Kids Still Living At Home But Not Helping Financially (Your Advice)

Your Advice - help answer readers' questionsWhat would you do if you had children still in your home after they had graduated from college, but they weren’t helping out financially in any way? This is a question that one of the readers is facing and wondering what steps she should take to resolve the issue:

I hope that you can give me some advice on a problem that I have with my children. They are both adults with one being 24 and the other being 26 years old. After college, they moved back into our home where they have been ever since. Although I love having them with us and have no problem with them actually living here, I feel that them living with us has been quite detrimental to their financial well-being.

Neither of them has jobs or are they looking for jobs. Since all their basic needs are satisfied living here (they don’t even purchase their own food), they have no real incentive to go out and find a real job.

I want to be a supportive parent, but I also want them to learn that they have to be able to support themselves. I know that I need to sit down and have a talk with them, but I’m not sure how to broach the subject and what type of demands I should make of them. I’m looking for suggestions on how to let them know that it is not okay for them to live here without working and paying their fair share, but also letting them know that I’m more than willing to help them as they seek employment.

I’m also wondering whether I should place deadlines on them finding employment? I think that they should at the very least pay for their own food and help out with utilities and home maintenance costs. Are there other things that I am forgetting that also should be included? Any suggestions that you have would be most appreciated.

If you were in the same position, what are the rules that you would make for your children and what would be your financial expectations of them to remain living in your home?

This entry was posted in Personal Finance, Relationships, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Kids Still Living At Home But Not Helping Financially (Your Advice)

  1. Michael says:

    I’m 25 and haven’t lived at home since I was 18, except for over the summer where I had a job right near home.

    I remember being amazed at one of my friends who went to live at home after school. He redid the basement and went out and bought a huge flat panel tv, sound system, etc… I couldn’t believe it. All I could think about was how much money he could have thrown at his loans to get them paid off.

    Not sure exactly HOW to bring it up, but my feelings are they should be paying rent (to cover utilities and the maintenance costs) and buy their own food most of the time. In theory, they’d have to get jobs to do that. I believe that being a supportive parent is having them do those things. I would actually go so far as to say that it’s NOT supportive to have them there as they are now.

    I wouldn’t offer to help with their employment search, I’d just tell them you’re helping. Just set a time to sit down and do their resume with them, instead of just offering to help if they want it. If you offer to help when they ask, they probably won’t ask or even do it in the first place.

  2. Wil says:

    You are in a hard position. I understand how difficult it can be to tell your own children that they need to learn to fly on their own, but we can’t be there for them forever. Every day that you allow them to not “grow up” and stay at home is one day that they will not be able to handle things when you are gone (decades away, but ounce of prevention…,pound of cure). If you try to “ease them in” to the concept that they need to make it on their own, they never will. I suggest you go nuclear on them. Buy a calendar, and pick a date 90 days (there about) from now and tell them that they need to, by this date:

    A) Move out &
    B) Get a Job

    or start paying rent. Personally, I’m against charging your children rent, so I get around this by putting the money that they pay (without telling them)into an account for any future grandchildren that may come later.

    They will resent you for a little while (weeks maybe) but they will come to understand that you are doing the best for them, and will eventually respect your decision.

    I’m not saying to cut them off completely, but you will need to be firm with them if you want them to be able to succeed. Remember back when you were trying to teach them to ride a bike. Your instinct was to pick them up and hold them each time they fell, but you made them get back on until they could do it. This is much the same.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!

  3. Rick says:

    I’m 26 and like Michael I haven’t lived at home since I spent a summer at home in college. I watched my family go through this recently with a younger sibling. I suggested that in order to make cash flow a little tighter (to facilitate the job finding process) that my parents should collect rent monthly, but deposit into a savings account. Then the money could be returned once they move out (either all at once or in increments) to provide a cash safety net.

    This accomplishes three goals. First, their lifestyle at home won’t be out of touch with their income level. Second, with their cash flow being limited, they will be more inspired to find a job. Third, when they do move out, this provides a way to have an instant emergency fund to avoid (hopefully) future emergencies.

  4. Andy says:

    My parents were really great about letting their kids stick around or move back in if they needed to; however, my father was a college professor who was happy to give us a free place to stay only so long as we were in college or other classes. Once we were done with school, we had to start paying rent.

    Looking back (I’m now 39 and the youngest of the four children), it was an important stand to take because without that condition, there would have been little or no motivation to leave or to make preparations to do so.

    If you want to have middle-aged children in your home, I encourage you to give them free room and board with no deadlines.

  5. samerwriter says:

    My dad, only half-jokingly, told us that we were welcome to move back home after college. He would charge us twice the going rate for rent.

    Lo and behold, none of us moved back home after college, and we’re better off for it. Thanks dad!

