Just when all of your kids have moved out and you and your spouse are still in your ‘honeymoon’ period enjoying privacy that had been sacrificed for years, one of your adult children rebound back to home for some reason such as financial problem or an emotional struggle, where they need a refuge and their parents for love and guidance. Some of them have just cannot take rent, utility bills and car payments anymore and come back to their parents’ home to save them the efforts to deal with them and hoping to save money for school or find time to search for the job of their choice. These latter ones constitute the ‘Boomerang generation’ of today, which means adults who are moving back home to their parents. They are on the rise these days.
Parents who are hosting their kids that have moved out and back can use this time to minimize conflicts with their children and strengthen family bonds. To ensure a comfortable arrangement for you and your children while they stay with you, have a long open-ended communication before the move-in takes place. Include mutual expectations and establish house rules for things like overnight guests, use of drugs or alcohol, lifestyle and other things and be clear on this point, so there are no misunderstandings later on. If the circumstances are rough and you are not so sure about your child’s conduct, you may even want to draft a ‘contract’ for the conditions for the time you children are living under your roof, which is signed by both of you, which might state that breaking any of the stated rules, may result in eviction.
You can be calm and yet ask questions without hesitating such as how long will be the period of stay, will they pay rent, cost of food or household expenses (if it is an issue) and chores they agree to do. Similarly, be ready to answer your child’s questions that whether they can live as an ‘adult’ should and have the liberty while they act responsibly – hold a job, contribute financially or help with household chores and that you will respect their personal boundaries and preferences and not try to set curfews or pass comments on their choice of friends, dress, religion or style of living. Children who seem to get stuck at your home may be asked to specify a move-out deadline or set one for them, so they understand that they have to take their own responsibilities and cannot put their burdens on your shoulder forever.
Children with serious problems such as drug addictions or mental or emotional illness may need professional intervention and medical help. Otherwise, you may trust your adult children to make wise choices, even if they have done mistakes in the past. Avoid giving advice until it is asked for and especially never use sentences like “I told you so” or “You shouldn’t have…”. Keep communication lines open, pray together and set a regular time once a week for long discussions and/or clarifications. Respect the space and privacy of all the individuals in the household. Keep in mind that even though your children are ‘adults’ or ‘grown-ups’ now and had moved out of house, they are still your children and with a little understanding both of you can learn to live together again.