Boomerang Children: What to Do When Your Adult Kids Move Back Home

Apr 24, 2024 2 min read

At the height of the pandemic, many young adults moved back in with Mom and Dad due to the unprecedented levels of systemic uncertainty — college campuses were closed, jobs were scarce and housing costs continued to climb. But what was expected to be a short-term solution has now become the new reality for many families. As of August 2022, two-thirds of millennials and Gen-Zers who moved home in 2020 were still there, according to a report by LendingTree

4 Tips for Living With Your Adult Children

If your once-empty nest is becoming full again, here’s how to navigate the complexities that come when adults move back home with their parents.

  1. Establish Clear Boundaries and Expectations

To avoid resentment and misunderstandings, it is important to establish rules for a grown child moving back home. Set clear limits ahead of time when it comes to:

  • Physical space: Which spaces of the home are private or shared?
  • Rules of the house: What are the rules regarding cleanliness in common spaces, noise limitations, curfew, policy on guests and substance use?
  • Financial responsibilities: Who is going to pay for what, and what do you determine to be a loan or a gift? Will your adult child be paying rent? Are they expected to contribute to utility, internet, phone or insurance bills?
  • Privacy: Can the adult child have their partner over? Can the parent just walk into the adult child’s room because it's their home? What are each person's needs?
  • Household tasks: How do you plan to handle grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning? How can you divide labor in a way that’s fair to all parties?
  1. Set a Timeline

Manage everyone’s expectations by setting a reasonable timeline for the living arrangement. Is this a permanent or temporary living arrangement? If temporary, for how long, and what is the exit plan? Some parents find it helpful to outline their expectations for adult children living at home in a contract. Having a timeline in place can provide an incentive for your child to build a career, save money and find their own place.

  1. Find Ways for Them to Contribute

If your adult child can’t pay rent or cover their share of utilities, offer them other opportunities to contribute to the household. Consider the household expenses, their financial circumstance and your individual needs when setting expectations on how your child will contribute to the home. This could be a great time for them to build valuable life skills for living independently, like learning how to do home or car repairs or becoming a whiz in the kitchen. Parents can also use the time with a boomerang kid to teach financial literacy and help them get into the habit of saving and investing.

  1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

If something isn’t working, don’t let it fester. Sit down when everyone is calm and talk through possible solutions; try not to micromanage or tell your child what to do. 

Plan for the Unexpected

Life is full of surprises, but with a solid financial plan in place, you should be able to weather whatever comes your way. When you work with a Farm Bureau financial advisor, you can move forward with confidence knowing you have additional support.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.