    My step-dad, on the other hand, let his kids at various points move back home with him. In one case, the resulting tensions led to permanent estrangement.

    If I have kids, I have no doubt which approach I’ll take post-college. I’m on the fence about allowing kids to stay at home during summers in college. I think at least “token” rent might be appropriate, with the explicit expectation that the kid work full time.

  6. Terri says:

    Having just gone through this with my 22 y.o. son, boy have I got some advice for you! LOL

    Our son would get a job just long enough to buy whatever it was he wanted at that moment, then he’d quit. He was making no financial contribution to our household, neither was he pitching in to do anything to help out. He did his own laundry, and cleaned his room every couple of weeks. He’d be out partying with his friends and come in late at night waking his father and I, who naturally had to be up before 6 am to get ready for work.

    We talked to him off and on, but never really nailed him down hoping that he’d take it upon himself to get out there and be a productive member of society.

    Finally, on February 21, 2007, we walked into his bedroom and told him that obviously our hinting that he needed to get out on his own was not working and that he had 30 days to find a job and move out. He was a bit shocked and we were concerned that he thought we were kidding.

    The first few days after we told him this we repeated it to him every time we saw him because he tended to not take us seriously in the past. When it was 3 weeks out we asked him how his job search was going. With 2 weeks left we asked him how his apartment hunting was going. When it was 1 week out we told him that the only way he’d be able to stay past the deadline was if he was to show us a signed lease showing he was moving into his own place on the 1st of the month (since the 30 days would have put him at March 22).

    We stuck to our guns and he ended up sleeping on a friend’s couch for a week. On mother’s day he had dinner with us and told us it was hard, he was broke all the time, etc., but he also said he would have continued to live the way he was living if we had not forced him out.

    I worry about him all the time, but I know what we did was in his best interest.

    You need to call a family meeting and put it straight forward to them that it’s time they were on their own. They don’t need a reason why you’re doing this.

  7. Debbie says:

    One idea is to start out talking about your concerns that you want them to be happy and independent. And talk about how of course you have to do everything for babies because they can barely do anything themselves, but as kids grow up, they need to take on more and more of the tasks, both to learn them and out of fairness. In fact, you expect them to outlive you, and they need a plan for that. Then talk about their long-term goals. If they don’t have any, suggest some. Talk about your own goals if that’s appropriate, and maybe the history of your goals.

    (Your suggestions could be reasonable–like find a job, any job; take–and pass–college classes, etc. Or less reasonable such as support you for a few years or become millionaires or try the life of a street person. Anything to motivate them to come up with something acceptable to all.)

    There are many ways to go about this. They can start with jobs that don’t pay enough–you can insist they pay you 1/3 of their pay (whatever it is) as “rent” and start buying their own food, clothes, etc. Don’t let it all be discretionary!

    You can insist that people without jobs need to contribute a lot more to the house, like do all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and mowing while the other people are doing all the earning.

    Rather than taking care of them directly, you can give them an allowance to pay for their own clothing and entertainment, to buy food for and prepare two family dinners a week (each), etc., so that they get practice with budgeting.

    Then if the gentler plans don’t evolve into something that works, give them a goal and a deadline, and make absolutely sure that you are willing to enforce it. Otherwise you are likely to be in even worse shape afterwards!

    When I was reading Terri’s plan, I thought that 30 days wasn’t enough time; 3 months seemed more reasonable. But then in Terri’s case there would have just been two more months of frustration. That 21-year-old wasn’t going to start anything until after the deadline had passed! But it’s only fair to give them a warning and be very clear about your new expectations, even if they don’t want to believe you at first.

    My parents have let me move back in with them several times in the past, but each time there was a plan. The first time it was until I finished college. (My parents hadn’t been able to afford my 3rd year of college, so I went to a cheaper local college and saved up to return to my other college the last year.)

    The other two times it was until I found a job.

    They also let my brother move in but had a lot more trouble getting him to move on.

    The part I don’t understand is how you MAKE someone leave. I guess when they are out, you can move all their belongings out onto the lawn and change the locks. You could pack everything into boxes and put them in the garage. When they are asleep you can take their key off their key chain. I guess most people would leave if you just made it very clear that it was expected, and none of these worst-case scenarios would probably happen!

  8. Barb says:

    I’m actually in this situation now with my parents and I’m 27. Sometimes it makes me feel like a loser but generally I’m happy my parents are willing to do it. I’ve lived away from home for a while but my little brother and I both lived at home while in college (Commuter schools) and he only left last year when he got married.

    I pay rent and help out around the house as always, the thing that saves me is that my parents know I’m desperate to leave and am putting out resumes all the time. And getting a few interviews, but nothing permanent yet.

  9. Barb says:

    I forgot to mention that I do have two degrees, and no debt, and am a responsible person.

