Tips for when kids move back home.
Our two cents
There may come a time when your otherwise-independent son or daughter needs to come back home. Maybe an apartment lease falls through, a health issue arises or a job ends abruptly.
While getting used to an empty nest can be a hard adjustment, having your kids move back in can be equally challenging—for everyone involved. Consider this a learning experience for the whole family, and set guidelines to keep things moving in a positive direction.
Guidelines for everyone to follow
- Establish house rules. Your son or daughter is no longer a child, but if they're living in your house, they should abide by your house rules. Sit down and discuss policies regarding curfews, meals and parties. In addition, establish expectations for family chores like cooking, cleaning, shopping or doing laundry.
- Consider monetary contributions. While your young adult lives with you, will she pay rent or contribute to household finances in another way, such as paying for certain utilities? If you're not comfortable accepting money, consider helping her get back on her feet (and instill a disciplined approach to saving) by requiring her to put money each month into an emergency fund—or even a “move out” fund—to be used toward a rental deposit or other moving expense when it's time to leave.
- Set a realistic move-out date. Six to 12 months is often plenty of time for young adults to regain their footing.
- Think twice before helping with major expenses. Paying off debt will not help foster a sense of financial responsibility. If you choose to help support your young adult, don't jeopardize your own financial future. Decide how much is appropriate—and stop there.