Kids moving back home

This was on the news a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. What to do when you 20 something moves back home. I personally don’t think this is anything new. I know more kids who moved back home after college than not. At least for a while until they could get on their feet.

I moved back home once after my first marriage for two months. I knew I couldn’t live again in my dad’s home. We love one another but I’d already been on my own, I was a mother and an “adult.” But I needed it and he was there just as I’d be here for my boys if they needed it. Jason has moved back home a few times and they both know they always have a home with us if the need would ever arise.

BUT……do you get reduced to a child once you are back living in your parents home? Should you have to follow their rules? You’re an adult after all and should be able to do what you want. RIGHT??? WRONG???

I had one of the worst cases of empty next syndrome than anyone I know but once you get used to the kids being gone, it really does cramp your style when they come back. Really, it does.

I also don’t feel it’s a matter of “rules” per say but a matter of consideration. You have to give and take in relationships and if someone is sleeping you should try to be quiet and “if you get it out, put it away” and all the things you were supposed to learn in Kindergarten, apply them to living back at home. But I don’t feel it’s a matter of doing what your parents say, it’s more of a matter of being kind to them.

What about you? Did you live back at home once you’d already left? Did you have to abide by childhood rules? Would you let your own children move back home? Would you make them follow your house rules?

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15 Responses to Kids moving back home

  1. SKL says:

    The last time I lived in my parents’ house was in the summer when I was 22. It was my first summer vacation of grad school and I found a wimpy minimum-wage job in their village. Technically, I hadn’t exactly moved out yet, but I was ready to. And yes, it was the same as before I moved to the dorm.

    I feel that my parents’ house is their house. I am old enough to be a granny myself, but I respect the way they want their house run. I try not to disturb them or cause them to have to make any adjustments on my behalf. If I lived there, I think I would be even more careful, to the extent possible. I would not want to wear out my welcome.

    I have had siblings who have moved back in one or more times. I also have some siblings who never really moved out until they were well into their 20s. They were treated pretty similar to when they were older teenagers. My parents aren’t big on telling their adult kids what to do, but that doesn’t mean they won’t say what they think of it. If it was really offensive, I think they would tell the person to stop or move out. One would hope a son/daughter would have enough respect that it wouldn’t get to that point.

  2. Laura says:

    I think it all boils down to how the relationship is forged.

    Some parents, as their children grow, release more and more control, replacing the “parent-child” relationship with a more adult one. In that situation, if the child then returns to the parent’s home, I think there’s a more respectful relationship – the child may pitch in with the cooking and cleaning, may contribute to the bill paying as well as he or she can, etc.

    However, if the parents have never really recognized that their child is, indeed, an adult, those parents still believe that they have control, or “parental prerogative” or whatever. Those parents feel it necessary to point out when they believe their adult child is incorrect – and not on major things (like drug abuse, where the activity is truly harmful), but on very personal things, like church attendance or housekeeping. And then those parents are offended when the child doesn’t take the unsolicited advice. In this relationship, an adult child moving back in will be treated like a child, and will, in turn, act like a child. There will be little or no pitching in with chores or bills, and the parents will attempt to enforce things like a curfew.

    I know, very psychological. But I’ve seen it happen, and I really think it all depends upon how well the parents have adapted to being the parents of an adult. That’s the time to be your child’s friend – to relate on an adult level. It’s the families who hold on to that “I’m the Parent” hierarchy that have the problem.

    • SKL says:

      I guess I have a different picture in my mind when I say “like when we were older teens” because we had to pitch in with chores, childcare (large age difference), and room & board from a relatively early age. I was an adult before I was 18 if you look at it substantively – I was a sophomore in college on my 18th birthday, had earned my own spending money since age 10, pretty much raised my kid sister since age 13, and paid room & board from age 16. And the idea of not pitching in on the housework is simply alien to me.

      My parents didn’t really tell me what to do (other than chores) when I was a teen or young adult, although if I wanted to borrow the car to do something, that required their OK.

      On the other hand, some of my siblings got away with doing a lot less and basically scrounging off my parents. I never could understand how one’s self-respect could allow for that. But the reason I replied is that oddly enough, the same parents raised both types of kids. So I’m not sure this is a “type of parent” kind of thing. At least not completely.

      • Laura says:

        You came from a larger family than mine – I’m comparing mine to my husband’s…

        When we discuss situations similar to this, we always say that my parents raised adults, and his parents raised ‘their kids’. And that’s how they treat us now.

        As adults, my parents are our equals – they are two of my best and most trusted friends, as well as being my parents. When I go home to visit, I’m treated as family. I automatically pitch in, helping to make dinner, clear dishes, clean up, etc.

        On the other hand, his parents, to this day, treat us like children. They try to manipulate situations the way that parents of young children manipulate situations to achieve the desired result, rather than accepting that we have made our decision, and that’s the way it is. They even try extending that attitude down to the raising of their grandchildren, often stepping in (much to their regret) when one of us is disciplining our children.

        I could easily move back in with my parents – on a short-term basis – if the need dictated, either because of my own bad luck, or because they needed my help. I could never, ever live in my in-laws house for longer than a weekend.