  10. Ted says:

    1. To the parent: Stop enabling them. You created this!

    2. To the adult children: Grow up and be a responsible person!

  11. R says:

    I’ll try to toss in a slightly different perspective.

    I live at home with the parents. I have two degrees, I worked through college. I have very little debt (just the college loan which is not much).

    I am currently mostly unemployed (do some freelance work), I’m searching for work that will support me, but employment in this area is very, very tough. In the meantime, I do work and cleaning around the house, I do grocery shopping, I help out in other ways when it is requested of me. They do not charge me rent.

    I want to be independent. I actually don’t want to be a ‘kid’ anymore, I’m not fond of the stigma of the ‘helicopter kid’, I fully expect to live in a very ‘frugal’ way when I do move out of here.

    Coming from that perspective, I would think your kids should be doing regular chores to do and work to do around the house to ‘make up for rent’ if they do not have that already, and should definitely be looking for work – they aren’t kids anymore though they may very well still be in that mindset, because it can be hard to get out of that when you are living in it.

    I get the impression for this generation that the transition from ‘kid’ to ‘adult’ is a complicated and murky one that isn’t very clear, since there seems to be quite a few people in the same situation.

  12. cybergal5184 says:

    Well, stop paying for their food for one thing. Lock it up somewhere if you have to. They will get hungry eventually and figure out how to buy it themselves. Sorry but your kids are LAZY!!!

  13. Ian says:

    Lots of good advice, here.

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned much is how to prevent this kind of situation from happening in the first place. Make it clear to your children what you expect of them before this comes up. When I was in high school, I was told that I was welcome to live at home while I was in college persuing a degree, and that I would be given some assistance if I lived away from home for college. Other than that, once I graduated high school, I was paying rent. During some summers, I lived at home, and I was expected to work full time to help pay for school.

    Of course kids are going to take the easy way out. If I had had the option of laying around the house and playing video games during the day and partying every night, I’d have taken it. But it was made clear to me, long before I got there, that I needed to get a job and an education.

  14. John says:

    I am in the opposite situation as most of the commenters here. I am 24 and having finished a Masters degree, I moved to my home province and back in with my parents (my fiance came with). However despite our mooching, I had a very clear goal from the onset that we would use my parent’s place as a base for gettting stable in terms of employment. I set a one year limit as to how long we would be with them regardless of our financial situation. I’m happy to say that we are moving out 2 months sooner than scheduled and it will be great to be on our own again. I plan to save up and send them on a trip as a thank you.

  15. wayne says:

    First question: How did your parents make you become responsible for your own life? (How long after college did you stay with them?)
    Second: How will they support a family and teach their kids? Sure, the inheritance might be enough to support them, but since they can’t earn, budget, save, or invest, what is the legacy you are leaving for your grandkids?

  16. Fame says:

    It sounds like you already know what you’d like to say, you just lack the courage to say it out loud. My advice… pray to God to give you courage & wisdom, listen for Him to open the door to communicate with your children, and let God’s love lead the conversation. Only good things can come from a prayed-over, Christ-led conversation with your kids over their rights & responsibilities as an adult. Even God used tough love for men (and women) that didn’t listen to Him. Do the same for your children.

  17. MK says:

    My stepson was the same way. He lived with his dad and I through his teenage years and his dad didn’t enforce many rules. He dropped out of school when he was 16 and did basically nothing even thougth I was harping on him to either go to school or work since everyone else in the house was working. After a year of getting no where, on his 17th birthday I started waking his dad up at 6am so he could wake his son up so his son could go out and look for a job; I did this MOnday through Friday, five days a week. Dad is not a morning person. His son got a job after about two weeks. Next came the moving out part…we did not charge him rent but told him on his 18th birthday, if he was not back in school, he would have to move out since he would then be a self supporting adult. We reminded him regularly as the date got closer and he did move out and in with a friend about a week after his 18th birthday.

    Anyway, he wasnt happy at first but we kept in communication with him, dropped off groceries or goodies on occassion and told him how proud we were that he was now a man and not a child anymore. Now a dozen years later he is (and actually has been) fully employed, a great dad and actually stricter with is kids than we were with him. Go figure….

