When is it time to say “No” to your adult children?
In the final article of this series, let’s refresh our memory on what needs to be done to encourage our adult children and get them involved in our game plan. Find a time when there is peace in the house then sit down with them and proceed to let them know why you want them to become independent adults and the steps you’re going to take with them to insure their success.
Remember, your game plan is not open for debate. You are informing them that there are new rules while they live in your home and if they don’t like the rules they can move out! Explain to them that the money trail has ended and that mom and dad’s bank has closed its doors. They have to make it on their own and you’ll be there to encourage them every step of the way. You now have set boundaries for yourself and your adult child. Make sure you’re very clear regarding your expectations if they choose to continue living with you. This can include doing their laundry and their cooking. Their bedroom will need to be neat and tidy and they will be expected to clean up after themselves and that you are no longer their housekeeper. They may not be willing to add extra chores like washing your car or cutting the grass but if they are kind and are willing to go the extra mile, then all the better.
You will need to identify the changes you want and explain in detail each item on your list and why you have it listed. You will also need to make sure they understand the consequences if they do not comply. So what are your expectations should your child decide to continue living at home? Here are some general ideas: Will they pay rent? If so, you will need to determine how much and the date it is to be paid. What will be considered shared expenses in running your home and how much will they pay for gas, electricity, water, etc?
Think about household supplies. Will they be responsible for buying their own laundry detergent and dryer sheets? What are you guidelines about having friends over? How will they pay their debts and credit cards? If they are borrowing your car should they be paying for the insurance? Is your ultimate plan to have them move out? If your answer is yes, then determine a reasonable move out date. When they move out, what furniture can they take with them?
These are the kinds of questions you must list before you sit down and meet with your adult child. Let them know that you love them and will encourage them as they make these life changes but you will not do it for them. Make sure they understand you will not co-sign for any loans or leases. Help them understand you will no longer be their personal secretary and you will not be calling to remind them of appointments, when to pay bills, etc.
In closing, be strong, stand your ground, and be firm. Take control of your life. Don’t enable your adult children to use you. Have respect for yourself and help them by helping yourself.
There is so much information I would love to share with you regarding this subject. I simply cannot fit everything into this series of articles! If you have any questions, please give me a call and we can arrange an appointment and talk.
In this series we have examined why adult children take advantage of their parents and have learned how to regain control of your life, peace of mind and finances.
Are you experiencing a difficult time in your home because your adult children are taking advantage of you and your spouse? Do you feel manipulated and hear the same old excuses? “Mom I am so tired I can’t look for a job today” and “I promise to start looking for a job on Monday, you’ll see” or “Dad, it’s not my fault! They will not hire me” and “The economy is bad and nobody is hiring! What’s the use?” If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can help you. Give me a call today!
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