Adult children at home

We may love our children. But that doesn’t mean that we always love them living with us.

When adult children seek to return to their parents’ home, the request may be sudden and unexpected. You may have little time to consider whether you really like the idea, or to discuss how living arrangements might work. Having an adult child (and possibly their children too) suddenly sharing your house is not always easy and their behaviour may make things worse. Things might go well in the short term, but over time, these situations can deteriorate, and some people even end up afraid of their adult children.

 When children seek to return to their parents’ home, they are often motivated by something going wrong in their own lives. Your child could be dealing with a range of problems which may affect their behaviour – and, over time, create problems for you:

  • Violence: some adult children who return to their parents’ home are fleeing violence, while others may have been the cause of it.

  • Depression, anxiety or other mental health issues: mental health problems are increasingly common in today’s society, and may be brought on by a relationship breakdown.

  • Alcohol or drug abuse: again, a common cause or effect of relationship breakdowns

  • Gambling issues: problematic gambling can cause financial stress and dramatic mood swings.

  • Unemployment or financial difficulties: Australia is an expensive country for those on limited income.

No matter how old your children are, and whether or not they now have kids of their own, you will always be their parent. It is natural for you to want to do what you can to help them. But it is also important to look after your own needs.