Adult Children Living At Home? 5 Ways To Create A Less Stressful Existence With Your Boomerang Kids

02/28/2013 07:49 am ET

With an estimated 85 percent of new college grads moving back home and roughly 13 percent of adult children ages 18-29 returning home after attempting to live on their own, the boomer generation is left to deal with a new set of parenting pressures, and a suddenly "un-empty" nest.

Having 20- and 30-something children under your roof again can be a major source of stress and tension in any family. Whether you're worried about your grown-up kids getting a job or just contributing to household expenses, a delicate new set of household dynamics comes into play when adult children return to the nest. Scroll through the list below for five ways to making living with your grown-up kids less stressful.

1. Set clear goals, rules and timelines.

When your adult child moves home, make sure to set some preliminary guidelines and restrictions so that you're both clear on what to expect. Do you want your child to move out by the age of 25 -- or whenever they get a stable job? Will they be contributing some amount of rent money? Setting clear parameters at the outset of a new living situation will help prevent your child from overstepping boundaries or overstaying their welcome.

"Clearing the air now can prevent miscommunication later," says U.S. News and World Report finance expert Gary Foreman.

2. Respect your kids' choices and independence.

Although you may not agree with your adult son or daughters' choices in their career or personal life, if you're both going to coexist peacefully, it's in your best interest to allow adult kids to live their own independent lives, without judgment. But of course, make it clear that they'll be expected to act like an adult -- and that includes doing their own laundry.

3. Set financial boundaries.

Once you've put some ground rules into place, make sure to enforce them -- particularly when it comes to finances. Living at home while launching a career can be a helpful step for young people in building a solid financial future, but it won't do them much good if they're spending the money they save and taking advantage of the cheaper living situation. Christina Newberry, author of "The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home," cautions parents against covering all of their childrens' living expenses, which can create a dependent relationship.

Some baby boomer parents suggest having kids focus on using their income towards student-loan payments, rather than contributing to rent.

Whatever it may be, find a financial system that works for both you and your adult child, and stick to it.

4. Embrace new roles and avoid slipping into old patterns.

With your kids back home just like before they went to college, falling back into old roles and patterns and habits can feel natural. But things aren't the same: Your role as a parent, and their role as a child, has evolved. Develop a new system of interactions, rules and shared housework that reflects both of your greater independence.

"You think you're going to be able to just slide back in to the same parent-child relationship you had when you were younger," Newberry said in a HuffPost Live segment. "And it doesn't necessarily work that way because both the adult child and the parents have different expectations and different needs because of where they are in life."

5. Avoid placing blame on yourself or your kids.

The economic situation has hit young people hard, and this generation faces greater challenges in launching their careers and paying off college debt than any previous generation. Although it's easy to blame your children and think of what you might have done differently as a parent, placing blame will only increase your stress levels.

"This is far from a case of failure to launch," writes Huff/Post50 Associate Editor and millennial Anthonia Akitunde. "It's the economy's failure to launch us into the lives we grew up working toward."

How do you minimize stress in a multi-generational household? Join the conversation in the comments below or on Twitter @HuffPost50.

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