  18. Momadmurray says:

    You have gotten yourself in a pickle. We have seven children and the rules were sat before the oldest started high school. You move out two weeks after high school graduation or when you go away for college. You can VISIT us over breaks from college, but after graduation you are on your own. We started having them price apartments, furniture, expenses at age 16. We also highly suggested that half their money go into savings for a good start after high school. Plus, our best motivator was when they didn’t like the rules, we reminded them that when they have their own house, they wouldn’t have our rules!! You need to put your foot down and quick. Give them a date and stick to it. They are adults and need to be responsible as adults. Tell them they have till ??? to move out. Living there is not an option. If you tell them to pay rent, expenses, food, etc…..they will not take it seriously enough. You are not doing them a favor by letting them sponge off you. You are actually hurting them from growing as people. You are doing this because you love them. You are not cutting dies with them, only parenting. You want to be their supportive strength, but not their mommy and daddy. Arrange to have a family dinner once a week or etc. Do not back down. When the date comes, be ready to change the locks. They might not like you very much, but they will thank you in the end. Our children love to brag to their friends that they have their own places and their own lives. They also enjoy the freedom to come and go as guests in our home. Yes, it seems harsh, but if you have raised them as I know you have, they will succeed. They just need a push out the door. Just like the push you gave them with their first steps, the first bike ride, the first ……. Good Luck!!

  19. Ron says:

    What would you do if your todler refused to walk, always crying to be carried?

    What would you do if your first grader refused to go to school?

    This is, plain and simple, a carrot or the stick issue. It’s time to stop carrying these “children” and physically “take them to school”. Give them 30 days to get jobs. They can each get more than one. Jobs are free. Something they are uses to. The “carrot”? Offer to pay their first months rent. The “stick”? The locks will be changed in 30 days and they will need to knock to be a “guest” in the home.

    Having moved out of my mother’s home when I was 18 many years ago, I can tell you that my growth as a man, a father and a human being would have been severely stunted had I not had the motivation to strike out on my own. If you don’t act now, your children will never, really, be successful. What you will be giving them is a gift. Right now, you are hurting them.

  20. Paula says:

    My husband and I are empty-nesters now after 21 years of raising 17 children–his, mine, and all we could borrow–ha! Just a few suggestions fom our experiences:

    1.) Do not beat yourself up over the past–what’s done, is done! Start NOW with helping your child become self-sufficient.

    2.) In our home, it’s “our house, our rules”. Our rules were: A) You must be living a moral life; no drugs, alcohol, smoking, or shacking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend in our home. B). You must be in school/college and/or working–preferably BOTH! C.) You must be attending church. The problems that cause you, as an adult, to be living with your parents, are bigger than a job/education can fix. We encourage them to look to Christ, who is able to meet all needs!
    I assure you, with rules such as these, your children will want to seek a home of their own!

    3.) Remind these children that you OWE them nothing except LOVE! Do not promise to pay their first month’s rent or say, “Mommy and Daddy’s checkbook is available if you need anything that your job won’t afford!” Let them have the JOY of making it all work ON THEIR OWN!
    Miss Paula in Texas

  21. Dan says:

    Just invite the local Marine recruiter over for dinner one evening.

  22. Ursula says:

    Re #12 / Amar —

    “it’s [your] house too”????? Give me a break! How much of the house’s downpayment did you contribute? How much of the monthly mortgage have you been paying since the day you and your family moved into the house? Ditto re the property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, home repairs and maintenance, etc.?

    You selfish, immature brat! That is YOUR PARENTS’ HOUSE and you are damned lucky they are letting you live there! The money you do pay them is RENT — you are renting a room in their house. You are not a co-owner of that house!

  23. Anastasia says:

    I’m not sure how I would handle this as a parent, but I do know how I was handled as a child.

    I’d wanted a job since high school but home was, well, if you drove to “the sticks” you aren’t there yet. When I was nineteen we moved to the city and I spent a year doing nothing. Sunday night, mid April, at dinner my parents told me I they had desided to take me in as a roommate.

    The rent for my room was, per square foot, slightly below average. I would need to cover a fifth of the utilities (this accounted for myself, my parents, and two brothers) and I’d be responsible for dinner twice a week (both buying and cooking).

    By Wednesday I had parlayed my high school diploma into a job flippin’ burgers.

    This was not the “tough love” that is so often spoken of, in exchange for my new responsibilities I was given a third of a voice in how the house was run.

    We lived with this arrangement for about a year before I moved out. In that time I put together a healthy sum of money, learned how to budget money, and discovered that meal planning was more than ordering pizza.

  24. Madame says:

    Quoted from Poster #24 –
    “”it’s [your] house too

  25. James J says:

    #12 Didn’t say it was his house, he said it was his home, 2 completely different things lol so chill out ursula

  26. KB says:

    Well I have a similar problem which I don’t know how to resolve. My 21 year old son dropped out of school when he was 16. Although I did (with much struggle) homeschool him the rest of his highschool years and he got his GED he has been a very rebellious child. He is rude to all family members and refuses to follow our rules. He has an “I’m too good for you” attitude, he thinks we owe him so he can live off of us and spend his time partying. I’ve told him in order to keep living here he needs to either
    1. Go to college full time but he says he does’nt know what he wants to major in and that the community college here isn’t good enough for him.
    2. Get a job and KEEP it and pay rent, he’ll get a minimum wage job for 2 weeks, blow all his money and not pay his rent. and either quite or get fired. He’s done so much damage to his work record over the past few years now it’s almost impossible for him to get a job.

