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How much is too much when adult children live with their parents?

We have three daughters. A pregnant, unwed 25yr old , a 23 yr old and a 17 yr old. The 17yr old is in her senior year and does not work. The 25yr old was laid off 3 weeks ago. The 23 yr old has a stable job earning $36,000.00.

The working ones have been contributing $100 a month toward the household. The 25 yr old cooks, cleans, feeds the pets, etc...The 23 yr old cleans the cat boxes every two weeks and complains. She also has a friend that stays here regularly. Since they live here, they use and have access to all the commodities...washing clothes, using products, eating food...etc...

Is it unfair to ask for more? I love my daughters dearly and want the best for them but, my husband and I are having difficulty maintaining the household. Am I being a bad parent if I demand more? I am feeling guilty and do not want to displace my daughters. Please provide advice.

Answer Question

Asked by Rosetatt at 9:44 PM on Feb. 13, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 1 (1 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • I would personally ask for a bit more contribution to the household...especially out of the older two.
    IMO it sounds like they have it pretty nice and you sound like a really good parent, not a bad one. :)

    Answer by hannahwill at 9:47 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • Dont feel guilty. They (the 2 oldest) are plenty old enough to be on their own. Of course you want whats best for them , but I think the best thing here is to stop enabling them. THe longer you feed into it the longer they will take advantage you. Maybe they could move put together and help each other out.

    Answer by sylvia10907 at 9:47 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • definitely not, on 36,000 a year she can afford her own apartment. my husband makes that much a year and we pay $500 a month rent from my parents (we live in the CA bay area where the apartments are SO expensive)

    Answer by aliciatron at 9:48 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • Don't feel guilty! They seriously need a dose of reality and you would be doing them a great disservice if you did nothing and let them mooch of you. I think the 17 year old should still be there as long as she is in highschool/college but should be required to cook for the family at least once a week and be in charge of some chores. The 23 year old needs to get a place of her own! The oldest needs to be directed in the direction of some public services that will help her find a job and get on her feet; I dont think she should be kicked out until she can survive on her own, but this shouldn't be a free ride. Her full time job should be looking for a job and she too should be requiered to cook once a week and do daily chores (although it sounds like she is doing that). Sit down with her and help her make a plan. Where will she be in the next year and how she will get there type plan.

    Answer by hgibsonorc at 9:49 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • I have been in the reverse of your situation. My DH and I were building a home and sold the one we were living in before it was ready, so we lived with my parents for several months. We were prepared to offer help with groceries, etc., but my parents refused the help. I did help out with chores. I'm saying this to let you know that I do have some frame of reference, even though my own kids are young.

    You're not doing the 25yo & 23yo any favors by allowing them to live in your home without any responsibilities. You've raised them and provided for them when they were young. You've done your job. If it were a temporary situation and you were trying to help, that's one thing, but that's not what it sounds like. You have every right to ask them to help out, and in fact you *should* ask for help because they need to learn to take care of themselves. And their children. You deserve more respect than it seems they're giving you!

    Answer by flmom321 at 9:55 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • I agree they all should help out more. Right now my husband , self and 6 1/2yr old daughter are living with my parents Until we can find a place to rent that will let us have the animals(My daughter has a dog, I will not make her get rid of it because she already had a dog die when she was younger). So we are waiting until we can find something in our price range that allows animals. Since their are 6 of us in the household(Parents, younger sister, & us 3) We split the bills,etc rent 50/50.

    Answer by kathynej7142007 at 10:11 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • No need to feel guilty. The 23 year olod should be feeling that way.

    Time to lay down some rules. Give them 30 days notice of an increase in the "rent." They can pay or find a new place.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:10 PM on Feb. 13, 2009

  • No need to feel are being a good parent but time for the birds to fly!

    Answer by Jbug799 at 12:26 AM on Feb. 14, 2009

  • LOL, if they could live anywhere else on $100,lets all move there. They are getting off cheap.It is not your responsibility to take care of the 25 and 23 year old.Ask for more than that and explain to them why. I understand the 25 year old being laid off and it will be hard for her to find another job being pregnant, but, she does help you a lot from what I can see,so it will be tough to ask her for more when she isn't working, so her help is a big help to you. But the 23 year old is different. Start showing her apartments for rent and stuff and hint at finding another palce. You are feeding 2 extras, and shouldn't have too. Tough love is the key.

    Answer by Kat122 at 6:15 AM on Feb. 14, 2009

  • Let's just say your light bill is 500.00 amonth, then each adult should pay 100.00 each, same with house payment if it's 500.00 amonth then they should pay 100.00 each month for it also and so on with everything that it takes to keep your house running. If you spend 500.00 a month on food then make them pay 100.00 of it as well. It's nothing but right to teach them how house hold is run. If they can find a cheaper way of living then tell them to find it but not in your house. They are grown now. Have you ask the 25 year old how she is going to pay for her baby when she has him or her. Some kids just love to depend on mama & daddy. I had a 20 year old daughter who moved back in with me and she had a son. Things did not go to well when I got a 700.00 light bill. She was not working & she wanted to play house on the weekends with her boyfriend, so I had to give hard love and send her on her way. Now she see's how hard it was.

    Answer by breezy2005 at 9:24 AM on Feb. 14, 2009

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