  3. Lucy says:

    I haven’t moved back home since leaving for college..but when I do go home to visit I can pretty much do whatever I want. However, I don;t think twice to tell my parents where I’m going or when I think I’ll be home… whether I’m planning on being home to eat, etc. They don’t restrict me with any rules…

    I have a friend who moved back home after college and lived there for about 3 years… her parents re-instated curfew… she had to be home by 1pm!!!!!! Seemed ridiculous to me.

  4. Gary says:

    I moved back home for a short time after my divorce. They didn’t force any rules upon me as I was a grown man. I came and went when I wanted and came home when I wanted when and if I came home.

    I was considerate enough to let them know to never ever hold dinner for me or even make dinner for me. I purchased my own food and would cook it myself so there was never any worry about waste or anything. I also never brought friends back to the house or anything. Most of the time I was gone working or with friends so it was almost like I didn’t even live there. LOL

  5. Nikki says:

    Well I have no experience with this other than staying with you and Paul when we got back from CA. It wasn’t that long and we wen’t in the house so I don’t think it really counts.
    As for my son, he is always welcome here. It’s been brought up in casual converstations and Bailey knows he can live with us until he’s out of school and wants to move out. If not in school then he has to work and pay his way. Either way he’s under our roof and all we really expect is respect. I think they should help around the house, if they are working then they should help out with food. As for curfew, I don’t think that’s necessary. I would want to know if they were not coming home. It’s all about respect.

  6. megan says:

    Technically speaking, I’m “living at home” right now. I’m living with my grandparents, not my parents. I did live with them before, while I was in grad school, so we have a bit of an idea of how things are supposed to work.

    My grandma worries – a LOT. So, I try my best to tell her to within a half hour when I’ll be home, or if I’ll be home at all. They respect the fact that I’m almost 30 and grown up (for the most part), and I try to respect the fact that I am living under their roof.

    I wouldn’t have a problem living with my parents, except for two major things: 1) they live an hour and a half away from my job, and 2) my brother is still living at home – as an adult – and I think my moving in on top of that would send my mother over the edge. Plus, my brother and I still butt heads as if we were still kids. He brings out the child in me – the bratty, whiny, snarky child that I hope to high heaven that my children will never emulate.

  7. Joy says:

    I tend to worry, A LOT, like Megan’s grandmother and I like to think I’d treat my boys as adults but I do like to know what’s going on such as if they would be here for a meal or home for the night. I just feel that would be fair to know. I’d lay awake all night listening for the door otherwise.

  8. Sue says:

    I moved home after college and they treated me like an adult. I helped out around the house and if mom wanted/needed something done then I would do it b/c she’s still my mom! They never charged me rent (although I wasn’t there too long) but I know they charged my sister rent. Phew, glad I missed that! My kids will always be welcomed home b/c that’s just how it works and when I’m old and decreped (?) I hope they will return the favor!

  9. joz1234 says:

    I’m probably one of the few, but it would be easier for me to live with my inlaws than my parents. Mom lives alone now and has certain ideas of how her world should be…and I would drive her crazy because I don’t keep things immaculate all the time, and because I have different views from her. I love her, and we agree that a couple of days is a perfect length of time for us to be together. After that, we both start getting irritable. 🙂

  10. javajunkee says:

    I didn’t move out of my parents house until I was 24. My husband and I even lived there for close to a year after we were married.

    I have an 18 and 22 year old still here and if they never left it would be ok with me. I want them to have a life but if it means they can have it and stay here I would be even happier for them. ( I know they will move out sometime I am just enjoying them for right now) 🙂

  11. moodswingmabel says:

    I moved out right after high school for 6 months. I was living with my b/f of nearly 4 years. When it became apparent that things were not going to work out, I called my brother and he drove the 6 hours to another state to pick me, and all my belongings up. I came home to mom and dad and oh, such a relief. I had nothing but respect for my parents. I had a job and gave them money each week- yes, it was only $25- per week but it was something and I did whatever they asked although, they didn’t ask for anything really. I loved living there. My mom cooked dinner every night and she did the laundry. I was really lucky. So lucky that when I moved out with Scott to our new home, I wrote her a sappy letter saying I wish I could come back. There is no place like home for me. No place. Life was so easy back then.

  12. mad hatter tosha... says:

    I dont feel like i can ever go “home” again. For one i’m not comfortable there like that. It’s no longer “my home” and i’m pretty solid in my ways now as my parents are.. I like things MY WAY.. I’ve always been my own person. I’ve been an adult for what seems like forever. I always was a “mini adult”. Even as a child. I had my first job at 11. I respected my parents and their house but I always had that independent attitude.

    I’ll always welcome my kids where I am.. But.. as an adult.. they are on their own.. I will always support them any way needed. I’ll help them along their way. But living w/ me long term when they are adults will never happen. I’ve watched my uncle mooch off my grandmother too long.

    And in the event they are ever back under my roof as an adult. They aren’t kids. They don’t need me to stand over them and tell them rules like they are a child. BUT.. respect will be expected and with that comes helping out around the house. Contributing to the household. cleaning up after yourself and things like that. It has ALWAYS been expected of me to do those things. Even as a child and I expect those things of my kids now. THey have chores just like I did. It’s part of life imo..

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