give them a key but be clear that your home is not a hotel.
7. Help them get back on their feet, but only if they’re helping themselves first. You’re doing them a disservice if you enable them to be lazy and unproductive.
If your adult child is responsible and level-headed, your help may be just what they need to gain their independence back. My 20-year-old is still at home but even after she leaves (which won’t be for another 50 years if I have my way, lol) she is always welcome to come back home because she is a joy to be around and takes her responsibilities seriously. My other two, not so much and although I have helped them both in the past, the gravy train has come to an end for them.
If your adult children moved back home, I’d love to hear your perspective in a comment below.
Star Traci says
After 9/11, my husband joined the military and we moved back home to Texas. We moved in with my parents for almost two years. In fact, my son was born while we lived with them. I totally agree with your guidelines. It is an adjustment learning to relate as adults.
Good job, Mom!