Question:I need advice on rules for a 20 year old living at home - how not to treat him as a child anymore.
Thanks for contacting us. As far as you son is concerned, I would encourage you to be very firm in the rules you believe are consistent with your values in the home. You don't want to treat him like a child anymore but he is also NOT an independent adult in charge of his own life. If that means, you need to set "curfews" that you believe are reasonable, set them. If you want it quiet at home after a certain time, you have to limit the calls he receives in the home. If he is working, he should continue to have responsibilities in the home. You have to start teaching him and moving him toward independence. Yet, there are limits. You have certain expectations of what you want in your home...keep at them diligently. You also might want to start talking about how long he is going to live at home. You might want to start looking at dates for him to be moving on his own in the future. That gives you and him a deadline to start working toward.
It is also suggested that you have a "contract" with your adult child living a home. The contract can include what will be expected for them to continue living at home and that if these expectations are not being met...your child has agreeed (by signing the contract) to the decision to not live at your home any longer. Encourage your child to get an free apartment guide/magazine at the supermarket (or go to apartments.com) to help them start to get a feel for cost of living, what's required to rent, etc. I hope that helps.