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Sunday
Apr282013

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY EMPTY NEST? - What to Do When Your Grown Children Move Back In 

With graduation coming right around the corner and the economy still lagging behind, many new graduates will be coming home—to stay—at least for a while. And that’s not all. Many older independent adult children who have been laid off or have had difficulty launching their careers find themselves reluctantly knocking on their parents door, needing a place to live until they find a way to get back on their feet and make their own way.

While some parents may welcome the return of their adult children, going from dependent teenagers to independent adult roommates may not be as easy as it seems. Many single parents and couples find it challenging to lose their sense of freedom and privacy just at a time when the have come to embrace and enjoy their “empty nest.”  There are many challenges parents face when their adult children return home. These include

 

  • Losing their privacy
  • Relating to their children as adults and not regressing to treating them as adolescents or children
  • Creating and maintaining boundaries and limits
  • Deciding how to handle household expenses and chores
  • Determining rules of conduct
  • When is enough – enough – how long can your children stay?

As families struggle with these issues more and more, it becomes imperative for families to discuss and determine how to address these issues BEFORE their adult children move in. I don’t recommend that you “wing it.”  There are too many important things to discuss and determine before your kid takes occupancy. Once your son or daughter moves is, creating and enforcing agreements gets harder. I suggest you start out with a clear agreement on such things as

  • Friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and over-night visits
  • Coming and going at all hours, day and night
  • Household chores and responsibilities
  • Paying rent or some other in-kind contribution
  • Limitations on their welcome
  • Any other requirements for their stay—such as looking for work or going to school, helping with the family business, taking care of grandparents, etc.
  • What they can and cannot expect from you, such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, help with bills, help with transportation, rights to privacy, etc.

Establishing ground rules at the beginning of their stay will save a lot of frustration, resentment and possible conflict down the line. It just may very well save the relationship—your relationship with your children is priceless. Supporting one another through tough times is what family is for. So whether you are excited to have your children back home or rolling your eyes at the very thought of their return, take the time to do this right. Then take advantage of this time to reconnect and get to know your adult children for the people they have grown into. When communication remains open and family members respect one another, this can be a wonderful time to spend with your adult children. And remember, your nest will be empty again one day.

If you or someone you know is struggling with creating a strong and intimate relationship, please reach out and contact me. I am here to provide personalized guidance and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve. 

As always, I’m here to support you in creating a transformational life and strong and powerful relationships. 

Be well,

Julie

Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery

Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz

Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com 

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