There are numerous reasons why you may find your adult children staying at home. These reasons could range from cultural reasons to financial ones. Nevertheless, the dynamics at home between you and your adult children cannot be the same as when they were young. They are already grown-ups, and they should be treated accordingly. One of the ways to treat your children as adults is to make them do some chores around the house.
Since your child is already an adult, there are chores around the house that you can leave to them. For example, they can be primarily in charge of lawn maintenance. They can also be hands-on inside the house such as cooking and washing the dishes, doing the laundry, cleaning around the house, as well as keeping the house intact. These are all chores that should be more than fair to give to your adult children. As they are already adults, it is important that you have to be fair and clear regarding these assignments.
This article will outline some chores for adults living at home, and how to go about changing the dynamics in your home.
Adult Children Staying Home
In recent years, various sources of statistics have pointed out that current generations of young adults are more likely to stay home with their parents. In 2015, a US Census Bureau report showed that a third of young adults aged 18-34 lived under their parents’ roofs. A similar study reported that 85% of college seniors expect to move back home after graduation, a stark difference from historical trends.
While parents expect to become “empty nesters” the moment their children go off to college, many are surprised to find their children back home after graduation. This widespread phenomenon has led to the term describing these young adults as the “boomerang generation.”
Although parents are understandably happy to have their children around, this living situation can lead to certain worries. Common reasons for worry typically include financials and the general wellbeing of the adult children involved.
Nonetheless, adult children will have to be treated as the mature adults they are. This can be handled in a number of ways, but one of the easiest ways to assign responsibility is by giving them chores.
Chores for Adults Living at Home
In order to contribute to the household, here are some chores for adults living at home.
Lawn maintenance is one of the best things to give to your adult children, especially if you and your spouse are already into your senior years. Lawn maintenance is important since the outside of the house has to look good, but the tasks involved can be quite labor-intensive. Thus, it is best to assign this to your adult children who would be more capable of doing these chores.
Chores surrounding lawn maintenance actually differ depending on the time of the year. Starting with spring, lawn maintenance begins with cleaning up and removing deadwood and plants from winter. As spring is also the time of year when plants begin to sprout again, this is the season when it is important to get the fertilizer out to help the grass grow lush and healthy.
As soon as summer rolls in, lawn maintenance will primarily be involved with keeping up with the growth. This could entail a weekly mow to keep the grass trimmed and looking well. Aside from the grass being mowed, other plants might need trimming and pruning such as shrubs, hedges, and trees. Depending on the heat, irrigation should also be considered. These early seasons might also require weeding.
After summer, growth begins to slow down as the temperature begins to drop during the fall. Chores during this season will be primarily raking the dead leaves that will eventually accumulate if left unattended.
The plants will require little to no attention during the winter, especially if it snows during the winter in your area. However, you might need to have your adult child shovel snow once in a while.
Aside from making sure the lawn plants are well, lawn maintenance can also extend to infrastructure upkeep. If you have a porch in the front or a gazebo in the back, you might also need to look after those. Tasks involved in maintaining those structures would also be better left to your young adult child.
One of the best ways to lighten your load is to give some, or all, kitchen duties to your adult children. Kitchen chores are among the most frequently done tasks in the house, and they have to be done every day. If you could give some of these tasks to your adult child, you will be able to feel lighter during your days.
Depending on how you want to allocate the chores for adults living at home, you can begin by assigning them to clean the dishes. That should be a fair share of the work, especially if you’re the one who does the cooking. Cooking can become an exponentially bigger chore when you have to clean the dishes and all the cookware used after meals. Thus, leaving the cleaning to someone else can really make a difference.
If your adult child is capable of cooking, you can also let them handle the cooking every now and then. If they’re willing to cook every day, the better. However, you can also start by dividing the week between who cooks the meals. For example, they could be in charge of cooking during the weekends while you’ll continue to cook during the weekdays.
This is also important for adult children who are not as comfortable cooking in the kitchen as this would help them train a much-needed life skill. They should be able to learn how to cook faster under your guidance compared to if they had to learn how to cook on their own. Plus, you’ll be able to teach them recipes of their favorite dishes that you make them.
Aside from cooking and cleaning, kitchen duties extend to keeping the refrigerator and the pantries stocked up. Since your child is already an adult, chances are that they probably already know how to drive. Another chore you can assign to your child is to go do the grocery shopping. You can make it their responsibility that there’s always food in the house. It can really make a difference in the home dynamics when your children begin to buy the groceries for the house.
