University of Florida

Adult Children Living At Home

A trend has emerged in recent years: Adult children are returning home to live with their parents. Adult children may move in with their parents because of economic difficulties, military deployment, or other issues, so you should be prepared in the event this happens in your home.
Consider these recommendations before your adult child moves back into your household.

  • Set boundaries before your child moves in. Ensure that everyone is on the same page about how long your child will stay with you—this could be based on a specific time period or an event such as graduating college or meeting a financial goal.
  • Determine if your adult child will need financial assistance and if you are in a position to provide it. If you are able to help your child financially, discuss limitations such as how much you will contribute, if the support will be a gift or a loan, and if your child will work while receiving financial assistance.
  • Estimate how much your household expenses (such as food and utility bills) will increase with new family members living with you. Have a conversation with your adult child about how these costs will be shared, ways to reduce costs, and meal expectations.
  • Discuss chore assignments and when household duties should be completed.
  •  If your grandchildren will also be moving in, consider these important questions: How will you and your adult child handle discipline? Who will care for your grandchildren when the parent isn’t able to? What are expectations for bedtime and noise? Will grandchildren have their own bedrooms and devices? Are there designated play and study areas?
  • Think about how you will accommodate your child’s, and possibly grandchildren’s, things in your home. You might need to store their things in an extra bedroom, basement, or storage unit.
  • Decide rules for visitors—How will you handle visits and overnight visitors?
  • Talk about transportation and parking arrangements. This discussion should include whether you and your child will share a car, how you will share the car, and who will pay for gas, maintenance, and insurance.

Living with an adult child may be new to you and involve some trial and error. Putting the living and financial arrangements in writing may help to set the foundation and encourage communication between you and your family members.

Adapted and excerpted from:

L. Spence and L. Forthun, When the Kids Move Back Home (FCS2331), UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences (07/2013).

Adult Children Living At Home

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