Returning to the Nest: Three Unspoken Rules for Boomerang Kids

man getting all the boxes out of the van

It’s not new for adult children to move back in with their parents after graduating from college or while looking for a job. More often than not, it’s the most sensible financial decision. Rents are erratic. Jobs are scarce, sometimes.

But while it makes financial sense to return to the nest, the set-up isn’t necessarily smooth sailing. In fact, arguments are inevitable. You have your own thing. Your parents have theirs.

If you want to make this ~temporary~ living arrangement work, you need to know the unspoken rules for you, boomerang kids. Make sure that you follow these diligently.

Lay down your reasons for moving back

You should start with a good talk with your parents. Your aim here is to be transparent about your motives for returning. If you’re trying to save up, say, for apartment rent or a start-up venture, explain these clearly.

With these goals in mind, you accomplish two things. One, you get to estimate how long you’re going to be spending time at their basement. Thus, forcing you to commit to the temporariness of this living situation. And two, you can help your parents communicate their expectations of you based on those goals you have and manage those assumptions from the very start.

Think of yourself as a renter

Remember, even if you’re the child of your folks, their home isn’t yours. Act like a tenant moving in. Don’t leave your belongings scattered. At the same time, don’t neglect your own designated space. Your parents may not snoop in there and see all the mess, but again, this is still a borrowed space. Strive for cleanliness all the time.

On the day of your move-in, don’t let the boxes lie around everywhere for a long time. If you’re travelling from Melbourne to Sydney, for example, get help from professional removalists. With moving services, you don’t need to worry about your stuff, saving you ample energy to unpack, declutter, and fix up fast.

Other than home stuff, share in the expenses. You may not be able to pay your parents a monthly fee like in a typical renter situation, but at least cover some of the costs where you can.

Be considerate of your parents

daughter with her parents

What does this mean? There will be times when you would feel like you’re being treated like a 15-year-old. Your folks would ask you where you are when it’s already late. They’d tell you to do this, not that. They might meddle with what’s going on with your life, with your career, business, or love life.

In these situations, don’t take it personally. Your mom is just being a mom. It’s hard for them to let go of the parental role, when basically it’s who they are for the longest time. If the parenting, however, becomes ‘hovering’ over every little thing, then that’s when you remind them that you want to be treated as a grown-up and not some little kid.

Moving back in with your parents isn’t the easiest living situation when you’re already in your 20s. But sometimes, there’s really no choice. If you, however, do learn to follow these rules mentioned, you can make this set-up less stressful for you and your parents.