Come mid-May, universities throughout the country are closing their doors for the summer; releasing thousands of graduates, (congratulations class of 2016!), out into the real world. Once the excitement of finishing college wears off, the reality sets in. Roughly 50% of recent graduates are moving back home with their parents in order to save money while looking for jobs. Students nowadays are indebted thousands of dollars’ worth of student loans and more and more entry-level positions require up to 3 years of experience; making it really difficult to find a secure job to fully support themselves. Moving back home can be a time of excitement and stress for both parties (the students and their parents).
Parents usually jump at the opportunity of spending time with their child, especially if they have been gone away at school for months. However, a lot can happen in those few months, and chances are they have created a new routine that has nothing to do with accommodating for their child’s needs. They may have even transformed using their old room into a guest room or use it for storage. While the student is having to come to terms with the fact that they are moving back home, parents can use these tips to make for a smoother transition for everyone.
Give them their own space
Make sure that they have a place that they can call their own. Clean out their old room or designate a specific area just for them. In order to make room for all of their things, you may consider getting rid of a few items or transferring them to your garage, attic, or self-storage unit.
Figure out finances
Having your child come back home means another mouth to feed and another person using electricity, which can lead to spending significantly more money. Work out a compromise with your child to have them help out in some way. Chances are they won’t be able to afford rent, however they can pitch in for groceries once week, do certain chores throughout the house, or pay for a portion of the bills. It will give them some responsibility while alleviating some of the burden off of you.
Treat each other like the adults you are
It can be hard not to revert to the old parent-child relationship that you had while they were growing up, but you need to remember that you are both adults now and you should treat each other that way. You should not be expected to pick up after them or do their laundry, but you also can’t ground them for leaving a mess in the kitchen one day. The common mantra “treat others the way you want to be treated” really applies in this situation in order to foster a good relationship.
Think about the end game
While it is great to have your son and daughter come home, it is also a relief knowing that it isn’t forever. Make sure you know the exact reason they are moving home and what their plan is. Are they working in the area and want to stay home to raise enough money for their own place, or are they planning on moving out once they find a job? This will give you an idea as to how long they are planning on staying so that you can help them reach their goal and ultimately get the house to yourself once again.