How to Cope with Staying with Your Parents (As an Adult)

Five Parts:Respecting your parent's spaceRespecting your parent's wishes and choicesKeeping the peaceBeing a usefully contributing member of the householdCaring for your parents

Living with your parents after previously being on your own, having a job and life of your own can be a difficult transition. You can experience a lot of demands from them while taking care of their financial matters as well as doing the part of being a "breadwinner" in the household. In some extreme cases, parents can become very demanding and controlling of your adult life while under their roof. This can lead to a more complicated relationship between parent and their now, adult child. However, we cannot deny the fact that parents are the most special beings in our life. We cannot leave them easily just because we have become adults. During adolescence, they were the ones who had been there to support you, love, guide and teach you. Without them, you wouldn't be here reading this article right now. If you happen to still be living with them because of financial reasons or just helping them with a health issue, stay confident that you are doing the right thing. If you are having issues getting along with your parents as an adult living in their household, keep reading!

Part 1
Respecting your parent's space

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    Understand that as much as your parents love you, it's still their home. Even though you might contribute financially, it isn't the same situation as any other payment for shelter arrangement; your parents are used to things being as they like them, and it all rests on them having funded it in the first place. Treat it like a "first come, first served" policy. Most of all, be willing to share and be ready to compromise quickly on things that you know mean a lot to them and maintain their level of comfort and space.

Part 2
Respecting your parent's wishes and choices

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    Always respect the wishes of your parents. They're not your children, they're not in a position of deference to your preferences. If they want to watch a certain program on TV that you don't, show your respect and walk away. Be proactive and set things up to have your own space to avoid bumping into theirs, such as purchasing your own TV, watching things online or visiting a friend's place for those "must watch" things that don't interest your parents.
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    Accept that your choices will differ. From what you wear to what they eat, your choices will differ. This doesn't imply that either of you is right or wrong. Each person is entitled to the way that they want to live their own life. Respect and value their choices as you do yours.
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    Introduce your likes, preferences and lifestyle to them in subtle ways. Never be afraid to be yourself but do it respectfully. They may actually be more accepting of you once they know things better. Your likes may even become their preference over time.
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    Just because you are an adult now, doesn't mean the golden rule "obey and respect your parents" (or something along those lines) vanished in thin air. Oh no, buddy. That's a lifelong rule. Live with it, and try to be happy while you're at it. It helps ease unnecessary controversy.

Part 3
Keeping the peace

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    Listen to your parents. Expect to defer to and respond positively to their preferences when it involves the running of the household, the decisions about home management and the way routines are followed. While it is all too listen to reply and react, it is important to listen to your parents when they talk and really hear what their perspective is. You don't necessarily have to add something to what they are saying every time you talk. This will avoid most of those conversations turning into arguments.
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    Do not create or feed arguments. If you know they disagree on a certain point you want to introduce to them, just tell them to give your view a consideration and to focus on the positive side of your point. This will work well if in a conversation or meeting with your parents––give them the first priority to give their own views, to make them easily adjustable towards what you really want them to take in. However, your success all may depend on the kind of parents you have. If they they are always dictatorial, you will sometimes be forced to disagree completely with them, but if they are understanding you can always discuss the issues as they arise.

Part 4
Being a usefully contributing member of the household

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    Be self responsible. Take care of your own belongings. Do not expect your parents to be willing to fall into care mode and do your washing, cleaning, etc. as when you were a child. You are completely independent now and need to show this aspect at all times. If you do allow some help with your things, make sure it is part of an arrangement whereby you are helping them with something of equal value or effort.
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    Do things for your parents. Help them out a great deal and show them that you can be responsible. This will increase the happiness of the household greatly.
    • Go that extra mile to take care of their needs, regardless of what differences you may have. Parents may not say it often enough, but even your smallest, slightest gesture toward them makes them feel loved and fill the void created by generation gaps. Try cooking their favorite meal, leaving a sweet note on the counter for them, or doing a household chore that they typically take care of. Never forget to show your appreciation for having them allow you to live in their home.

