How to Make It Work When Your Millennial Moves Back Home

(Photo: Bigstock)

(ABC News)– There are a growing number of parents that still support their adult children who live at home.

Living with parents is now the most common arrangement for millennials, the term used to refer to adults currently between the ages of 18 and 34, according to a May report from the Pew Research Center.

Ramona Emerson, 29, made a decision to leave the New York magazine industry after five years and move in with her parents, Sharon and Charlie Emerson.

“They were so excited when I said I was going to move home,” Emerson told ABC News.

Because the move is only temporary while Emerson takes pre-med classes before starting nursing school in the fall, she thought the move would be fine.

After a few months in, she said she realized the living space at her parents’ home was much smaller than she anticipated.

Emerson is an only child and says that her parents are “a little bit obsessed” with her, but “thankfully we do have a shed in the backyard where sometimes I like to go.”

Debbie Pincus, a New York and Connecticut-based psychotherapist, suggests setting boundaries to avoid conflicts at home.

“Clarify from the start, you know, let them know what you are okay with, what you’re not okay with,” Pincus advised parents.

Emerson said her new living situation proves challenging after years of living independently.

“When you’ve been independent and then to come back and have people watching your every move and I imagine silently judging me, that’s probably been the biggest challenge,” she said. “The eternal thing is, ‘Oh don’t you want to put on an jacket?’ I get that probably every time I leave the house.”

Emerson’s father told ABC News he feels his daughter needs some real world advice.

“She also has issues with practical things,” Charlie Emerson said. “She lit a chicken on fire…we’re pretty knowledgeable about you know how to keep from burning the house down.”

Pincus said that clarifying expectations such as curfew, expenses and cleanliness will help make it all work. Another recommendation is setting clear household contributions for adult children, such as doing the dishes, cooking and acting their age.

“You feel so much better if you try as much as you can to act like an adult and your parents will be very happy about that as well,” Emerson said.

Sharon Emerson said she would advise other parents to make sure they see their child living at home as an adult.

“If you don’t think you like your kid at the stage they’re in now…don’t do it,” she said.

Emerson said she is glad she’s had the “really positive” experience of getting to know her parents more as an adult, but is ready to be back on her own.

“I’d do it again…well maybe not again, but I’m glad that I did it,” she said.

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