There are more adult children living at home than ever and judging by the current economic climate it’s easy to understand why. A combination of rising house prices, job insecurity and the cost-of-living crisis means that young people are up against various forces that prevent them from taking the leap to full-fledged independence.
However much you love your family members, it’s fair to say that living with adult children can cause a certain amount of tension. This is especially true if you cannot agree on living arrangements, their financial contribution or if your offspring frequently forgets to clean up after themselves.
Is there a way for different generations to co-exist in harmony? If you find everyone living under one roof something of a challenge, then read on to discover our 6 tips for living with your adult children.
Does your adult child constantly finish the last of the milk without replacing it? If something bothers you – let them know. Quite often major bust-ups occur between family members when seemingly small issues fester into larger grievances. Always keep the lines of communication open and encourage them to do so as well. Remember they are adults now, so don’t be afraid to remind them of that if they indulge in sulky behaviour or give you the silent treatment! Compromise is key, the more you manage expectations the quicker any disputes will be nipped in the bud.
It can be difficult to adjust to the change of dynamics when you are living with an adult child. Whilst you might endeavour to treat them like the adults they are, remember that you have every right to impose certain house rules. For example, you may request they do not smoke indoors or have overnight visitors. In return, you will respect their right to privacy and accept they now lead their own lives, which might include coming home at unsociable hours.
Distribute the Chores
An adult living at home might think they can get off household chores lightly – but not so fast! Sharing household chores will not only lighten your load but is a great way of giving your offspring some responsibility. Taking on a share of the cooking or managing their laundry will make it far less of a shock when they move out and find they must do everything themselves – plus it’ll make any future son or daughter-in-law eternally indebted.
Come to a Financial Arrangement
When it comes to adult children living at home, there are few thornier issues than that of money. How much should you charge them to live at home? Is it mean to charge them anything? After all, if they are saving to move out, isn’t charging them rent only delaying the prospect? There are no right or wrongs here but the financial terms of the arrangement must be agreed upon from the very beginning.
How much you charge may depend on your financial circumstances, however often it is the gesture rather than the amount that counts. Contributing to the household, even a small amount, is demonstrative that you now live in a multi-adult household and must work as a team.
Do not Enable
It’s natural to want to support your adult child when they have suffered a setback, such as a job loss or relationship breakdown. However, support mustn’t cross over into enablement. Draw the line under prolonged periods of inactivity and gently encourage them to take the next steps they need to get back on their feet – they will thank you for it one day.
Set a Timescale
If you have an adult child living at home then it is perfectly reasonable to have some idea of how long the arrangement will continue. Without an approximate timescale, what started as a few months can easily turn into a few years. However much you enjoy having your offspring living with you, the advice for adult children moving back home is to have a move-out date in mind.
A realistic timescale will give them something to aim for and give them a boost of motivation to reach their savings goal. Furthermore, any retirement plans you might have put on hold, such as downsizing or travelling the globe can shift back into focus.
Expand your Living Space
If part of the strain of living with your adult child is a lack of space, then weigh up the benefits of expanding. A loft conversion is one of the easiest ways to maximise the space in your home. It will afford everyone more privacy and can give adults, who are used to a degree of independence, an area they can make their own.
Larger lofts can even accommodate kitchenettes and bathrooms, giving your adult child a de-facto self-contained unit. Of course, any type of loft conversion is an investment, however, the value added to your property means you will reap the rewards of your loft conversion long after your children have flown the nest.
Advice for Living with Adult Children: Final Thoughts
We hope our tips for living with adult children have helped you navigate this tricky area and that you and can all make the most of the quality time you have together, emerging from the experience largely unscathed. Remember, LMB Group are loft conversion specialists, who for several years, have helped countless families realise their home’s full potential and maximise their space.
Why not get in touch with our friendly team today and find out more?