Moving Back in with The ‘Rents: Do or Don’t?
Posted by Christina Hills on March 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM
Take it as another sign of the economy and the weak job prospects for people our age. Not too long ago, having to move back in with your parents in your 20s or 30s was considered by many to be a sure sign of failure. I mean, how much did we laugh at Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as two losers who live with their parents in Step Brothers? But now, it's become much more acceptable. We all know someone who does and maybe you’ve even spent some time at home. A new study shows that 29 percent of young adults age 25 to 34 have returned to their parents' empty nest at some point -- and most of us say that we're happy about the living arrangements.
So why are we happy about it? For one thing, those of us who either don’t have a job or don’t have a great one, it’s great for saving money. But if you’re thinking about moving home, don’t expect a free ride. This isn’t high school. Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed say they pay rent and 89 percent say they help out with household expenses and chores.
And good news! It doesn’t seem to affect the parent-child relationship. About three-quarters of the people surveyed said it either hasn’t affected the relationship or has improved it. The adult children who feel most positive about moving back in with their parents tend to be on the young side: Forty-one percent of 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed say that moving home has been good for their relationship with their parents.
And parents of adult children in that age range seem to agree.
"I would welcome my kids home as long as I didn't have to pick up their towels and clean up their messes," Susan Sarandon, who starts in the upcoming movie "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think that would be a great opportunity to get to know them as young adults."
So if you find yourself having to move back in with you parents, here are some ways to make the situation as positive as possible.
Pitch in: Do your chores around the house and help out with things like laundry. Volunteer to cook dinner once a week. You’re obviously not a guest in your own home, but being grateful and helpful will go a long way in keeping everyone happy.
Be respectful: In college or at your own apartment, you got used to coming and going as you please. And while this isn’t high school and you won’t get a curfew or anything, your parents will probably still worry about you. Just give them a heads up if you’ll be out late or going to crash at a friend’s place. It takes two seconds and will alleviate a lot of tension.
Expect some rules: You and your parents may want to come up with some ground rules for the time you’re staying there, such as a guest policy, when there should be “quiet time,” and other practical considerations like that. Again, it will probably take some adjustment after living how you wanted in college. Stay flexible.
Don’t expect to be babied: Your parents see you as an adult now, one they are already doing a favor. Don’t expect to be handed everything on a silver platter and don’t take advantage of the situation.