52% of Young Adults Live with Their Parents; Here’s How to Keep the Peace in Your Household

Two parents kissing their daughter

The pandemic has spurred many changes in our world. Concerts and crowded movie theaters are a thing of the past, remote work is now the norm, and a whopping 52% of young adults have now moved back home with their parents.

At 26.6 million young adults, it’s a staggering number — and the largest it’s been since the Great Depression.

While this newfound togetherness might have its perks (saved money, mostly!), there are also some serious challenges that come with living with your adult kids.

Want to keep the peace and make sure your house runs smoothly? Follow these seven tips.

1. Start from scratch.

The first thing to do is to remember that your kids are now adults, so falling back into your old ways is a big no-no. Just as you expect them to be respectful of you, you need to be respectful of them as well. That means no nitpicking where they go or what they do and overall just trusting them to meet their responsibilities.

Treating them as equal adults will go a long way in making your kids feel welcome and like a contributing member of your household.

2. Set house rules from the beginning.

Don’t wait until a month in to start putting rules in place. If you’re going to have expectations regarding what can and can’t be done in your house, set those rules from the very start — not when something becomes a problem. Don’t want your kids bringing home unknown guests at 3 a.m.? Set that expectation from the beginning. Want all vaping done outside the house? Put that rule in place from the start, too.

And remember: Rules apply to you, too. Make sure you’re all on even playing ground and are holding yourselves to the same standards.

3. Be clear about your financial expectations.

You don’t have to let your kids live at home for free — nor should you. Asking them to pay part of the mortgage, utility bills, groceries, and other necessities is a good way to hold them accountable and ensure they’re contributing to the household.

If you’re going to ask your kids to participate financially, set those expectations early so they have time to save and prepare. This will also keep you from having money-related frustrations (and fights) later on.

4. Dole out the chores and household responsibilities (even with grandchildren).

Asking your kids — and their kids — to help maintain the house is smart, too. Give them certain cleaning tasks they’re responsible for each week, or you can even ask them to cook meals on specific days/nights. If you have grandchildren in the house, a chore chart can be a good way to get them involved.

5. Talk about issues as soon as they crop up.

At some point or another, you’re going to get frustrated or upset about something your adult kids do in the house. When this occurs, talk about it ASAP — and don’t wait for it to fester. Putting off talking about problems will only lead to blow-ups later on.

As soon as an issue arises, ask your kids to sit down over dinner and talk it through. Stay calm, air out your frustrations, and hear their side of the story, too. Once you’ve talked through the problem, come up with a plan to mutually prevent similar mishaps in the future. This might mean changing your house rules, updating household responsibilities or chores, and more.

6. Establish boundaries and give everyone their privacy.

You’re both used to living separately, so keep this in mind as you come together under one roof. You will both need privacy from time to time, and you should both have separate spaces to do that in. 

Make sure your child has their own room or designated space they can go to when they need some alone time (you need one, too!), and set rules for entering those spaces. This might be as simple as requiring knocking before opening a bedroom door, or you may go so far as to set solo nights, where each of you gets the house to yourself for a bit. It really depends on you and your family’s individual needs and schedule.

7. Have an end-goal in sight.

Finally, make sure there’s an end-game for your new living situation. Are they only staying with you until they save up X amount of money or find a new job? How many months will they be living there? Talk about goals and long-term expectations, and be sure there’s a timeline in sight. This will keep both of you motivated and feeling positive.

Need cash for renovations or other changes around the house now that your kids have moved back? A cash-out refinance may be able to help. Get in touch with Embrace today to learn about your options.

Share this:

Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.