With ever increasing house prices and frozen mortgage provision more children are now seeking to return home, with recent statistics revealing that over 3 million over 50’s still have grown up children living at home. Naturally, many parents are keen to help their child, but offering an adult a room can create enormous problems if the ground rules are not well thought out before hand.
For example, though the media often pitches articles about sex at the young, recent studies have shown that more than 80% of 50-90 year olds are sexually active. Greater longevity, increased wealth and improved health for this age group mean they are fit, active and interested in sex. This is a very positive and healthy thought for many of us looking into the future, as health wise an active sex life has many benefits. Once the children leave home, many adults rediscover a freedom in their relationship, and time for each other. However, this can be compromised by an adult child returning home to use all the facilities and make a noise, just when the couple are enjoying some intimacy and personal space. As well as putting a dampener on the parents sexual relationship, it can be squeamishly embarrassing to think, or hear, your parents, or parent and new partner, having sex!
The restriction of freedom, privacy and spontaneity, that the adult child, parent or parent experience, can result in pressures for all involved and affect relationships.
So when considering offering an adult child a room back at home it is vitally import to set some ground rules so that you can live companionably together.
- Will they pay rent and how much? Sometimes parents do not want to take rent, but take it and bank it so it can go towards a deposit for their child's own home.
- What is the time frame? It is wise to put a boundary on this or you might find they may never go.
- What areas and consumables can they use? Please be very, very specific. There is nothing worse than your daughter nipping into your luxurious bathroom and pinching the oils that you had better plans for! Or getting home after a hard day to find all your wine has been drunk.
- What will you do and what will you not do for them? Some parents slip straight back into cleaning, cooking, picking up clothes and doing the washing - and then wonder why they are tired and frustrated. Adult children also find it easy to slip back into dependence.
- Privacy rules, how will you respect each others privacy and space? Much as you might love to hear about your child's life, having them bursting into your room at night to tell all, may be enough to finish any intimacy that night.
- How will friends be managed? Often returning children bring with them a friendship group. How and when can they come around? If your house is full of noisy young adults all the time, where will you have space. Similarly, the parent will need space for their friends and partners if they are single. How is this to be agreed?
Sit down and have a sensible discussion and negotiate the rules, this will help avoid the pit falls, allowing the two generations to live comfortably side by side while offering a much needed stepping stone to an adult child on their way to independence .
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