    3. Move out- he refuses to move.

    Now I’m at my wits end, he won’t pay rent, he won’t go to school, he won’t follow our house rules, he won’t even keep his own room clean, he steals money from my purse regularly and when I confront him with it he lies and tries to make me feel guilty like it’s my fault and I owe him a living or something.

    How do I get him to move out? and if I force him to move, what worries me is he’ll end up on the streets, homeless.

  27. james says:

    I don’t think parents should force kids out, but at a certain point you know you gotta move out. I’m currently in high school and have 2 jobs. Some kids just need to be pushed to do the right thing. I know as soon as my sibling and I become a certain age, our parents are going to sell our house and move into a much smaller house, which would force us to live on our own. I personally can’t wait to move out, and plan to get my own place right after college if not sooner, Thx

  28. Joe says:

    I’ve known people that this has happened to and I have to say…. the older child living at home is just a symptom to a bigger problem. The bigger problem – the parent won’t let go. They are so “easy” on the kids it is rediculous — they’ve created a monster and then are upset about it. Push them out of the nest… give them a drop dead date to move out and stick to it. Your child will be better off.

  29. BethAnn says:

    I’m going through this with my 22 year old son – who will graduate this next May.

    My husband and I have to relocate out of state because of his job. My son is not happy he can’t move back with us to his home state. He says he wants to move back and “save” money. I do worry -because he chose an out-of-state school and now wil l be burdened with huge student debt – to the tune of six figures. We have provided him cars,insurance,rent,food, spending money. He says he can’t afford an apt. in this area (which is probably true\)_ I suggested getting roommates. Anyhow – he has been angry about it and then sad. He says we aren’t thinking how hard it is on him and we are self-centered! Amazing – anyhow- I will do as these other parents with my husband (who is is step-dad) Help with the resume, help him find an apt. etc. but I think they need to grow up.

  30. Richelle says:

    I’m 21, I do not pay rent, but I pay for my own prescriptions/medical, clothing, bills (credit and cell). I work 2 jobs 1 full time and the other part. I work every day, weekdays and weekend and occasionally, I work a full time job during the day and bus over to another job.

    My plan is to put away this money into an account so I can afford living. I feel that this site is very biased. It is very hard to live a young adult today. wages have only gone up 7% but living cost are up 47% since the 80’s. How can one earn enough to live with numbers like these?

    I have graduated school, and have a stable relationship, and am planning to marry in the near future. I am planning to move out in a year or two. This should be how long it takes for my boyfriend to get his job as a cop.

    Everything is planned. I put away 400 dollars out of my 500 dollar paycheck each pay (bi weekly) the 100 is spent on misc. (bills, dates, etc) the rest is saved for future living. I have no debt.

    My parents know this plan, but have out of the blue decided that they want to charge me rent. I’m a very hurt by this. I don’t consider myself a bum and I know they do a lot for me. In fact I try to cook my own meals, I do all my own laundry and some of the household laundry. I keep my room clean and I clean my bathroom regularly. I’m taking this as though they think I’m lazy and that I have no plan or direction when in fact I do.

    Not all young adults are lazy. Many of them work hard. The only way I see it, is this is an amount that they are taking for themselves, which I could have used towards my future housing fund which would actually result in a sooner move. Now I will be there much longer.

    Anyway I know I will get comments about how lazy and ungrateful I am. But would a lazy person have a plan and work 7 days a week?

  31. Richelle says:

    Also I forgot to mention, I pay for my own contacts, contact solution, contact cases, toilet paper, tooth paste, razors, make up, shampoo and conditioner, tooth brushes and any other toiletries I feel I am in need of.

  32. Bob says:

    This is a big problem with the mid 20’s generation. I am 49 & moved out when I was 22 & never asked my parents for a dime. Was it tough? Yes, of course it was tough. But life can be tough.

    My wife allows her mid 20’s son to come back into the house whenever he likes. He lives outside the house for a few months & then has to come back because he doesn’t know how to manage money & always finds himself in financial trouble. He had to come back this time because his bar tab where he worked was $3500 over 5 months??? He now lives @ home & doesn’t pay a dime in rent nor does he do any jobs around the house. He’s supposed to do some jobs, but doesn’t. My wife just keeps enabling his behavior. I think it is high time he grew up & figured out his own problems.

    My advice to her has been to charge him rent & put that money aside, so that he has a down payment for an apartment in 6 months, but she thinks I’m an idiot. I’m afraid he will be with us until he’s in his 30’s.

    My wife is afraid to let her son grow up, & he is afraid to grow up.

    To Amar (#12) Why not move out & pay rent? If you can give your parents that money, there is no good reason to be living @ home.

