What’s your experience with adult children moving back in with their parents?

A recent national study found a sharp increase in the number of households with two or more generations of adults. Today’s question: What’s your experience with adult children moving back in with their parents?

  • Steve

    When I graduated from college in 1982, my mother said I could move back in if I wanted to do so. I did not move back in. At the age of 21, it was time to stand on my own two feet.

    Besides, if you move back in, you are admitting that you are a complete and total failure.

  • Dmox

    I have had the opportunity several times in my adult, post-college life. I never have. I don’t think less of those who do, but the experience of standing on my own has caused more pain, and by extension more growing up, than I could’ve ever gotten at home.

  • Chad

    I’m 26 and have many peers living with their parents. I just don’t understand it. How do kids learn to care for themselves if their parents are doing it for them???

  • Peggy

    Long story short: Youngest son moved back home after graduating from college to (1) resolve a health issue and (2) apply to medical school. From the beginning, we all decided to try to treat it as a roommate situation, not parents and child. He has worked full time, resolved the health issue, and has been accepted to medical school. With the mountain of debt he will acquire from medical school, living at home during the interim was a smart move.

  • Steve from up north

    I have two experiences with this. First off for myself, moving back in with my parents was a good idea, mainly because I graduated in Dec. 2008, and found a job in my home town. Instead of finding an apartment it was more realistic to move back in with my parents. This has worked out well, I pitch in money like a roommate would, or renter. It was also nicer because I am getting married in a month or so, and instead of having to find a bigger apartment it was easier to find our first apartment from home.

    The second experience is that of my brother. He has spent time in and out of college, and I don’t believe he ever has a drive to move out of our parents house. For the most part my parents don’t really mind, we have a very large house, and with my brother and I out, it would seem very small.

  • Amy

    I lived with my parents from age 23 to 27. I was graduated from college and trying to find my path. Ended up in graduate school, so I didn’t have much options in terms of housing. The intensity of the graduate work was so much that I was only able to work on weekends at a coffee shop, certainly not enough to pay rent someplace. It ended up working out best for all of us because I was around to help around the house and once I finished grad school and was working, I was able to save up enough money for a downpayment on a house. My parent’s so much as said they would not have wanted me trying to live on my own and struggle with rent payments through grad school. They supported me through that time and now I am a homeowner. My younger brother is doing the exact same thing as well. I don’t think its a sign of weakness or lazy, its all about the transitions of life. I will do the exact same thing for my children if they need it.

  • Laurie

    I will have 2 in college next year. I am anticipating the very real possibility one or both will need to move back home due to the huge loans they will have to pay back.

    After raising my kids, I was looking forward to an “empty nest” and am a little disappointed we will not have that for several more years. I feel like I can’t get on with my life until they are settled in theirs. And, although it will help them out, it will be a financial strain on us.

    I will definitely be there if my kids need me, but feel the cost of college has made it prohibitive for kids to become independent right after graduation.

  • J

    Thanks Steve, I feel alot better now … ass.

    It is a choice of being homeless or moving in with parents people. Clearly some of the people on here have never actually been unemployed because if they had, they certainly wouldn’t have the unbelievalbe arrogance to say something like “How do kids learn to care for themselves if their parents are doing it for them???” or “Besides, if you move back in, you are admitting that you are a complete and total failure.” There simply isn’t the option in this recession to take any job to pay your way when openings at the damn gas station have 100 applicants.

  • Mark Vollrath

    My Fiance and I moved in with her Parents with our 2 yr. old about a year ago. We did so because I had changed jobs and taken a considerable cut in pay. We just couldn’t afford our rent anymore. With my pride I wasn’t happy about the move, but it did allow us to pay off a considerable amount of debt so far. This has given us extra weekly money to do activities which is nice. I have to say I miss the privacy of our own house. But another plus is having the grandparents around to watch our son so we can get more nights out to ourselves.

    Also of note, there is a generational gap in political beliefs with my Fiance and I leaning more to the left and her parents leaning to the right. This has flared some arguments, but we do our best to keep it civil.

    It’s been a tough adjustment, but it has allowed us to establish goals for our future that seem more obtainable and more focus driven, as we know we can’t stay here forever.

  • susan

    I have 2 sons, ages 21 and 25, they both live at home. The older son was laid off from a good job, and had to stay home, he was looking forward to moving out when the lay off happened, it was not a happy thing for him to have to stay at home. The 21 year old had moved out at 18, the job he had was at a gas station, when I found out that he had a knife pulled on him from a robber, and the management still didn’t have 2 people on duty at all times afterward, I told him I wanted him to quit and move home, one good thing was the Oasis closed down! haha! I wish we had a bigger house, my husband & I have our bedroom in the dining room, but I like having the adult kid’s here, they are interesting, and have good conversations with us, someday they will be moved out for good, so I try and see it that way. If they were ***holes it would be a different story, and there are times I do wish that were out. For us as well as for them.