Part 5
Caring for your parents

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    Keep a close check on your parent's health if they're elderly. It is possible that the mood swings and temper of much older parents are an outcome of an underlying illness. They may be irritable or angry due to an internal change or an underlying pain. Ask caring questions to elicit information about their health and help them with doctor's visits, etc.
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    Treasure your parents. We all have to leave this earth one day. We only have one life to live. Live it in the right way. If you are lucky enough to have both parents, realize that they are too special to take for granted. Someday, when you grow old as they are, at that point you will fully understand how short life truly is. Make today a day that you can look back at and smile from the memories you share with the ones you love.
    • Even if you become annoyed by their many, perhaps slightly infuriating habits, remember they've always been there for you; and don't think for a second they haven't felt the same way at some point about your actions. They too have had to endure your "many, perhaps slightly infuriating" habits when you were a child or an adolescent, or even as an adult. Patience is the key to a happy life.
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    Count your blessings. There are millions of people homeless because they don't have family and/or friends to lean on. When your parents begin to nag about something, just be thankful for the gift of shelter and that cement wasn't your pillow last night.
    • If you treat your parents as a gift rather than a nuisance then you will enjoy the fruit of their hard work and unconditional love. Remember, there were times when you were young and may have acted like a "nuisance", yet they always treated you like a blessing from above. Treating them the same way they did to you is the only way to repay their kindness.
    • Just remember that you are lucky to have parents. Imagine what life would be like without them. Once they are gone from this earth, they are still here in spirit but not physically present to be able to hug. Never feel bad about living with your parents. They love you more than you could ever imagine. If you have a problem tell them and come to an agreement, don't go overboard as you are living in their house!
    • Do not treat them as burden. If you treat your parents as an additional responsibility, then it is more likely that you will not be able to enjoy the process of being with them. Try to enjoy their association, just as a kid, which you used to do. Realize that now a role reversal has taken place. Your parents are now in your role as kid, and you are going to take care of them as grown up. Implant happiness in this relationship. Celebrate birthday, marriage anniversaries together with hugs and cuddle. Lighten up their lives!
    • Let your kids play with your parents. If you have children, ensure that they spend time with their grannies and grandpas. Given this fast world, when couples are sharing financial burdens together, you need to ensure that somebody takes care of the children in the home. Who can give better security and take care for your children than your parents? Also, when your kids see how you are taking care of your parents, it is more likely that they are also going to take care of you in future. Examples are more than spoken words, aren't they?


  • Don't get angry if they nag you, whatever parents say its for our own good and do respect their space. Love them, they need it.
  • Don't sit on the couch all day playing video games. Be a grown man or woman, and start to look for a job. Pay for their gas, or start buying your own food.
  • Don't get annoyed with their constant questioning. Understand that their questions stem from their fears for your safety and well being.
  • Respect your parents, they raised you, and are continuing to let you live in their home. Show them your appreciation.
  • Help out around the house. Do the laundry or the dishes. Clean up after yourself. Keep the house looking neat. Organize your parent's desk. Vacuum. They'll feel grateful when you help out.
  • Don't shout back when they are angry and shouting. You end up saying things you don't mean and hurt them. It will only add to the heat and misunderstanding between you. Allow them to cool down, in sometime they will have gotten over what made them angry in the first place.
  • Don't fuss over meals they cook. Remember its the same food you relished as a kid.
  • Don't get angry, depressed or sad if they are sarcastic towards your opinions or throw your views down the drain. The way that your outlooks and perspectives are a result of your experiences, so are theirs. Respect that, but stand by your opinions. You can put your points across without expecting them to accept it.
  • Remember even though you're an adult living with you're parents, doesn't mean you've failed. It just means you need some extra time to get your life together, which is absolutely okay.
  • If you are really feeling out of place while living at home, determine the real reason you are living with your parents. If it is out of necessity due to health reasons or financial problems, etc... then use the above tips to help you make the experience a positive one. If you just haven't made your way out yet, consider making a plan to eventually move away, whether in the near or far future. It is always nice to have a goal and it will motivate you.
  • Remember that they are the ones in charge and the ones that you are relying on. And also, remember that they are your parents, who once loved you a lot. And now, it's your turn to return favor.


  • There are some instances that you might feel like running away because of very strict and controlling parents. Just remember this; before you decide to leave the house you must be prepared for the consequences of living independently.

  • Some people may need extra patience when living with parents again after college. You are still the child in the situation, and even if you're a legal adult, they still have say over you. These tips may not work for everyone.

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Categories: Parenting | Family Life