It’s not unusual for an adult child to move back into your home for a short time. They may want to save money for a home of their own, need a place to stay for a few months before moving or getting married, want to go back to school, or just want to retrench and get ahead on debts. All of these are good reasons for the decision, and with a little planning on your part, it can work very well for everyone. Consider these issues:
- Negotiate an agreement with your child before the move. It should include a time-frame for the stay, how much money your child will put aside each month to reach their goals, any expenses they will cover, and any responsibilities they will assume. Responsibilities should include their own laundry and taking care of their own dishes and in general cleaning up after themselves. You really don’t want them to fall into any frustrating patterns that occurred when they lived at home before, so address those as part of the agreement. Also negotiate real consequences for not meeting the agreement.
- Choose the space that will be given to your child. It does not have to be the same bedroom they had when they were younger. While you don’t want to redecorate a space for this temporary stay, you may want to encourage your child to make the space feel like their own. An area rug can address flooring issues, and will be a nice addition to their new home.
- Remember that your child has been on his or her own and you no longer have the authority to parent the way you did when they were in high school. Focus instead on any issues that affect your comfort such as coming in quietly late at night or keeping you informed on whether they plan to be home for a meal.
- This is a unique opportunity to spend time with your adult child. With expectations met and understood, you may find yourself enjoying their stay very much.