  • Steve the Cynic

    This trend is obviously part of a grand socialist plot. By getting people to live in larger groups and spend more time caring for each other instead of themselves, they’re trying to brainwash us into accepting Obamacare and other tyrannical usurpations. Can Armagedon be far away?

    Seriously, for most of human history people lived in extended family groups, and it worked out pretty well.

  • Ken & Lila

    We are an ordinary lower-middle class income family. My income is $2,500 per month, and my spouse earns a bit more.

    We have three adult children, the youngest of whom is beyond 30. All of them have lived with us as adults, often more than once. All have children, some of whom have also lived with us. Extended family members have also lived with us, so I think we have earned the right to have an opinion.

    A long time ago I was a sponsor of Viet Namese refugees. Those fine people would take any job available and share a house with family and friends. The money was pooled to help one family buy a house, and it continued to be pooled until every family had a house. I took that lesson to heart.

    We all need help from time to time. Our son, who is disabled, put it best: “You took care of us when we needed help, and we will take care of you when you need our help.”

    We’ve helped our kids (and one grandkid) through post-secondary education. That’s what families do. Similarly, if we parents didn’t have a penny in our dotage, our retirement years wouldn’t be years of deprivation and want.

    As we see it, If we won’t take care of our family, we probably won’t be taking care of other important societal duties either – things like voting, charity work, and supporting MPR.

  • Haleh

    In Europe, Middle East, and Far East the children live with their parents and learn to take part of each other lives. Why is it so different in North America? It is nice to live together and be there for each other.

  • Jennifer

    After grad school, I was working three jobs because I still hadn’t found my post grad school dream job yet. My finances had been decimated during grad school – dog needed surgery, multiple car fixes, groceries, etc. On the day that my car heat stopped working for good in January, my laptop (which also serviced as my TV, VCR, and radio) broke and I’d been working for 21 days straight, my parents offered me a room in their basement.

    Yes Steve, I felt like a complete loser and failure. I was 30, had a graduate degree and had lived on my own since I was 16.

    However, it was the best decision I could’ve made as an adult. As I listened to MPR talk about people caught up in the credit card debacle, I felt empowered that I was able to put what would have been rent money toward paying off my debt.

    A little under a year later, I had a really great job and had paid off all of my debt, more than $20,000 worth. If that makes me a loser – so be it.

    I no longer live with my parents, but I’m grateful I had the opportunity when I needed it the most.

    Thanks mom and dad!

  • Kate

    I grew up living with my mother and grandparents all in the same house. My mother chipped in on expenses and we all helped with chores and repairs. I learned so much living in that situation. It wasn’t always fun to be a kid having to answer to my seemingly “out-of-touch” grandparents, but looking back, it helped make me who I am. When my grandparents got ill, my mother was there to help them through that.

    When my grandparents passed away, my husband and I jointly bought the old house with my mom so that she wouldn’t have to move into a smaller home. We each own half of the value of the home and we all share expenses. As time passes, my mom will be able to share her life experiences with any children my husband and I might have, and my husband and I will be able to help provide care as my mother begins to age. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it for more than just economical reasons.

  • Alicia

    I’m currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA in a small town in Minnesota and living at home. I spent the last four years in a school in a larger city, and have no savings because of all the money i spent on supplies for my school work.

    I graduated from school May of 2009 and the chances of finding a full time/living wage job was absolutely abysmal. I don’t know anyone I graduated with who is currently working in their field.

    I’ve been living with my mom since last July, and in February, my adult cousin also moved in with us. We have a small two bedroom house, and it’s taken a lot of patience and understanding on all of our parts to get along as roommates.

    By serving with AmeriCorps, i’m getting work experience that I wouldn’t normally have gotten, i’m becoming slightly more financially solvent (even though the pay is low). Living at home has at least allowed me to start paying off my private student loan, which i probably would have had to put into deferment by now otherwise. I’m $30,000 in debt after going to a PUBLIC school. This is incredibly common. I am planning to move out in August, and moving to a more expensive city with a larger job market. Because I moved home for a year after school and had the opportunity to take a job that I normally wouldn’t have been qualified for, i’m going to be more prepared for a (hopefully) upturning job market.

    I know this sounds odd, but i feel like i better understand what independence will mean in the future. I’m seeing the daily struggles my mother goes through with adult eyes for the first time, and learning exactly how hard it is to own a home.

  • Charlie

    This isn’t a new phenomenon. Most of my friends moved home after college in the mid1980s. We were hunting for jobs, paying off student loans, or deciding what to do next. Our parents were happy to help. Maybe it worked because I have responsible, courteous friends who have great parents.

