12 Rules For Young Adults Living At Home

great rules for young adults who live at home

Parents want to know the best rules for young adults living at home. It is challenging to figure out what will work best to maintain a good relationship between parents, adults, and other house members. Some people think that because they are family, everything will work out, but this is not necessarily true. Conflicts will arise, people will tread on each other’s toes, and people will be taken advantage of if rules are not established. It is therefore beneficial for both adults that rules are established upfront.

There are four critical areas where problems most likely occur among individuals living together. These are establishing respect, contributions, safety, housework, and use of the property. When considering these issues, what rules should we set to avoid conflict with young adults living at home? The answers are the focus of this post.

Let’s dig in!

So, Here are 12 Rules For Young Adults Living at Home

Establish Respect

Establishing respect with young adults living at home is extremely important as this is the area where people typically get upset or develop resentment toward others they live with. And even though the young adult is your child, respect is not always expected, and sometimes we have to demand it.

In setting up rules for young adults living at home with you, think for a moment about what respect means to you—expecting to be greeted or acknowledged when you walk into a room may be a stretch if you have not established that relationship with your child. Of course, with such expectations, you teach by example.

But beyond such relational experiences, there may be things you will be offended by if your young adult does it so often. For instance, your young adult may use your car without permission, mess with your personal stuff, or even go into spaces that are private to you. Behaviors like these may present a problem.

Rule #1: Set the pace

Remember that respect is a two-way street; you get what you give. Both adults and young adults who expect to be respected should also be respectful of the other. People do many things that disrespect each other, though it may not be intentional.

Parents should try to be open-minded when dealing with young adults. You must be aware that no matter how up-to-date you believe you are, you exist at different times. Young adults don’t want to be told that their hairstyle is terrible, or they have bad taste in dressing, or to take off their tattoos. You can make suggestions to guide your young adult, but know when to back off.

Parents should also be patient with their young adults, not compare them to others and give them the space to develop at their own pace.

Young adults should be patient with their parents; again, we exist at different times, and our styles, beliefs, customs, and so on may differ significantly. Your older parents may be slowly catching on. Young adults can show respect through their conduct, speech, and help that they render.

Rule #2: Be Clear on Expectations

Everyone has expectations of others when they share space, but no one will get into your mind to figure out what you like or don’t like.

Parents should ask themselves, what do you anticipate your living together to be like? Do you expect your young adult to use your kitchen freely or eat your food or not? Do you expect them to be home at a particular time? Are they allowed to bring friends home? Can they drink your alcoholic drinks? This list could go on. Find out those important things to you and make sure you communicate what you expect.

Young adults, what are your expectations? While trying to meet the obligations of your parents, do you need to be left alone at certain times, do you expect your assigned space to be private, or do you come in late at night? Should you be able to use the kitchen and so on? Make sure you let your parents know what you expect of them too.

Rule #3: Set Boundaries

Once you set your expectations, the next step is to set clear boundaries so that each person respects the boundaries of the other.

In setting boundaries, parents should include everything you think of, which you will not like tampered with, such as time, space, and property. For instance, if you do not want your young adult to drive without your permission, let them know when you discuss expectations, but set these down as boundaries that your young adults will not cross.

Financial Contributions

Discussing contributions with your grown child can be tricky. Even when they make more than enough money to support themselves outside of their home, young adults may not expect to make contributions when staying in their parent’s homes. This is why it is pertinent to include contributions when creating rules for young adults living at home.

rules for young adults living at home

Rule #4: Determine Rental Contributions

Parents may or may not want to charge their young adults living at home for rent. But that does not mean that young adults should not pay rent or contribute towards this payment if and when they can afford it. Doing so removes the feeling that you are a “cost” to your parents, whether or not they communicate this with you, and makes it easier to make demands that may benefit you.

Young adults or parents can initiate a talk about rental contributions. If the parents have expectations of rent, this should have already been discussed under expectations, but determining the contributions and communicating this clearly should also be a priority.

