No matter how old your children get, they’re still your kids. You savor your time with them when they’re little and love watching them grow into capable young adults. But there comes a time when every parent is ready for their children to fly the coop. After all, part of our job as parents is to prepare our children to manage their own lives.
But recently, many young adults who have flown the coop are choosing to return. There is a growing trend of young adults moving home with their parents after graduating college. Many do so to save money or to tackle student-loan debt. Regardless of the reason, sharing a house with adult children can pose challenges that can rival the terrible twos.
Here are four steps to manage parenting over 50:
It’s all about balance
Your daughter just moved home to save up some money to put a deposit down on a new apartment. She’s a college graduate, has a great job and is a capable young woman. How do you navigate living together as adults? Try to keep a balanced relationship between asserting your position as a parent and respecting each other as adults. Balance will make for a happy household.
Realize that the world is different than it was when you were in your 20s.
Sharing your coming-of-age stories with your children is great, but don’t be too quick to think that your experiences speak to what your child is experiencing. Our society is a lot different than it was when we were in our 20s. Trust that you’ve done your job as a parent and prepared your child to tackle the world head on.
Have the hard conversations
The good thing about living with adult children is that they are, in fact, adults. Don’t be afraid to have the hard conversations. Set ground rules about sex, visitors and how often you expect them to check-in. After all, it still is your house.
Your current living arrangement might not be ideal, but think of it this way, you get to spend more time with your kids. While some parents have to deal with living across the country or even across the world from their children, you get to live right down the hall. This situation isn’t going to last forever, so make the most of it and enjoy this extra time with your children. You might never have this much time together again.