If you are used to living as an empty nester, but your adult children want to move back in, know that you’re not alone in this situation. Nowadays, it’s becoming more and more common for adult children to return home after graduation. Whatever the reason, you’ll definitely need some time to process this change. Even though you miss your kids and want to remain close to them, this can be a real burden to the lifestyle you’re used to. You also have to remember that this is not ideal for your kids – it can feel like a huge setback.
To help you go through this process as smoothly as possible, we’ve prepared useful tips in this article. The advice you’re about to read might even help you find ways to enable your children to get independent and eventually move out. Once that happens, you’ll be able to sit back, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy reading articles at revealhomestyle.com in peace.
What are the biggest concerns when adult children want to move back in?
When faced with the fact that their kids want to move back home, most parents initially feel excited and happy to be getting an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with their children. However, not long after, they start having different concerns.
On the other hand, your kids have their set of concerns, too. After all, moving back in with their parents is probably not their idea of ideal either. Here are the most common concerns both parents and their adult children have in similar situations.
What concerns do parents have?
Although every family is different, most parents experience similar concerns in these cases. Here are the most common ones:
- In many cases, an adult child moving back in equals increased expenses. For instance, if your kids have college debt, they’ll need time to reduce it. If you downsized after your kids left, you might need to start planning a remodel or move.
- Many people worry that the overall family dynamics will change. This is especially true if your younger kids are still living at home. They might not have positive opinions and views about this new family situation.
- Since you want your kids to be happy and successful, you can’t avoid worrying about their future. The longer the situation lasts, the more you’ll feel worried.
- Many adult children feel entitled to the same lifestyle they had when they previously lived at home. They might expect you to treat them like they’re still in school and believe their excuses to justify a half-hearted job search effort.
What concerns do adult children have?
In a study done in 2015 by the Pew Research Center, 1 in 4 young adults ages 18 to 34 were living with their parents. This is becoming even more common nowadays, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and its after-effects.
If, for whatever reason, your adult child needs to move back to your place, try to understand and help them. Here are the most common concerns your adult child might have:
- Unfortunately, many talented and gifted young adults cannot find appropriate employment. Your child might be worried they’ll never have a promising career.
- This situation can cause a lot of psychological distress for your adult child and potentially cause mental health issues. Imagine having to move out in a hurry and go back to what seems like a thousand steps back.
- Your child will inevitably worry about their finances. This is especially true if they have debt. College-related debt is the main reason why many adult children go back to their family homes.
- A lack of privacy is another concern many young people have. They might feel like teenagers again, having to explain how they spent their money or who they’re hanging out with.
What to consider when adult children want to move back in
Now that you understand what both you and your adult kids might be feeling, it’s time to find solutions that will help everyone in your family adapt to the new circumstances. Further in this article, you’ll learn how to handle all unexpected financial, emotional, and practical challenges of your “new normal”.
Before your adult child moves back in
Before your child moves back in with you, you must consider a few things thoroughly. As your lifestyle will massively change, you’ll need to prepare and plan accordingly.
For instance, if you’ve downsized and lack space in your current property, moving to a bigger home might be the most logical next step. Even though this might be the right choice, it can also be a huge mistake if you don’t think about it thoroughly. Analyze your finances and other factors to see if this is a viable option for you.
Reach a compromise
Another thing to do before your adult child moves in is to have an open discussion where everyone will get an opportunity to communicate their expectations. Based on them, you’ll be able to come to agreements that will make your family life easier.
It’s essential to set specific rules and be strict when reinforcing them. Otherwise, your child might end up feeling entitled and expect you to behave a certain way. Even though it might not be their intention, they’ll end up taking advantage of the situation on a whole other level.
Also, you should set limits on your child’s stay. For instance, you can agree that they’ll move out as soon as they get their first paycheck. Of course, you should always remain flexible but clear about the plan. This will help keep your child motivated.
Don’t forget your own needs
When you’re a parent, it’s easy to forget your own needs and focus on your children, no matter how old they are. But this is a huge mistake. You need to be clear about what you are willing to put up with. It might sound harsh, but no one will put your needs first if you don’t.
Make sure your adult child understands your boundaries. Otherwise, you are leaving room for resentment, which can take a toll on your relationship.
Give them freedom and privacy
Keep in mind that after your adult child moves back in, they’re going to be used to a certain level of privacy and freedom – more than they did as teenagers. Therefore, you shouldn’t force having regular family meals or give them a curfew. They are adults now, and there is only so much you can control.
The bottom line
We won’t lie – living with an adult child comes with different challenges. But if your adult children want to move back in, it’s your job to support them and help them find their way towards independence. Hopefully, our tips will help you have a smooth and easy transition to your “new normal”.
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