BOSTON (CBS) – These are kids that once launched and are now asking to live in the basement playroom; they are the Boomerang kids usually ages 18 to 34.

Over 22 million adult children are living with their parents, and some have come home with a spouse and kids of their own.

Usually the reasons are financial; they are getting a divorce, they are between jobs, they want to save money or get out of debt.

If the kids ask if they can move back in what do you say? Most of us will say yes. But you do need to set some ground rules and you need to discuss them before they move back in.

And if you didn’t discuss rules beforehand try that conversation now. They will reply they didn’t pay rent before why now. And you need to let them know when they have their own home they can make the rules!

Here’s that list:

  • Paying rent is a must. They should be expected to contribute to the household. If they can’t afford rent they should be helping with chores around the house and doing their own laundry and perhaps yours. Studies have shown that those who do not pay rent do not save any more than those who do.
  • Discuss the house rules; nothing has changed since they were 18. No wild parties or drugs. Discuss overnight guests. You may not want a stranger in your kitchen at 7 am making coffee!
  • Common courtesy prevails. If they are going to be late for dinner or staying out they should let you know.
  • If there are kids or pets that also moved in who is going to take care of them? Who walks the dog after the 11 o’clock news or gets up for the 2 am feeding for the baby?
  • Set a date for moving out. Deadlines work well for getting people focused. They need to be on their own!
  • Put everything in writing and give them a copy.


Communication is key here. Talk about the issues before they move in.

One more thing: I found some books, which could be helpful:

Under One Roof Again by Susan Newman.

Boomerang Nation: How to Survive Living With Your Parents . . . the Second Time Around by Elina Furman, which offers advice for the adult child on handling the awkward situation of living at home. The author suggests they do their own laundry and dishes when they move back home.

And for the parents, this parenting job wasn’t meant to go on forever and many parents can’t afford to support the adult child’s expensive habits. There is a book for them also, Mom, Can I Move Back In With You?: A Survival Guide for Parents of Twentysomethings.


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