Moving students home – Make home life simple

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

Expectations

It is a big change in lifestyle when students move home for the summer, for the students and the parents.  Sometimes students think

Share your ideas

What are your expectations?

  • 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 expectation 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 less misunderstanding.

Your contract/ agreement might cover the following ideas.

Sharing the car

May I have the car?

Car                                                                                                                                                

  1. Who pays for gas?
  2. When can they use it?
  3. Do they have to ask to use the car or can they just take it?

Food/ Groceries

  1. Who buys the groceries?
  2. Who pays for the groceries?
  3. Do you buy everything on the list?
  4. Do you buy only the things you need from the list when you go shopping?

Cooking

  1. Who cooks?
  2. Who plans the meals?
  3. Do you cook for everyone or only yourself?

    Where do I start cleaning?

    What needs to be cleaned?

Kitchen

  1. Who cleans up the kitchen?
  2. What needs to  be cleaned,  floors counters, stove, sink?
  3. Who does the dishes?
  4. Who empties the dishwasher?

Schedule

  1. Do you record your activities  in a specific place, electronic or paper?
  2. Do you need to tell where you are going and when you will be back?
  3. Are there any activities you are expected to attend?

Laundry

  1. Who is responsible for laundry ?

Cleaning

  1. 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:

Food                                                                                                                                                                                 

Family agreements about house rules

Make a contract / agreement with everyone in the family to reduce stress and misunderstandings

  • 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

Car

  •  Mom will pay for gas

Kitchen:

  • Clean and wipe counter and island and stove
  • No dishes in sink or on the counter, put them in the dishwasher before going to bed

Schedule:

  • 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 for safety reason, 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.

POC Gold LeafJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She enjoys working with her clients to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She reduces clutter, streamlines processes and manages time to help her clients be more effective in reaching their goals. Julie can coach you to break-free of the physical or emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Contact her at julie@mindoverclutter.ca  

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Comments

  1. Our kids lived at home while in college, so I never had to deal with this as a parent, but I did when I was younger and moved back home with my parents. They expected me to still be a kid and I expected to be treated like an independent adult. Working out details the way you outline here might have eliminated a lot of tension.

  2. It is always hard for all parties, parents and children, to make the transition from being perceived or acting as a child to being treated and acting like an adult. Once the transition has been accepted by everyone life is great again.

  3. I’ve only had my kids home for the summer once they left for school, and even then only for part of the summer. I think drawing up some clear terms if a wonderful idea. I do remember that one issue we had to discuss was the coming and going “hours.” Kids do tend to stay up much later, and we had to be up and out to work!

  4. I’ve only had my kids home for the summer once they left for school, and even then only for part of the summer. I think drawing up some clear terms if a wonderful idea. I do remember that one issue we had to discuss was the coming and going “hours.” Kids do tend to stay up much later, and we had to be up and out to work!

    • My children were in their 20’s so we had a rule that they had to tell us what city they were going to and if they were coming home that evening. I told them that if they didn’t arrive home I want to know where and when to begin looking for them or call the police. I was very straight forwarded about my reason.

  5. Having a discussion, even if there isn’t a formal contract, is a great idea. The truth is that when kids return home after being way things ARE different. Everyone (even us parents) have changed. But for our kids, they have experienced more freedom and independence than ever. So coming back home can be tough. However, with some open, honest conversation and some flexibility, it can all work out very well…and be a learning/growing experience for everyone.

    It seems that cleaning up after cooking and establishings some consideration rules with communication and staying out late were the issues that we had to work on. But again, with a conversation or two, we were able to work things out in a mutually agreeable way.

    • A friend who had her marriaged child with grandchildren move home and live with her for a couple of months commented that they should have had a conversation to set out guidelines when they first arrived. Now we have another friend in the same situation and their married child and family will be living with them for a year. We have suggested that they have a conversation to set up guidelines to help make things run smoothly.

    • My daughter was driving home from school. A 10 hour trip. She is the one who came up with this great idea. It has served me well. It has prevented many misunderstandings.

  6. This is a great idea. I know when my son first moved home from college he thought he could come and go as he pleased. That drove me crazy! I wish I had thought to have a contract with him. Thanks for posting this.

    • It’s hard for them too to start doing things differently. I think that in itself is a good life lesson for when they have roommates, partners, are guests in people’s home to consider behaviors that are required in different settings.

  7. Wow! I love the list. Wish I’d had it when my kids were going through this stage. It’s always good to have “the conversation” with the whole family and get expectations out in the open. Communication is key. Thanks.

    • My daughter came up with this idea. She had been away for home for a number of years and we had a long drive home. So she asked me a number of questions about areas of concerns for her and I add a few of my concerns and with the list on the fridge the summer went very smoothly. I feel like since I am the parent I should have come up with idea but she is a very smart young lady.

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