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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 11/13/08

What are some guidelines for parents with adult children living at home?

The teenage years are known to be tough, but for some, the years following are even harder. Although children always will remain so in their parent’s hearts, a young adult has the ability and right to make his or her decisions and mistakes. A young adult that still lives at home must balance their own lives as well as life with their parents; a difficult juggle to balance. Lately, more young adults have chosen to live with their parents. In 2001, 57% of young men and women, aged 20 to 24 were living with their parents and that number rises continuously.

It may be easier financially for young adults to live at home, but the opposite is true for their parents. Children can unknowingly cause a tremendous financial burden to their parents by living at home as an adult. Additionally, parents have to adjust to not being able to influence their child’s decisions or exercise control over their child.

If you have an adult child living in your house, you need to set firm rules that must be accepted as a condition of his or her continued right to remain. This is, after all, your home, and you have a right to expect that your standards of civility and family life are respected. Explain to your child, if need be, that in his own home he will have the right to set the rules, but here in your household, you and your spouse have ultimate authority.

In the Jewish Community

It is more common for adult children to live at home in the Jewish community than in many other communities, making the subject all the more relevant. Unlike non-Jews who typically leave home at the age of eighteen to go to college and do not come back, young men and women in the Jewish community are encouraged to live at home until marriage unless they are attending a post high school program far from home. Although that does not pose a problem if they get married young, tensions may rise after a few years of living together. Parents are reluctant to suggest that their children live away from home, fearing that their child will be lonely and crave human company. For some of the ultra-orthodox members of the Jewish community, there is a stigma for children who live independently, and many would rather suffer in silence than be ostracized from the community. Parents and young adults must work together to find the right solution for them. Every case is unique; there is no one size fits all solution.

Use the following links to learn about the benefits and disadvantageous of young adults living at home. Find out how to make your decision and how to act upon it.

Frequently Asked Links

Why do some young adults choose to live with their parents?

What do I owe my adult children financially?

What are some of the consequences of living with an adult child in the house?

How can parents and adult children live together successfully? more

What are some of the mistakes made by parents with adult children living at home and how can I avoid them?

How can I cope with the financial and emotional costs of having an adult child live at home?

How can I decide whether to allow my adult child to continue living at home or not?

How can I get my adult child to live independently?

How can I help my adult child move out without any hard feelings?

How should I behave towards my adult children after they leave the house?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

The hands on guide to surviving adult children living at home.

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