Grown-up children living at home is not an uncommon phenomenon and there are many cases where a child still lives at home, even when he or she is 21. This is especially the case when the children study or work in the same city as their parents and still don’t have a family. However, they may not move out even after they marry due to financial constraints or just because they think they have all the rights over things or property that belongs to their parents. They expect full financial support from their parents and some of them won’t even help in the household work, leaving all to their aging parents, while they work, study or just have fun with their friends.
Parents feel frustrated as they feel invaded of their privacy and as if their children are robbing them of their money and their life. Children may also feel that their parents have become over-dependent on them and they ‘use’ them as maid or servant, leaving them no time to move ahead and become stable on their own. They may also feel that their parents are over-protective and cannot think of them as adults and interfere in their lives too much. To ensure good and healthy relationships between parents and adult children living at home, it should be made sure that arrangement is mutually agreeable to both parents and their children. Children need to understand that it is their parent’s home and it is their right to keep the home as they want and their access in the house is not a right but a privilege.
The relationship between them needs to be redefined and both the parties need to understand that children are ‘adults’ now and should have the same rights and responsibilities that adults have to bear. Even if they are living with parents, adult children should live more as ‘adult boarder’ and treat their parents and their property with the same respect. They need to bear their own expenses, share with their household expenses and chores, do their own laundry and clean their own rooms. Too much dependence on parents can lead to emotional immaturity in children and frustrations for all.
This also means that while parents can state the codes of living while children are under their roof such as for smoking, taking drugs or sex and ask their children to do anything they do not approve of, elsewhere, they cannot stop them from being in charge of their decisions such as what to wear, whom to befriend and set curfews. The adult children may do anything they want, which is offensive to their parents, where they do not unnecessarily need to witness their children’s actions. As a common courtesy, the adult children should let their parents know about their whereabouts, as they would to any benevolent landlord or landlady, so that they need not worry about you. Striking up a balance in relationships may actually result in a pleasant and mutually beneficial stay of your child at home.