CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - It's a trend that we are seeing more and more, adult children returning home to live with their parents.
Dr. Elaine Ducharme , a psychologist with the CT Collaborative Divorce Group, joined us to talk more about this and what role parents should take.
What can parents do?
- Set a time limit. Decide how long the adult child can stay. This is critical.
- Clearly and in writing establish the rules that your child MUST follow in order to remain at home. For example, decide whether your child will have a curfew, must call if they will not be returning home for the night and whether they may have overnight guests of the same or opposite sex.
- Determine the chores for which you expect your child to be responsible.
- Determine if your child will pay rent.
- Identify if and how often you are willing to baby sit if your child is moving home with a child.
- Identify if you expect your child to have a full time or part time job or if they are expected to be in college while they are living in your home.
- Determine which of your child's expenses you are willing to cover.
- Establish your drug/alcohol policy
This list is not all inclusive. You must determine what is important for you and the rest of your family. I recommend that these rules be established before your child returns home, if at all possible. The rules should always be in writing and agreed upon by you and your child.
Let your child know that returning home to live is a privilege and a choice. If they don't like your rules they can go live somewhere else. If you allow them to behave like children, they will. So, you must do your part to enforce the rules. In some cases, breaking a particular rule may be cause for having to move out. In other situations, an adult child can be given three warnings.
Remember, if they broke the rules in a dormitory or apartment they would be asked to leave. You are not being mean if you insist they behave like young adults. You are simply being a responsible parent.
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