"I want to save up for a house, car, grad school, etc." This is probably the most legitimate reason to stickaround at home, but only if your child is accountable to it. How much does s/he actually have saved up?What is the ultimate goal? Is s/he consistently putting money away, or do his/her savings patternsdepend on how many good movies or video games are out that week? If s/he can prove that saving money
is a priority for him/her, it's all good. But don't just take your kid's word for it. If that's the reason for stayinghome and getting a free ride,
you're entitled to see pay stubs and bank statements, just like financialaid offices are entitled to see tax forms before they provide financial assistance
Treat your child like a person renting a room.
It may be hard to remember but if the adult refuses to clean upafter themselves or self-discipline themselves – THEN TREAT THEM AS A CHILD (removing video gameconsoles, preventing them from having guests in their room, asking them to do chores). These are steps thatyou need to develop some strategies to establish a new adult-to-adult relationship. Step outside of your role asa parent and treat your child as if s/he were a stranger renting a room in your home. Not only will this make your child less comfortable with living in your home, but it will also prepare him/her for renting a room somewhereelse.
Check the local classifieds to see what people are charging for rooms in your area. Set amonthly deadline and enforce it. If your child is late with payment, there will be a late fee. If the rent is notpaid, you must firmly insist that the child may no longer live there.
Lay down rules about noise.
Most apartments have "quiet times" that begin around 11pm andend around 7am. Make it very clear that you don't want to hear
noise from them during these times - noloud TV or music, no audible laughing, talking, or guests, etc. Lay out the consequences for "noiseviolations" such as more than 2 noise violations a month results in a rent hike.
Consider not providing meals.
Would you feed and clean up after someone renting a room?Most people simply allow the renter access to their kitchen. The renter still has to buy and cook their ownfood. Your child may complain that s/he can't cook, or doesn't have time to cook,
but many a young adultthroughout modern civilization has gotten by on TV dinners andRamen noodlesfor a few years intheir lives
. If you're concerned about nutrition, give your kid a bottle of multivitamins.
Set standards for cleanliness.
Since this is an adult you're dealing with, let his/her room be aprivate domain. Generally, if you can't smell it from the hallway, it's none of your business. But, make it clear that s/he is responsible for cleaning after him/herself throughout the rest of the house - cleaning dishes,doing laundry, putting garbage in the garbage can, etc. This is a difficult standard to enforce, but there areways. For example, if laundry or garbage is left laying around, pick it up and put it right in front of the kid'sdoor, so that it builds up and makes it difficult for him/her to enter and exit the room.
Grant him/her “some” privacy.
Do not go into that room unless the smell is unacceptable. If it'smessy, shut the door and leave it be. That room belongs to another adult, and it's none of your businesswhat's going on in there. If you're asking for rent and it's being paid, as long as reasonable quiet time andcleanliness rules are being followed, you really should not intrude.
This is the most difficult part.
If you've done a comprehensive job of laying out the rules and specifying consequences, it's essential to follow through. You have to know under what circumstances you'd be ready to pack up your child's stuff, put it on the front lawn, hand him or her a list of local rooms for rent, and change thelocks.
If you can't imagine yourself doing this under
Remember that sheltering your adult children from the harsh reality of life isn't helping him/her. Your job as aparent is to teach your children how to become independent adults who can survive and thrive on their own.
Your love and sympathy won't help them when you're gone.
Remember the Chinese proverb: "Give aman a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." And remember