3. Clarify based on your unique situation
Many personal developments can impact the expectations families set together. For example, the household may now include a stepparent and possibly stepsiblings whose feelings should be considered before an adult child moves home. Or maybe the adult child has children who would be moving in as well.
“There’s a need for even more conversations in terms of expectations about what the grandparents’ role is going to be with the [younger] children,” Newberry says.
Parents and adult children should also agree on behaviors that might spark unnecessary conflict if not discussed. Two examples:
- Will boyfriends or girlfriends be allowed to spend the night?
- Who’s going to handle chores like laundry and cooking meals?
“There’s a need for conversation around expected behaviors,” Martinez says. “You should not assume that because we are family, we’re going to support each other no matter the situation. It may be true, but under what conditions?”
Despite the challenges, Newberry and Martinez say that having adult children live at home, if managed with clear expectations, can turn out to be a positive experience.
“As long as everyone is respectful and follows these guidelines,” Newberry says, “it can be a really unique time to get to know each other in a different way.”