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October 6, 2020

Do You Live At Home With Your Parents?

Two non-binary friends playing video games laughing

Feature image from VICE’s The Gender Spectrum Collection

Have you moved back in with your parents since the pandemic? I’m joining forces again with Kelley Keehn and we share our thoughts and insights about this with Carolyn from Global TV’s The Morning Show. Check out my notes and video interview below!

We often think about ways for couples to express love and invest in their relationships, but parents and children can do the same. If you’re a young person living with your parents, get to know their love language and show them some love. You’re living in their home and you can give back without spending a cent. Make their favourite lunch as an act of service. Ask them to watch a film to spend quality time. Write them a thank you note to offer words of affirmation. Give them a warm hug when they’re stressed out as physical affection. And add something to their home as a gift.

Communication is, of course, key to all relationships, so if you’re living with your parents and they’re offering financial support, check in to see how they’re feeling about the living arrangement. Ask them if they feel you’re pulling your weight around the house rather than waiting for them to speak up. And ask them if there are little things you do that annoy them. Tell them you appreciate the support they’re offering rather than taking it with entitlement. When you open up the lines of communication, it can help to ease the tension. (I should also add that financial support shouldn’t be leveraged to manipulate or harm; you still have a right to feel emotionally safe even if you’re not financially independent, so I’m not suggesting that it all should fall on the shoulders of the child. The parents also have a role to play in opening the lines of communication.)

If you’re the parent of an adult child and you feel the relationship is strained or you’re harbouring resentment, you might want to start by reflecting on the good; fond memories from the past and joy you still derive from your kids. And you might also want to write down why you’re upset and what you want from them. Be specific. Are you angry about something from five years ago or frustrated that you’re shouldering more financial burden at this stage in your life? Once you know what you appreciate about them, why you’re frustrated (or angry or resentful) and what you want them to do about it, you’ll likely be better equipped to start a conversation with them.