Is 6 years too long for adult kids to live with parents?

Remember when women advised each other never to date a man who lived with his mother? How times have changed.

© Digital Vision/Getty Images

© Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you’re under 30 these days, you may have a hard time finding a man or woman who doesn’t live with mom or dad. A new survey commissioned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that young people 18 to 34 believe it’s OK to live with your parents for up to five years after college and that 20% of Americans believe it’s OK to live with parents as long as you want.

Whether this will fly may depend on your parents: Those 55 and older say it’s OK to live with parents for only up to three years, though parents are more tolerant than non-parents. And 13% of people don’t believe young adults should ever move back in with their parents. Plus, 57% believe having adult children at home prevents parents from moving on with their own lives.

The economy may be a reason to move home temporarily, but you can’t let the state of the economy get in the way of living your life,” psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, a consultant to Coldwell Banker, said in a news release. “The key to deciding if this living situation is right for parents, children and families is figuring out whether or not it will help the child develop and thrive.”

The survey respondents made a distinction between slackers – those who lived with their parents because they don’t want to grow up and take responsibility – and young adults living with their parents to achieve a goal, such as paying off student loans or saving for their own home. But 70% of those surveyed believe too many young adults are avoiding responsibility, and 65% believe too many are overstaying their welcome.

Of those polled, 92% believed adult children living with parents should do chores – those other 8% are reallyslackers – and 82% believed they should pay rent. The survey did not ask how many families were putting those beliefs into action.

Most experts suggest setting up rules, expectations and, in many cases, a timeline before the children move back in.

At Empowering Parents, Debbie Pincus wrote a two-part series about coping with adult children living at home, including those who drive parents crazy. Among her suggestions:

Be sure to set time limits and parameters on your adult child’s stay. These can be readdressed or changed around; there can be some flexibility, but be clear about the plan. And that plan might be, “You’ll stay until you get a job,” or “You’re going to stay until you get your first paycheck.” If your child is going to stay until he makes a certain amount of money, be clear and in agreement about that. 

Basically what you’re helping to do is create motivation. If there’s no guide and no set time limit, there’s no motivation. You might say, “What we expect is that after six months, you’re going to have your own place.” You’re not telling them what to do; you’re making clear what you’re going to live with.

What do you think about adult children living with parents? Under what circumstances would you let your children live with you, and under what circumstances would you move back in with your parents?

This article was originally published by Teresa Mears on MSN Real Estate. To see the original article, click here.


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