When parents raise their kids and get them up to that all-important age of 18 years old, they are prepared to say goodbye. This is because the teenager is usually moving on to their own, independent life either by going to college or getting out into the working world. These days, however, there is a new trend of college students moving back home in order to save money. What’s going on? After all, aren’t college kids the ones who like to go out and party? How in the world can they enjoy living back home with mom and dad?
Although many parents are sad to see their kids leave for college, commonly called empty nest syndrome, most of them get used to the idea of their new lives. In fact, many parents relish the idea of having the ultimate freedom to do what they want in life after finally raising their child to 18 years old. That’s why it can be quite an adjustment to have your grown college student living back in your house. This leads to the question of how can you make the process of living together again less of an imposition? Here are some ideas and tips to get you started when you find out that your college kid is moving back home:
Boundaries from the get-go
You have to think about your college student moving home almost like you’ve just taken in a tenant. There should be boundaries and rules put into place for what you will and won’t accept in your house. For instance, is there a specific time that you want the house locked down for the evening? Many parents don’t want their college student to be coming and going at all hours of the night like they are living in a dorm. As the owner of the home and the “landlord”, you are perfectly within your rights to set up rules that they are expected to follow.
Delegate some chores
Just because your college student is moving home doesn’t mean that they are relieved of housework duties. If they are going to be living in your property, they need to have certain cleaning tasks that they take care of. Remember that you’re trying to prepare your college student for the real world after they graduate. Letting them be a slob around your house is not teaching them anything.
Paying your fair share
Financial contributions: Even though your college student has moved home due to financial reasons, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t contribute something to the household. Even if it is as simple as paying a quarter of the electric bill each month, your student needs to understand that they have to pay their way in life. Most college students have some kind of a part-time job to pay for their car insurance and gas. Sit down with them before they move in to decide what part of the bills will be theirs to pay. You don’t want them to move home and start living off of you again because that will only set them back from becoming independent after they graduate.
For some empty nest parents, having a college student move back home can be a wonderful thing. You might feel great about getting to take care of someone else again. However, remember that your needs are not the only ones in play here. It’s much more important to make sure that your college student gets a real world wake-up call. The whole purpose of sending them for higher education is so that they can go out and be independent in their lives. You want them to be successful not only in their career, but also in their personal life. That’s why having these boundaries and rules in place is so important.