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| Education and Financial

07/28/14

Child's play: Adult kids living at home need responsibility, not free ticket

First, let's get one thing perfectly clear: living at home in your 30s isn't necessarily a bad thing. Taking advantage of the situation and acting like you're still 10 years old is a completely different story.
No one is going to judge the situation and ask why at the age of 30 or older you're still living at home in the same bedroom you've had since your were a little kid, obviously with a few changes like ditching the Superman or Barbie bed sheets in favor of something a little more adult oriented, of course.
The judgmental looks only start to surface once your at home, living situation is examined with the full scope of how you're living and what exactly is going on as part of the relationship between you and your now much older mom and dad.
Most 30 something "kids" that still live at home do so because some situation has forced them to move back in with their parents. Perhaps you lost your job, had a death in the family or another life changing event that forced you to cut back to the point that your old twin bed is just going to have to suffice until you get back on your feet.
The other sector of adult children living at home has a lot more intrigue and questions abounding around the situation. Are you living at home because you can't afford your own place? Perhaps it isn't driven by money but rather a sense of comfort you simply don't want to lose.

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No matter why you're living at home with your parents at an advanced age, your situation undoubtedly is unique to you. And that's perfectly fine. What isn't quite so easy to digest is living at home at 30 or older and not chipping in on some level, whether that is something as simple as doing your own laundry or making dinner once or twice a week.
The key to making this circumstance of grown men and women living with their parents work has to do with whether moms and dads treat the kids more like tenants than subordinates. Forcing your adult kids to buy their own groceries, cook their own meals and even pay rent or a few of the utility bills shouldn't be frowned upon in the least but rather should be embraced and viewed as the reality of the situation.
You don't make a 10 year old pay the cable bill because he doesn't have any money or a job. Your 35 year old son who works and is living at home doesn't get that same free pass; he should be pulling his weight at that age.
Most parents believe in this strategy, not as way to get their kids to move, but rather to cultivate an atmosphere that doesn't enable them to continually be deficient as adults once they eventually move. Remarkably, some 30 year old adults who have lived at home for years don't know how to look for an apartment or what to ask as part of buying a new car without their parents present to ask questions.
That behavior stems from always doing everything for them every time, all the time. Living at home is just one facet of that shortcoming.
No one is telling you to kick your kids to the curb, no matter how old they are. But making life incredibly easy for them isn't going to get them packed and out the door any sooner. And it certainly isn't going to transform them into the kind of self sufficient adult you've always wanted them to be.

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