    To Richelle #(33) You seem to have a good plan, but don’t make it sound like you are doing you parents a favor by paying for your own toiletries. That should be something that is expected from the time you get a part time job.

    Our parents expected us tp pay rent when we graduated school & started working full time. Nobody grumbled & complained about it. We just did it. We WANTED to grow up. Things were expensive then too. I feel part of the problem now, is that we as parents have allowed these “adults” to act like this. They don’t need cell phones, ipods, flat screen TVs, etc. We have spoiled them beyond belief & now, when they should going out & making their mark on the world, they don’t know how.

    My wife has no plan with her son, she feels he will move out when he’s ready. His laundry is done for him, his meals are ready when he comes in from work & he has no responsiblities. Is that fair to him? Is that fair to the other people in the house who do their chores?

  33. Chris says:

    I feel for you. I was in the same situation with my wife ans step children, especially the step son.
    I saw this coming many years in advance and tried desperately to prepare for it. Tried all the proactive steps possible. Many were mentioned here by others. Came down to the mother enablng the behavior and still does. I finally left last year. It has become painfully obvious that she will continue, as will he, for many years to come.

    Young man. It was your place of residence up unitl age 18, period. It was never your house. As was so eloquently pointed out – you paid for nothing. Ownership, and entiltlement comes from work and investment. Up until age 18 you were allowed a reasonable expectaion that you could call this place “home”.

    It’s now time for the selfishness and fear of growing up to stop.

    Good for you on many points – at least you are not free loading, but that’s where the kudos stops.

    To you both and others like you;
    your parents graciously and lovingly gave up 20 plus years raising kids. Now it’s their turn. There is no excuse for kids to be living at home.
    Get a job, get two, get three. Get a roommate – struggle like everyone else has always done.
    Regardless of how long you are hiding at your parents home, Regardless of how much you save, you will face struggles and hardship. So did we all. It builds character and teaches us how to budget and manage our lives. It is how we actually EARN RESPECT of self and from others.
    There is a very distinct change in attitude in todays kids. There is a sense of entitlement that was not earned and the “oh poor me” syndrome. The I’m too good to work there or the I “won’t” work more than one job becasue it might hamper the socail life problem.
    Get a grip !!! These are sacrifices that anyone who made it has to make. Those who did not do so are under a bridge somewhere, with their attitude a shoping cart and nothing else.
    Parents are not “obligated” past age 18 – PERIOD – not by the state nor by God.
    The fact that many kids are still living in their parents home is an amazing priveledge and nothign else.
    You kids are “owed” nothing at this point.

    To the parents who are enabling these kids.
    Please see a qualified therapist. This is not healthy for your kids or you or your marriage.
    You are hurting all the above.
    There is no guilt to be had. You did your job, you raised them. Now set them free. Free to grow and make mistakes, just like you and I did. To suffer, and to learn to appreciate; just like you and I did.
    Bless you all, Best of Luck.

  34. nick says:

    As a parent I see by the majority of the comments made by other parents that we love our kids and we want the best for them it seems to be the universal goal, that as parents we want to help our kids help themselves.

    I told all my kids starting around 14 years old that when they got their license we would pay their car insurance until they turned 18. If they got a ticket or in an accident before they turned 18, they would have the choice of

    1. Quit driving
    2. Get a part time job and pay their own insurance.

    we also told them at the age of 18 they had a to get a part time job to pay for car insurance and take over their cell phone bill regardless of their situation. We also told them they had a choice to make when they graduated high school.

    1.Go to college full time and we will pay for it.

    2.Get a full time job and pay rent.

    You think this would seem like a fair deal or whatever you want to call it, right? My 21 and 20 year old kids don’t think so.

    I don’t get it nothing changed from the time they started school at five years old until they turned 18. They were required to bathe,clean their room, go to school, do household chores. No smoking,drinking or drugs were allowed and to always let someone know where you were going to be, (for safety and common courtesy reasons)In my house the same simple rules apply after the age of 18, honestly please tell me if this is an unreasonable request?

    My ungrateful selfish childish kids would rather pass up the opportunity given to them for some unknown reason.

    I notice (childish), as a key word here. Kids just don’t get that all we do as parents is try to make life as easy as possible for our kids.

    I would have talks with my kids, that we are trying to send them on the safest, fastest, easiest path to get their life started. I feel we are good parents and built a good strong foundation and I hope they end up at the same destination even though they decided to take the long winding road.