Children must have already become accustomed to their parents doing their laundry. However, your adult kid should also contribute when it comes to doing the laundry. If you don’t want to start aggressively, you can begin by telling them that they should handle their own laundry. This way, you won’t feel like you’re taking care of a child so much. If they’re already old enough, they should be doing their own laundry anyway. Aside from clothes, they should also include sheets, towels, and other linens.
If they are up to additional responsibility, then you could begin letting them handle the laundry for the entire household. They can experience how it was for you when you had to do the laundry for the family.
If you have a washing machine in the house, this could mean that your adult child is responsible for gathering the dirty laundry around the house and putting them all in the machine. Once the machine has finished washing and drying, your children should also fold the clothes properly afterward. Responsibility could also extend to washing machine maintenance. It could be their responsibility to make sure the washing machine is maintained well or repaired when broken.
If you don’t have a washing machine in the house, then it’s going to be their responsibility to bring the laundry to a laundromat. There are also some articles of clothing that might have to be brought to the dry cleaners instead.
Doing the laundry is an important skill for them to learn as they will have to do it for themselves when they live on their own. If your adult child hasn’t done the laundry before, you might have to teach them the basics: how to use the laundry machine, separate the lights from the darks, and more. While doing the laundry is indeed a chore, it shouldn’t be too difficult as it is not a daily task.
Cleaning the house can take a lot of effort. Thus, it is one of the most important chores for adults living at home. Now that your child is grown up, they should also help out in cleaning certain areas of the house.
The bathroom should be an individual assignment of its own. Aside from making it look good, keeping the bathroom clean is an important aspect of good hygiene. Moisture easily builds up inside bathrooms, thus it needs to be cleaned regularly, or else mold will eventually colonize surfaces. Cleaning the bathroom includes scrubbing the tiles, the sink, the toilet, and such.
Cleaning the floors is also another task that can be given to your adult child. This could range from simply giving the floors a regular sweep or it could mean vacuuming the carpets every now and then. The task of cleaning the floors should be given to your child if they have a pet in the house since pet hair and dander are among the top reasons for having to clean the floors more often than normal.
As the area of the house where food is kept and prepared, the kitchen should also be regularly cleaned. The kitchen shouldn’t need too much cleaning if it is cleaned right after meal preps. You could also include cleaning the kitchen among the other kitchen duties. Taking out the garbage should also be done every day to prevent pests from wanting to enter the house. This should be an easy task for your adult child to handle on their own.
While it may have been up to you to do basic home upkeep projects when your child was growing up, it’s high time that they should lend a hand when it comes to taking care of things around the house.
Taking care of the house can be a full-time job as anything can happen. Perhaps one day it could be a leak in the roof while it could be a broken window the next. These are all little tasks that can be highly educational for your child as they learn how to handle these common household issues. Aside from learning a number of different skills, this is also an excellent way to involve your child in keeping the value of your home.
When assigned for this role, you may have to explain all the responsibilities that are included. For example, this could mean that they’re in charge of maintaining the air conditioners (e.g., changing the air filters, cleaning the coils, etc.), making sure all the windows and doors are secure and leak-proof, removing the leaves from the gutters, repainting the walls, and so on.
Aside from general upkeep and repair, you could also get them involved in home improvement projects as well. These projects are important as well as they can improve the value of the house over time. Examples of home improvement projects include upgrading the bathroom, installing new infrastructure, and such. Perhaps they might get interested in building a gazebo in the backyard. These are all good tasks to assign to a young adult.
How to Give Them Chores
They may not be children anymore but that doesn’t mean you can dump all the house chores on them. The best way to go about giving them chores is by being fair. Hopefully, the discussion shouldn’t be too difficult as your child should already be mature enough to understand that they aren’t children anymore and that they should help contribute to the household as well.
One of the ways to be fair when giving chores is by having a rotating chore wheel for the house. This means that everyone is assigned a particular role for a week. After the week is done, the chore wheel is spun and everyone’s chores around the house will be different for the succeeding week. The benefit of a chore wheel is that everyone gets to do all the chores every now and then.
Understandably, you may not have expected your adult child to be living in your house until now. You have to be clear when you tell them that you won’t treat them as little children anymore and that they will have to pull their own weight when it comes to living in your house. Of course, they’re still your children – you won’t be treating them like tenants. However, you will have to be clear that you expect them to help around.
While it may not have to come to it, some parents are clear that there are consequences if their adult children don’t contribute to the house. These consequences can range from more chores to the more extreme option: eviction.