In this post, I’m listing 10 of the most important rules for 20-year-olds living at home!
Let’s be honest, for most parents, having a 20-year-old living under your roof isn’t easy.
If you don’t set some clear rules or boundaries and let them run riot, things can quickly become unbearable!
For the good of your relationship – and mental health – here are 10 rules to set for your 20-year-old living under your roof:
10 Rules for 20-Year-Olds Living at Home
1. If They’re Earning They Need to Contribute to The Bills
This is a tough conversation to have with your kids, but it really shouldn’t be.
If they are working and earning money, they should contribute to the rent and household bills. After all, they’re adults now.
Charging your child rent is perfectly normal, and it’s going to help teach them the value of money and responsibility.
Even if they resent it!
The only question is how much you should charge them, but I’ll leave that up to you.
2. They Need to Check First Before Having People Stay Over
We’ve all been 20 years old and I’m sure you remember what it’s like to be young and carefree.
On the other hand, being a parent and sharing a home with your adult children, the last thing you want is to run into a stranger in the night.
You need to let them know that they should always check with you before having people stay over.
It’s your house, and you should feel comfortable with who is staying under your roof.
Plus, it’s only polite!
And don’t be afraid to tell them ‘no’ if you feel the need to.
3. They’re Going to Have Some Chores
A house doesn’t run itself and having an adult child under your roof means there is going to be a lot more tidying, cooking, and other various chores.
It’s only fair your child picks up their fair share.
However you decide to split up the chores is up to you, but just make sure you hold your child accountable.
And don’t forget to be grateful when they do help out around the house!
It really does make a difference. Trust me, I know from experience.
4. They Have to Respect You as Their Parents Not Housemates
It’s easy for the relationship dynamic to change when your kids are adults, but you still need to establish your role as parents and children if you want to live in harmony.
Respect goes both ways, and you need to remind your children that they should still respect you as their parents – not just housemates.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and share mature conversations, but there still needs to be those parent/child boundaries.
5. You’ll Respect Each Other’s Privacy
Privacy is important for everyone, no matter what their age.
As much as you have your child’s best interests at heart and want to keep a close eye on them, it’s important to respect their privacy.
This means not snooping through their things or going through their phone without permission!
It also means giving them their own space in the house where they can go and know that they’re going to be left alone.
You have to keep in mind that your child is an adult at 20 and able to make their own decisions, even if you don’t agree with them all.
6. It’s Not a Hotel It’s Your Home
This is saying I think most parents have used at some point in their lives.
But it really does apply to having a 20-year-old living at home.
Your child should know that this is your house – and theirs – and not a hotel.
This means they shouldn’t expect to be picked up after, waited on, etc.
They need to be respectful and take care of the house just as you do to ensure you both have an enjoyable experience living together.
7. List Some Things that Will Result in Them Being Kicked Out
So it’s clear where the line is, you should list some things that will result in your kid being kicked out.
This could be something like not paying rent, using substances you don’t agree with, or anything else you feel strongly about.
It’s important to set these house rules from the offset and be committed to sticking to them if you want to avoid any explosive situations.
8. Set Some Clear Rules Around Food
Food is one of the things that causes a lot of arguments among families, housemates, and just about anyone sharing a home.
It’s important to set some clear rules around food from the start.
Will everyone be pitching in for groceries?
Who is responsible for cooking?
Can they help themselves to anything they find in the cupboards or will they have their own food?
Get some ground rules down as soon as you can so you don’t go to cook something for tea only to find it’s already been eaten.
9. Honesty and Communication Is Crucial
This is probably the most important rule of all.
If you want to live together peacefully, you need to be honest with each other and communicate.
If something is bothering you, say so. If you need help with something, ask for it.
And if you make a mistake, own up to it.
Living together is a lot easier when everyone is on the same page and knows what’s expected of them.
They may be your children, but you’re all adults and there is no reason why you can’t all behave like mature adults and talk things through.
10. At The End of The Day You Have the Final Say
The final rule that trumps all rules is that you’re the head of the home, the parent, and what you say goes.
I’m sure you are going to be reasonable and flexible so that your child has the best experience under your roof, but ultimately it’s your call.
If you don’t want something happening in your home and you make that clear, they have to respect that no matter if they agree or not.
Tips for Enforcing Rules with Challenging Adult Children
If you find yourself having to enforce rules with a challenging adult child, here are a few tips:
- Be clear and concise about what the rules are and why they are in place, stick them on the fridge if necessary!
- Explain the consequences of breaking the rules and let them know you’re not going to be a pushover
- Be consistent with enforcing the rules without nagging them or making them feel like you’re being overbearing
- Don’t give in or make exceptions, no matter how much they plead otherwise this will set the tone for them to take advantage more often
- Be firm but fair – remember you are the parent and they are the adult child!
- Try to keep the lines of communication open so you can talk about any issues that arise, if you can communicate freely there are no issues you can’t overcome
Hopefully, by following these tips you will be able to successfully navigate having a 20-year-old living at home with minimal stress!
Do you have any other tips to add? Have you set rules for 20-year-olds living at home before?
I’d love to hear about it if so, please feel free to add a comment below.
Image credits – Photo by Manuel Parra on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.