    So this final comment is for the kids and young adults out there, May your parents haven’t worded everything to your liking, but I hope you read these comments from the kids that took advantage of their opportunity and listen to how other parents handle their house hold so you can see we all want the same out come. I am waiting for he day kids realize and believe that their parents are the only people who would never put them on the wrong path. Please comment! I know most kids wont listen to their own parents, they always seem to trust someone elses’ opinion even if it is another parent I hope I got through to someone today

    good luck and god bless all

  35. RJ says:

    First of all I apologize for the bad grammar and long post…

    I’m glad to see there are other parents in the same situation I am in. My Son is now 22, moved back home 3 years ago after quitting college. He refuses to find work, does what he wants, and eats what he wants. Periodically he

  36. trish cooper says:

    I am a 41 yr old who thought she had got rid of her 22yrs old but NO HE CAME BACK he scabs off me everyday he asks me for everything.HELP my sex life was good until he came- now i- have to watch were i have sex not on the settee any more please help lots of love a nutty mum

  37. Bob says:


    You think that all kids should be booted out by their parents on their 18th birthday?

    Just to let you know, many states REQUIRE parents to financially support their kids until HS graduation which usually happens WHEN they are 18….not before. A few states require support until age 21.

    Child support orders frequently can extend through college.

    You need to quit attacking your idea of out at midnight on 18th birthday. I hope to God you aren’t a parent.

    25 and living at home is pretty pathetic. But 18???? No way.

  38. Bob says:

    Chris…I should have said attacking people based on your insane idea of out at midnight on 18th birthday.

    You are a cruel person.

  39. Bob says:

    I should have also said HS graduation usually occurs the May or June AFTER the kid turns 18….so they will still be in high school for several months to a year after their birthday.

    Kicking a HS senior out of the house will cause endless problems for the kid and they’re unlikely to graduate. Great parent who does something like that…

  40. Maven4 says:

    I have a 19 y/o who went away for 1 semester to college- he came home saying he was depressed, he had not attended any classes failed the entire semester and been dismissed …. I had no idea, nor did the rest of his extended family He his it ( or lied to all ) saying he was doing great & liked it there etc- After the finding out the opposite I brought him home- got him to a Dr and into counseling- He indicated it was his desire to go to school so we enrolled him at community college- I quizzed him on his sincerity he said it was what he wanted. Now I am learning he has only attended 1 of 4 classes he was enrolled into and lied about his attending the others to me all this time saying he felt pressured to go to school and isn’t ready – I get all that but I don’t get all the lies and deception not to mention the $$ thats been lost. I am a single parent and have done the best I can- All he does is sit infront of a computer he works 12 hours a week at most – doesn’t clean his room and gets upset when asked to do more – I asked him to move out & he gets very upset & starts talking about not having anything to live for – I’ve begun to realize this is manipulative & now recently have set a timeline and expectaions – do I need to do more???
    which he has proceeded to only

  41. Judy says:

    So, actually i am 26yrs old, living with my parents, looking for a job, but not contributing financially to the household, because im broke now. When i was working i did contribute. Anyhow, the only good advise ive read for people like me is to grow a pair!!! Ive taken the luxury to find my dream job before i TRY and move out! Yes now i realize that for me, that is not a possibility right now. My parents never told me or suggested to move out, which is great of them, the love their kids. But for me who only got the hint recently at 26yrs old, maybe talking to your kids about moving out or to take a direction is a good idea. I have a lot of struggles and challenges ahead, but its the only way. The other direction is a sick dependence on your loved ones, that will have ugly consequences. Wish me luck and courage!!

  42. Eric says:

    I agree with the parents on the point that after college people should find a job and help with the expenses, but don’t expect your kids to leave immediately.

    As parents you probably have experience going out and making it on your own, but things are different now. The costs of living have increased greatly while income remains low – and jobs are hard to find in this economy. By law you can kick your kids out, but if you do don’t be surprised when you see them homeless on the side of a street.

    Frankly some of these answers make me sick.

    Like Chris’s answer: “Get a job, get two, get three. Get a roommate

  43. ditto says:

    What if the child or son / daughter was paying child support & had to move home to make ends meet?

  44. Stacey says:

    My situation is this: I have a 20 year old who dropped out of high school and has only worked a few months earning very little. He has not made the effort to go back to school or tried to get his GED. He has not filled out work applications. His step-father and I argue about his lack of motivation. His step father does not want to support my son any longer and wants him to move in with his father. I’m torn and stuck between a rock and a hard place. Should I ask him to live with his father? Should I fill out the work applications for him considering he won’t? I have pushed him and gotten him in programs but once they end, he is right back to his normal routine of staying up late and sleeping in. He’s an introverted person and lacks self esteem, self confidence, and self motivation. He is going no where. He rarely contributes at home. I am not sure what to do as he is not prepared to live on his own. What should I do?

  45. Alden says:

    Eric – Really? refuse to work more than 25 – 30 hours a week? I hope you plan to be poor/homeless your whole life and you DESERVE it.