Suppose a young adult cannot afford to pay rent when the parent requests rental contributions. In that case, they should be clear about this and make arrangements with the parent where they can either defer their contributions or make substitute arrangements.

Rule #5: Decide on Contributions for Utility and Other Living Expenses

There may be other living expenses that parents expect their young adults who live at home to contribute to. When making rules for young adults living at home, ensure you address every single expense you expect contributions for. This may include utility bills, housekeeping bills, household expenses, insurance, and so on.

Rule #6: Discuss Food Contributions

Some parents with young adults who live at home may not ask for monetary contributions to food. This does not mean they do not expect you to purchase grocery items occasionally, especially if you share food items in the house. Some young adults will instead buy their own food and not eat food purchased from their parents. Whatever the arrangement is, make sure it is communicated clearly.


Safety is a big issue for households, and young adults living at home should be cognisant of measures already implemented by their parents to keep the home secure and abide by such rules.

Rule #7: Young Adults Should Let Parents Know Where They Are

Young adults, letting your parents know where you are, who you are with, or what you are up to does not make you juvenile. Usually, this is for safety reasons. People typically look to those they live with for answers if anything happens to anyone. Also, when parents know their child is supposed to be somewhere, they will look out for them. If you don’t come home, they know when to get worried.

Rule #8: Young Adults Should Not Come Into The Home After Certain Hours

While it may be normal to work pretty late or come home in the wee hours of the morning after a party, this is not usually safe for individuals on the go or at home.

When young adults make it a habit to come in at any hour, they may expose the home to intruders, forget to lock doors or reset the security system, expose themselves to predatory cops on the road, and so on. When making rules for young adults living at home, parents should try to set rules about entering the home or leaving at odd hours.

With this said, parents should also be cognisant that young adults have a private life, and you shouldn’t be trying to control everything about them. For this reason, you should ensure that rules about coming in or going out of the home at odd hours are reasonable and agreed upon.

Rule #9: Young Adults Should Not Share Private Information With Others

When young adults live at home, they become privy to private information. Make sure that you include privacy in the rules you set for young adults who live at home with you.

For instance, parents may share their keys, security alarm codes, credit card information, debit card codes, wifi codes, computer passwords, and so on with their young adults. Young adults need to understand that such information is given to them in confidence and that it is essential to keep such information secure. Doing so will protect home inhabitants from break-ins, identity theft, and virtual or physical theft.


Because human beings make a mess just by living, there will always be an issue of housework. Naturally, there should be expectations that parents should lay out in their rules for young adults living at home.

Rule #10: Clean Up After Yourself

The most irritating thing to most people who share space is cleaning up after someone else. Realize that living at home with your parents must have benefits, so don’t try to blow it by being a slob. Clean up after yourself without being asked to.

Rule #11: Help Out in The House


Every parent has expectations for help in the house by all who live in in it, therefore, parents should write these expectations into their rules for young adults living at home. Not including your young adults who live at home in housework quickly becomes overbearing and can lead to resentment.

Other Items to Consider

The experience for young adults living at home should not just be about rules, regulations, boundaries, and punishment. This is a special time to make memories, as parents may never have this opportunity again.

Rule #12: Have Fun

Parents and young adults should try to make out time for fun with each other. They should also make every experience fun. You don’t have to step out of the house or spend money to have fun with one another. Try cooking something special, watch a movie together, or schedule game nights.

A Few Final Words

In addressing rules for young adults living at home, I hope parents and their young adults can see that rules are not negative at all, but intended to keep some peace and sanity in a shared environment.

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to consider a similar post, how to deal with young adults living at home. Plus, you should be helping that young adult to move out from home, get tips here.

Christine Udeani, JD
Christine Udeani, JD

Christine is a dedicated mother of six young adults and a teenager who has made significant contributions to the online world through her writing and entrepreneurship. She attended Northwestern University, Strayer University, Thomas M Cooley School of Law, NWCULAW, and holds degrees in business, Law, and Communications. She shares tips and experiences to help young adults and their parents with this generation’s issues.

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