As people today seem to need more structure than less, I would set-up strict expectations in the form of a formal contract. What are kids learning if their parents shelter them and keep paying for everything?
"But I love my kids!" - Yes, everyone says that. To me, a parent's job is to give their child the skills to survive without them. It doesn't mean that you don't love them. It means, you trust them, you believe in them and you want them to thrive.
My rules would be one of the following to live with me:
- You have a job and pay rent. I would be okay with a reduced amount ($150-$300/month) to allow them to save with the idea, they would move out in the end. Otherwise, it is simply enabling and I see way too much of that happening in America today. Failure to launch. 🙄
- They are in school (community college, 4 year, technical, beauty, whatever). I would challenge them to give themselves a chance in the future. My area offers some free degrees—yes, completely free to the students as the skills are needed. Sometimes we have to put the work in and put up with a job we don’t like to get where we want to go. It is a good lesson for life. In place of rent, I would expect them to shoulder some of the household workload (laundry, cutting lawn, cleaning gutters, etc.). If they were away at school, they would still have do things (such as laundry, possibly cooking). These are life skills.
- I would allow them to stay if they had a serious health condition (which physically keeps them from working) without any rent or expectations. But they better have more than a hang nail.