    Although not quite the same, my parents’ experience speaks to the issue. They grew up in small towns far away from the bustle and opportunities of the big city. They came to Minneapolis and lived with siblings and cousins who had established apartments. After they met, married, and settled in the suburbs in the mid1950s, a steady stream of relatives passed through their door and into the spare room. At different times, our home hosted three aunts (one with child in tow), two uncles, and my grandmother. One of my sibs moved home after a divorce, and another after miltary service. I moved home after college. If my parents were ever bothered by extending a hand, they never said so. No one ever felt unwelcomed. We just budged up and set another place at the table.

  • Andrea

    I moved home twice, both time due to untenable living situations. Once at age 19 and again at age 23. Both times I was expected to pay for food and utilities. I’m 41 now and my mother is 75, I expect to move back to Minnesota in a few years to be closer to her. Because she now lives in a small town with limited employment opportunities, I may end up living with her again.

  • Roxanne

    I’m planning to move in with my mom and sister in 5 weeks when I graduate from college. I don’t really want to, considering I won’t even have a bed there, but trying to find an apartment right now while working to finish school and apply for jobs isn’t realistic. I think it will be harder for them to accommodate to another person than it will be for me. I think I’ll enjoy being with them and they’ll get sick of me first!

  • Deb

    As a parent of three children 28, 25 and 20, we have already experienced our older two living at our home with their spouses. Our oldest lived with us for three months after she was married. Our son and his bride of a year moved home to save money and get out of debt. They have been with us for seven months and have just signed a lease to move out. I know many other parents in our same situation. Its just tough economical times and as a parent you want to help. Sitting boundaries and time limits help.

  • Mary Alice Harvey

    I lived at home my first two years in college, It was a very happy experience. During my own adult life, my husband and I at different times shared housing with friends,many of them, 3 of our 4 parents, 3 of our 4 adult children at different times, grandchildren (both with and without their parents). With one exception, these were all very positive experiences. Keeping communication lines open so that expectations on both sides are clear helps. And now I am making room in my apartment so that my oldest great-grandson can live with me when he starts college. Where will this end? I expect with a child or grandchild taking me in when I need it.

  • Tina C.

    Some of the most successful and brightest people I know have lived with parents or grandparents while taking the medical boards, oral exams and bar exams. And these people never had a problem standing on their own two feet or adjusting. They just happened to have been raised in a family culture that valued responsibility positive attitude, respect, education and love. I have to say, these people still impress me. They just know how to deal with life so much better than most of the people I have seen.

  • evelyn

    have an adult daughter living with us. It is her husband also and three cats. They stay in their room all day and are up all night. Don’t cause problems other than they don’t help out with any household tasks. Seems very irresponsible to me to do that. My husband, her father, has multiple health problems. Was hurt at work five years ago and cannot work. two knee replacements and spinal surgery. I work four days a week usually. Have spoken to her about it, but she uses the passive agressive resistance. very clever. can’t figure her husband out in this thing. is a college graduate with a masters degree and i know jobs are hard to get but?????? about at the end of my rope. they are mid twenties. I am very tired of it. we have a large dog that is not allowed on furniture and she lets the cats everywhere. Knows our opinion of that. I raised three children and don’t like putting up with this now. She is the youngest. Her older brother still lives at home.Is an Asbergers syndrome adult. I feel very taken advantage of and want her to move on. Neither works other than the husband working very part time in the field of his degree.

  • nancy johnson

    My daughter, son in law and grandkids (2 ) moved back in with me a couple of months ago. They are going to be here for 10 months. I love them dearly and, although, there is an end in sight., I find myself feeling stressed and uptight because I miss my peace and quiet. I was wondering if anyone knows of some kind of support website that I could contact. I feel so guilty about this! I would appreciate any advice or help that you can offer.



  • j

    I moved out of my parents house at age 25…happily n successfully lived on my own for three years, got in a bad car accident and shortly after, laid-off from my job (not related to accident), and moved back in with my parents. It was a very hard decision, but definately the best choice!

    Now I am on unemployment, saving, actively looking for work and trying to improve my self and my health… It is really hard to make a decision like that especially when you are independent, harf-working, and free thinkng person like me. It is not comparable to someone who never left home or is too lazy to leave home, which do exist.

    Even my own parents have suffered from the current economy. My dad’s business went straight down to the point where he is in a whole new line of work at age 60. I feel scared for my family and worried and glad im here to help with what i can. None of us have health insurance. We live in scary times!

    On the bright side, and as mentioned by the poster before me, eastern people commonly live together…not only them but people of other parts of the world too… Americans are obviously much more independent in this aspect and getting on your own feets is so stresed and the opposite is easily looked down on. So maybe this trend in adults moving back home or in with family based on the economy and legitimate reasons could start/is starting a renewed cultural trend back towards closer family ties and this type of collectiveness in general – since things arent supposed to be getting better economically – but this country’s economic situation is actually forecasted as getting worse bt many, and maybe this signifies a change in our culture for the better. Just got research articles on the “lonley American”.

    Best of luck to everyone!