    I’m 24,(graduated college ’08) I earn over 6 figures at my job and my boyfriend (2 years older than me) earns over half a million at his. We both work 60 – 80 hours a week now. My first year I worked 80 – 100 hours a week. His first three years he routinely worked over 100 hours a week. ALL AT ONE JOB EACH FOR BOTH OF US. You have to be hungry.

    My mother begged me to move home after my ivy league graduation. I love her, and want to get her an apartment out where I live but moving home for me was not an option. I pay her healthcare and part of her mortgage (though I haven’t lived there in a decade – elite boarding school – on full scholarship with living expenses).

    BUT FOR ALL THOSE PARENTS WHO KICK THEIR KIDS OUT. Despite being the first person n my family to go to college and raised by a single mum. My mum did everything she possibly could to help me out in high school and college so that i could take internships based on career advancement rather than financial concerns and look where I am now?

    You might say, oh well I’m an ivy league kid so I must be smart. True. But if your kid isn’t at that level (or close) you are the fool for paying for college. Numerous studies have shown that if you don’t attend one of the top 311 colleges in the country, there is 0 incremental increase in earning potential over a high school graduate. In fact, those students attending colleges outside the top 311 generally end up earning less than their high school graduate contemporaries because they wasted valuable years when they could have been learning a trade(and wasted valuable parents capital that could have been used for investment in tools/training/licensing/own business).So basically unless your kid is home applying for grad school. If they can’t get a job after graduation you were a fool for paying for college in the first place.

    And its not about major…I was a classics (latin and ancient greek) major – so essentially useless.

  46. Alden says:

    and to ditto…if your kid is paying child support….they are SO SO SO incredibly beyond living at home. They chose to be an adult. The birth control pill is 99% effective. And abortion and adoption are always options. If your kid has a kid, that was a CHOICE they made and a pretty adult one. If it were my child, out of my house, no support, no contact.

  47. ditto says:

    Thanks Alden.
    After re-reading my post I realized I should have been more detailed.
    After he separated, there was a lot of legal issues. He does help out around the house, supports himself in every way and though he doesn’t have an extra several hundred dollars to give he does pay for small things around the home & provides extra food. Also he does work full time.

    To Stacey, I dont want to sound rude but is on something? if he’s extremely introverted community colleges often have Assertiveness classes or perhaps he could seek some kind of therapy.

  48. Erika says:

    I think some of you are really mean and are clueless about the living situation options of 20-somethings today. That’s not to say that I don’t think that parents shouldn’t put limits on what they’ll accept from grown children living at home, nor do I think that it is an excuse for adults to be lazy or moochers (or both).

    Some of you homeowners out there may not know this but it’s not that easy to just go get an apartment anymore. Many apartment managers have the requirement that a potential renter make 3 times the rent in income before they’ll even consider renting to that person. Three times??? That starts adding up. Who on an entry-level salary makes that much money?

    Finding roommates is a viable option, but I’d hope people can trust the kind of people they move in with. Would you just move in with anybody?

    That said, these are just obstacles and they can be overcome I’d imagine when one wants independence bad enough.

  49. Momwithboundaries says:

    My daughter will tell any parent…DO NOT ENABLE YOUR KIDS!!! They will resent you for it and take advantage of you! I made my daughter leave the house at 19 due to drugs, laziness, and lack of respect. She moved home 2 1/2 years later to get her life in order and was tired of the life “SHE” had chosen. She got her life together, bought her first home at 24 by herself (we did loan her $8000 which she has paid back with the first time homebuyers tax credit) pays all her bills, rents out her spare room to help with her bills(the rent pays half her payment, she bought within her means and what she could afford, not her dream home) drives a decent vehicle, goes on vacations, and enjoys life and feels a great deal of accomplishment and rightly so. I am very proud of who she has become and she thanks me all the time for not enabling her but loving her and being there for her when she needed me. She makes a very median income and does not extend herself. She manages money better than most people twice her age. She also tells all the parents of her friends to not enable their kids and let them grow up. When you let your kids deal with their own problems they no longer will be a problem to you. The problem is your kids need some problems. If they don’t have a job they should be leaving the house when you do and come home when you do and look for a job as long as you are at work. You’d be amazed at how quickly they will find work, even in this economy. Do your kids a favor and stop doing so much for your kids.

  50. Jack says:

    Alden, you show an impressive inability to accept others outside your own lifestyle along with a lack of understanding in the area of percentages for someone who graduated Ivy League. 99% is hardly anything. Out of 1 million individuals using birth control, would you say that the unlucky 10,000 deserve what they received as a result of their actions? Also, the rate for the most effective birth control is 97~99%, not simply 99%. Just a detail you seem to have missed.

    It seems as though you take great pride in your having been a “smart kid”, so I hope you don’t find my comments overly offensive. This post is intended to correct your bad advice and address your intellectual narrow-mindedness for the sake of others reading, not to attack your person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *