When your kids won’t leave the nest

With the high costs of renting and soaring property prices – especially in cities – more young Australians are deciding to live at home for longer. While this often makes financial sense, it can cause family tensions if you’re not careful.

Here are some tips on how you can make this kind of arrangement work better for everyone.

Set boundaries

Be clear to your kids: while they’re welcome to stay, you expect them to behave like adults. But remember it’s a two-way street, so you’ll need to treat them like adults too. This includes respecting their privacy and letting them make their own mistakes – within reason.

Charge board

Part of being an adult is about learning financial responsibility – and this holds true for adults who are still living at home. Make sure you charge your kids board to cover expenses like food, internet bills and anything else you think they should contribute towards.

Even if the kids are broke, it’s important that they pay their way. Remember, you need to save for your retirement – and they need to learn about financial responsibility.

Share the workload

Making a contribution isn’t just about money. Your kids should also to do their fair share of household jobs – including the cooking, if you decide to share meals.

While the state of their bedroom should be up to them, they need to be considerate about shared space. Few things breed resentment more quickly than having to clean up after another adult – especially one who isn’t working, or only works part time. So put together a chore roster – and be sure everyone sticks to it.

Make room

If sharing the same space isn’t working for you, consider giving your adult kids some space of their own. If you’ve got a granny flat, that’s great – otherwise, you might be able to convert your garage. Or if your home is big enough, you could allocate your second living room to them.

Keep talking

Whether it’s casual chats in the kitchen each morning or regular family meetings, be sure to keep the lines of communication open between you and your kids. That way, any issues or misunderstandings can be sorted out quickly – so you can make sure your home is a happy one.