School is starting all across the country and for many students who are entering their final year of high school and college it’s time to start thinking about what the end of this school year will mean for them. Most people have spent their whole lives looking forward to this final year of school as a rite of passage into adulthood but for more and more graduating students, either continuing to live at home or moving back in with their parents is quickly becoming the unexpected norm.
In recent years, the number of people that are moving home has ballooned. Living off of your parents may seem like a sign of failure, but there are many young adults that simply feel that they have no other option. With an ever growing number of children moving back home there have been new financial problems and even familial relationship problems that have been posed. Finding the best way to cope with moving home or even with having your children home can be difficult, but is important.
First, adulthood seems to need to be redefined in our society. For many years there were very clear markers of adulthood in our society, but in recent years these have become much more blurry. Many people used to define adulthood as the completion of a higher education, getting married, purchasing a home, and even starting a family. These landmarks are all still very indicative of adulthood, but there are a growing number of adults that have yet to reach any of these markers. Maybe some adults meet a few of the markers but do not reach others at all. When can someone be considered to be an adult?
It seems like the definition of adulthood has become much more relaxed. People have started viewing adulthood as the time when a young adult has a stronger sense of responsibility. Others view adulthood as a time when a young adult decides to be more autonomous, even if they have not moved out of their parents’ home. What many people do not realize is the different generations that are so often living under one roof tend to have very different definitions of adulthood and this disconnect can cause a lot of tension and even a lot of problems.
When children are still living at home after graduating high school or even graduating college, they may feel that this has no effect on their adulthood. The parents that are letting their children live at home may still feel that those significant markers are the signs that their children have reached adulthood. Sitting down and having a conversation about how to reconcile these views can be a great way to learn how to communicate more effectively throughout the time that you are involved in one of these situations. Communication will be absolutely necessary to ensure you can make this relationship work well.
Second, it is important that you take time to define the roles that are involved in this relationship. If either party has expectations about the relationship and how you are going to work together it is important that these are made clear from the very beginning. When these expectations are made clear from the beginning, you may be able to avoid a lot of conflict. Understanding how you are going to take time to talk about these expectations and ensuring that everyone is totally honest throughout this conversation is important.
Third, when you are living at home or when you have your adult child living at home you will want to create a time frame. Understanding where everyone stands with the amount of time that this living situation will work is necessary. You should be sure that you are fully aware of this time frame and the other party’s time frame.
Finally, it is interesting to note the difference in the way that the parents’ lives change as well. There are many people that talk about the difference in adulthood without talking about the difference in the parents’ lives. Traditionally, when children move out of the house parents are able to go through the empty-nesters phase and even start transitioning into the role of a grandparent. There are many people that do not get to go through either of these phases until much later in life.
It is important to understand how you are going to adjust your view of this phase of life as well. As a parent, it can be hard to adjust to this new role that you are asked to play. Adjusting to this new role may be difficult, but it is important that this adjustment occurs. Often times, people struggle adjusting to their new role. Taking the time that you need to adjust and being able to work with a new situation well may take more effort than you are used to. Don’t shirk away from having uncomfortable conversations to ensure this relationship works well and there is not contention in the future.