How old is too old to live at home with mom and dad?

United States
September 17, 2008 11:03pm CST
I was listening to a discussion today of a mother who said her son was living at home, totally dependent on her for support, not working and not in school. He is 32 years old. He is not disabled, not ill, not in school and has not been working for 5 years. He just sit at home all day watching TV. Does not even have dinner cooked for her when she comes home. She said she is trying to prepare him for real life, lady please, like watching TV prepares you for real life....well maybe if he's watching Sesame Street. I was out by 18, completely on my own and never looked back. Now I don't mind assisting or guiding my children when the come of age, but once you cease to be a tax deduction, you really don't have many more years in my house unless you are ill. Yes, I don't mine them coming short term, but for long term stay, get a job and find a Holiday in Express. I do realize sometimes folks have to move back home for various reasons to get themselves together, but this to me should be just a short stop, a layover. Not counting those who are living at home to take care of aging or ill parents, how old is too old to be living at home with mom and dad?
7 responses
@capirani (1840)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I have no problem with grown children living at home with parents--IF--they are contributing to the household, such as with expenses, chores, etc. In many cultures and in ours in previous years, it is/was common for children to remain at home until married, and sons stayed at the parent's home and brought their new wives home to them. I think it can be admirable if the children are home with the parents and being a big help to the family. However, for grown children to remain in the family home but sit around and contribute nothing, it is time for them to be kicked out. They need to do some serious growing up and get some perspective on what real life is all about. To sit around and expect mom and dad to continue to take care of them is ridiculous and inconsiderate.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Sep 08
Very good point capirani. With today's economy, combining economic resources is an added value these days. It's those with no contribution to economic development of the family household that becomes a problem.
@zeny_zion (1284)
• Philippines
18 Sep 08
theres no age. for me as long as my kid wants to stay with us. my kid can stay forever. i love seeing my kid and guide her. i dont mind staying with us even if shes married already. i want to see her and the future grand children. i want to take care ofthem as long as i can.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Sep 08
So zeny_zion do you feel you can't give guidance, see your child and grandchildren if your child moved out and established some independence? Because I feel that independence is important to me and my children, I allow them, no demand that they attempt to make it outside the home. I'm still guiding them, I still get to see them and I'm sure will get to see grandchildren when they come. Although I want to take care of them, I think it important for their self confidence that they have the opportunity to enjoy the same opportunities I had of accomplishment in their own family life. Not only important to them, but to me as well for I know should something happen to me, they have gained knowledge and experience to take care of themselves.
• United States
18 Sep 08
I believe that under these circumstances, she is wrong in letting him stay home. He's just vegetating. When my 5 children graduated from high school and started college, they really wanted to be considered out of the household. When they came home it was to visit. It's not because they didn't love being home, they just wanted their independency. I also believe that the home should be a place your kids came be welcome in at ANY TIME! And because of that, we have helped them and their families between jobs, after college graduations, while building a home, etc. They always insist on paying rent though. We don't allow it, but when they insist, we put their rent in an envelope and have it there for any emergencies they may have. The main thing we have to remember is that our children are always welcome to come home any time they want. But we also have to let them fly on their own.
• United States
19 Sep 08
I agree roseygoodman. We are crutches if they fall to help lift them up so they can heal and move on. It is more important to me with my children to know that they can function on their own should something happen to me. I have a little peace of mind knowing they can handle it.
@chengbeb (285)
• Philippines
18 Sep 08
My answer would be I don't know. Our society...our culture in the Philippines is far different from the rest of the world. Our society depicts that even when we get married and have children we still live with our parents. It's a close knit society. For example, I'm 30 years old, married with 2 kids, my husband is currently in Singapore. We live in their family compound. I'm with his parents and other siblings, his brother who is also married and has a kid also lives within the compound. The neighbors are mostly relatives. But it's the upbringing that makes it different. We maybe living together but we work our butts off to help and support each other.
• United States
19 Sep 08
Thanks for the comment chengbeb. Well I think this is completely different. In some cultures living with family is the norm. Sadly here is the US, some are not as family oriented to the point that we expect the children to stay at home forever. More like we would love to have them around, so buy a house next door to ours, but you can't live in my basement forever. In a small way, the values of your culture in terms of family has a positive that I don't see as prevalent here in the US and that is that the elders are taken care of.
@mom4kids (658)
• Canada
18 Sep 08
She's not preparing him, she's enabling him. Sounds like something I've seen on Dr. Phil. If something happens and he had to live at home for awhile fine, or even if he never moved out I don't really have a problem with it as long as he is contributing. If he doesn't have a job, his job is looking for a job. If he is staying at home and cannot contribute money until he has a job then he should be like the live in maid! No wonder he doesn't want to leave, he has it made, other than the fact he won't get a woman because he is living with mommy and jobless, but other than that, no responsibilities, why would he want to leave?
• United States
19 Sep 08
mom4kids it is so easy for us to enable our children because we love them. I agree if they are not contributing, they have to leave. Wouldn't it be funny though if he did meet a woman and both of them moved in?.....well actually, not funny to me, but if mom and dad let him stay free of charge, what's to stop him for bringing a family in as well. You got to put your foot down somewhere!
• United States
18 Sep 08
I'm thinking about after college. If you need time to find a job, fine, crash for a few weeks; but just staying there and not doing anything? that sounds like your cheating your parents... They're counting on you to take care of them when they retire..... I think it's ok to crash at your parents once in a while if you're close by and wants to visit, but actually living there everyday? that's a little weird.....
• United States
19 Sep 08
jjfunnyguy not only weird, but would give me an uneasy feeling if I were the child with nothing to contribute. I would be on pins and needles wondering when were my parents going to wise up and throw me out and I have no place to go and no means to make it. Think about it, God forbid something happens to the parents, what survival skills has this child gained? I agree, if the children have means of taking care of themselves and need to stay for a while cool, but don't cripple them by taking care of them and robbing them of the opportunity to gain skills to take care of themselves.
@sandra966 (269)
• Spain
19 Sep 08
Yep I think I agree with most of the above posters. There is no upper age limit to leaving home. I didn't leave home until I was 26. Yes I was working, and paying rent and doing cooking, shopping and other stuff, but my mum never said a word about moving out. I too, would say to my kids when they are old enough, that they are welcome to stay with us as long as they want to. BUT they need to be working, or looking for work, and contributing in some way to the household. I come from an Italian family and there too, it used to be (not so anymore) that the children would grow up and move into a floor in the family house with their spouse and start a family. Even here in Spain, I see many families who live above their elderly parents. I think in the current climate, where even young professionals can't afford to get on the housing ladder, more and more people will be forced to stay with their parents until they can get a huge deposit to make a mortgage feasible.