6 Ways to (Productively) Live At Home With Your Parents


Thirty percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 live with their parents. I am one of these people.

In 2010, an estimated 85% of college graduates said “hello again!” to mom and dad, towing behind them an average of $25,250 worth of student debt. If you’re a millennial who’s just not “there” yet financially, and you have parents with cash flow, you are part of a large posse. If you have the hammock of a stable family home to fall back on, I suggest you go ahead and plummet into the warm arms of your kin. There are just a few guidelines before getting in there I think you should know.

1. Yes, you are not a "success" according to superficial social norms, but this does not mean you have failed

Seventy-six percent of 18 to 29-year-olds say they get along better with their parents now than they did in their mid-teens. The pituitary gland has stopped secreting the overload of hormones that drove us to door slamming and weekends filled with thrill seeking debauchery. Your current state of earning enough income to warrant you as a member of the lower class, should serve as a slap on the face to help you see how hard your parents labored to afford a house, car, and keep food on the table. Living at home with your parents teaches you gratitude. Now you can nurture the parent/child relationship on adult terms. Taking the time to reinvent this bond is far more meaningful long term than appearing to have all your ducks in a row.

 2. Realize your parents have feelings, just like you …

When you’re a kid, parents tend to keep quiet about their personal problems so they can selflessly support you as you figure out yours. Your parents have stress to endure. Life still challenges them to a point of feeling fragile at times. This is a sensation they have learned to maturely endure. Do you know how chaotic their twenties were? Have you heard about their youthful, radical ideals? Talk to them about the nonsense they deal with at work. There are few feelings they can’t understand that are going on inside of you. 

3. Help out around the house

Plant some flowers. Cook dinner. Do their laundry. That semblance of invincibility your parents learned to project was achieved in part by keeping a tidy home. Respect.

4. Acknowledge you are their crossbred clone

You thought you could escape inheriting their personality traits, but you haven’t. Your parents are now in your face every day. You will start to see their eyes, noses, cheek bones, and lips stare back at you when you look in the mirror. As you learn to more clearly understand and accept your parents from a 20-something vantage point, you will grow to more clearly understand and accept your own self during a time period in human development highly focused on identity formation.

5. Retrace your footsteps

Re-familiarize yourself with the place from which you came. Run around the track of your high school. Be that weird, old person hanging out by the gymnasium. Make contact with old friends you’ve grown distant from. This is your chance to make peace with your childhood, so you don’t get stuck, like Jane Pratt says, at your emotional age, “that time in our past that we can’t entirely let go of,” because that’s when some terrible event happened. Take this time to make amends. Moving home will prove to you, you are not the person you were at 16.  

6. Stack that cheese

I’ve heard some people call it “Asian style of living.” I call it common sense. Save as much money as you can, so the year or two you spent living with your parents will result in the growth of a soft pillow of cash in your bank account. You can use this money to for the down payment of a house, or to start your own business. This money will actually aid your ability to achieve financial strength, and knock out all those indicators of adulthood everyone so badly wants you to do by a certain age.

 Moving home is good for growing up, really.