23 June 2013

How to cope with the (usually) 
twenty-something boomerang generation - or with teenagers in general

Rule No 1: who's house is it?

Whilst you may love your offspring dearly, you've looked after them for many years and now some me-time will be in order.  

So, here are a few ideas for coping with your dear children's return to live under your roof.

Firstly, when mine went out at night, the rule was that I left the hall light on and when they returned they'd put it off.  Thus, if I woke up in the night to darkness, I didn't worry as I knew they were safely home.  
Or if they weren't going to come home that night, they'd let me know before I went to bed, so I could put the door-chain on.

After 11am (my bed time), they could stay up if they liked - but in their own rooms  - and if they wanted to listen to music/watch TV or play on their computers, then earphones were in order. Ditto talking to friends could only be done near-silently.

If any food were to run out, either replace it or at the very least write it down on the shopping list.  And throw away the empty packaging not leave it so that I didn't realise it was empty!
Keep their own rooms clean - not always adhered to, but not my responsibility.

I tried not to worry about them on the basis that if they were living elsewhere I wouldn't have a clue what they were doing, so why worry myself now!

If they didn't want to eat what I cooked, then to make their own - and clear up afterwards.

They were asked to put out their laundry if they wanted it washed, otherwise to do it themselves (remembering not the put the machine on at night so's not to disturb others).  But that I'd leave them to do their own ironing.

When children return you each have to adjust and, as a mother I felt that rules for us all were essential.  I can remember when on holiday from boarding school it was difficult to adjust to being home, in particular remembering to say 'goodnight' to the family as this wasn't something we were used to doing at school.

These ground rules not only helped us to live together amicably but I feel they also prepared them for living with other people - one of the responsibilities of parenting.  And these ground rules must have been comparatively successful as I still have a very good relationship with both my daughters - and I try to obey these rules when staying with them in their own homes!

One of the biggest shocks I got was when my older daughter, who hadn't been the tidiest or most organised of people, said on our arrival at her new house: 'oh, I haven't had time to vacuum yet!'.  And my mother daughter often rings for a chat when she's cleaning the bathroom 'because it's boring' - what, cleaning the bathroom or talking to me.  An old joke in our family now!

There are a few more ideas on: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-197676/Living-boomerang-kids.html
and: http://www.forbes.com/sites/janetnovack/2013/06/13/get-off-my-lawn-living-with-kids-makes-seniors-less-happy/

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