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Yup - you're moving back home.

You graduated high school, you moved out of your parent’s house, you’ve had jobs, relationships, maybe kids, pets, credit cards, and now that you’re officially deep into “adulthood” you’ve done the one thing you swore you would never do - you’ve moved back home.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Nothing. 

 

Here’s the deal:  you can go home again and live to tell the tale.  It may be difficult, because frequently the minute we enter our parent’s home we become the omnipotent 18 year old of our youth, impatient and arrogant.  However there are some things you can do to begin creating a harmonious living situation for everyone involved.

  1.  Remember who you are.  You’re an adult with accomplishments and experiences.  If you haven’t introduced your adult self to your parents, now’s the time.  You have lived a life full of wonderful and not-so-wonderful things. Take pride in all that you are, the good, the bad, the tired.  As such, you may need to navigate new territory with your parents as you find yourself constantly reminding them - and yourself - that YOU’RE AN ADULT.  You drink, you swear, you have sex.  You’ve had successes and made mistakes.  You don’t need to be home by the time it gets dark out.  Which leads me to the next item…

  2. Give your parents a break.  Guess what – they’re are adults too!  They’ve had lives full of accomplishments and experiences.  They may also have certain ways of doing things that seem completely foreign to you and may make you think, “How did I survive this?”  Who knew that food could last so long and still be eaten when microwaved to a crisp?  And, yes, there really is such a thing as a gently-used paper napkin.  But if you’re wanting respect from them you also need to give it back.  Your job is not to correct them, which can lead to tension and anger. Be gentle with them, practice patience, and keep attempting to give them the understanding and courtesy you want for yourself. And when that fails…

  3. Give yourself a break.  I’m going to tell you this right now:you’re going to say things you wish you didn’t, and do things you wish you hadn’t.  Perhaps it’s that umpteenth time your mom attempts to flatten your hair with the miracle of her spit that makes you snap.  Don’t beat yourself up over it.  Just as you’re being asked to practice patience with your folks, practice patience with yourself.  You’re learning to live with new roommates who quite possibly have entrenched beliefs and habits that may be 180 degrees different than yours.  This may make you irritated and exasperated.You may lash out.  Is it the end of the world?  No.  Can you learn from it?  Yes.  Breathe through it.  Most importantly, remember this….

  4. Just as “good enough parenting” is a thing, so too should “good enough adult child-ing”.  Bruno Bettelheim, the author of “A Good Enough Parent,” wrote that, “Good enough parents do not strive to be perfect parents and do not expect perfection from their children.”   This can also be applied to you as the child.  You are not a perfect person and I’ll venture a guess that you’re not a perfect child.  The problem with perfection is it leads to blaming, that someone is always at fault.  It removes all empathy and compassion, two things that are essential to relationships.  As you navigate your new place in your parent’s home, do so with empathy and compassion.  Try to understand your parents, hear them, and forgive them.  Your parents will always be your parents; you will always be their child.  None of you are perfect, but all of you good enough. 

     

     

     

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© 2019 by Christine Kreger.  All rights reserved.