Just when you thought you can live in peace with your partner and have planned for a weekend getaway, a cruise together or just want to enjoy your retirement. Suddenly, the doorbell rings and you find you're your child or one of your children at your doorstep, carrying luggage.
You are filled with mixed emotions, happy to see your child again but somehow disappointed with the thought that you might have to put your dream aside to take in your son or daughter. Whether he or she was laid off from work, has not been able to land a job after college, has gone through a divorce, or would just like to cut expenses. Find out the reason for your child's choice to go back home.
Will your child be staying with you just for a while or indefinitely? Knowing your child's plans will help you determine how you can plan as well. For all you know the stay is intended to be short lived and you just need to help your child define his/her own plans.
Start by setting the house rules. Whether your child wanted to go back home permanently or just needs a temporary place to stay define the rules. One way of teaching independence is to teach your child how to survive. Encourage open communication and adult conversation. Present the rules in a pleasant manner, that you end the discussion with mutual agreements to avoid conflicts.
Let your child shoulder some of the expenses you will incur during the stay. Boomerang kids are usually struggling financially, but you will only be able to support your child until he/she gets back on his/her feet again. Do not allow your child to fell the arrangement will be permanent so he/she makes an extra effort to move on and not just take advantage of your kindness. Encourage them to get a job, and define your expectations as far as what contribution is expected to be given since you need to budget your expenses as well.
Encourage trust, word of honor, discipline and communication. Let your child give a commitment to find a way to get over his/her own personal problems. Guide your child the best way you can without making him/her dependent on you. Discipline when necessary and make your child live up to promises made.
Make your child adjust to the changes and not you bending to follow what he/she demands. There are a million and one solutions to a problem, you are there to help solve the problem and not take it as a burden. Organize whatever you can, including schedules, the use of facilities, etc. to make your home life peaceful.
Consider your emotional needs and that your child. If there is a need for you to just be a good listener, be supportive and provide this need, but be firm and open to the possibility that your child may need professional counseling, therapy, or even rehab.
Consider all possible factors that may affect your survival. Your role as a parent never ends but it doesn't mean you need to sacrifice and suffer just because your child or children decide to move back home.