Moving students home? Make home life simple with a contract
Reading time – 5 minutes
It is that time of year when your young adult moves back home or the summer. You might think of them as your kid. They might think of themselves as an adult now that they have been living on their own for a year. Each of you has changed over the year and so has your relationship. Here are some tips on avoiding the conflict that might happen.Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectations are. Click To Tweet
It is a big change in lifestyle when students move home for the summer, for the students and the parents. Sometimes students think
- It will be just like before I left
- I will have the same responsibilities as I did living away from home
- I am on vacation for 4 months
- and so on…
Sometimes parents think
- they have lived on their own so they should have no problem contributing around the home without being asked
- now I have someone to help with all the work
- things have changed and we do things differently now
- and so on…
Each party in this living situation has different expectations so make a contract with each other so it is clear what the expectations are. My daughter presented me with some rules when she moved back home for a few months. She asked me to look at them and see if they were suitable and to add any rules. It made things very easy and simple because there were fewer misunderstandings.
Your contract/ agreement might cover the following ideas.
- Who pays for gas?
- When can they use it?
- Do they have to ask to use the car or can they just take it?
- Who buys the groceries?
- Who pays for the groceries?
- Do you buy everything on the list?
- Do you buy only the things you need from the list when you go shopping?
- Who cooks?
- Who plans the meals?
- Do you cook for everyone or only yourself?
- Who cleans up the kitchen?
- What needs to be cleaned, floors counters, stove, sink?
- Who does the dishes?
- Who empties the dishwasher?
- Do you record your activities in a specific place, electronic or paper?
- Do you need to tell where you are going and when you will be back?
- Are there any activities you are expected to attend?
Your young adult may feel like you are trying to “keep tabs” on their activities. They have not had curfews and anyone to report to in a year. Explain that you want to know when to expect them back for safety reasons. If they don’t return when they are expected then it is time to start worrying and start looking for them.
- Who is responsible for laundry?
- May they use the supplies at home or do they purchase their own supplies?
- Who does the cleaning, is it a shared task?
This checklist of ideas makes it seem like working out an agreement will be a lot of work. The agreement only needs to cover areas that cause conflict, tension or have changed since the student last lived with you.
Our agreement looked like this:
- Buy groceries: give Mom the bill, buy everything on the list
- Weekday meals: First one home cooks, Mom will try to plan the meals for the week
- Mom will pay for gas
- Clean and wipe counter and island and stove
- No dishes in the sink or on the counter, put them in the dishwasher before going to bed
- Record your evening activities and times when you won’t be home for supper on the calendar
- Politely and conversational let us know where you are going and when you plan on returning. This is for safety reasons, if you don’t return we need to know where and when to start looking for you
2 weeks ago I wrote about Moving a Student Back Home
Tell me what items you put on your contract in the comments below.
Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.
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