Published on June 5th, 2018 | by Kristin Renfer
4 Ways To Thrive As a Young Adult Living At Home
Did you know that being counter-cultural doesn’t stop when you exit your teen years and enter young adulthood?
Oh no! Going against the grain of culture and the world’s expectations is a lifelong endeavor.
As Christians, God calls us to be different, to stand out and stand up for what’s right– to be counter-cultural. So just because you’re no longer a teen doesn’t mean that doing hard things and going against the expectations of culture ends. In fact, young adults in many ways have more opportunities to be different, one of which is living at home.
Young adults living at home may not seem counter-cultural to some of you because it is definitely on the rise among conservative, homeschooling families. However, most 18-24 year olds move out of their parents’ home to either go to college or simply be more independent. But that independence comes at a high cost.
Have you seen how much money it takes for a young person to live? It’s exorbitant! From car insurance to first and last rent, it takes a lot of money to live independently. So if it’s an option, it is much wiser and more economical to live at home.
I am 22 and I live at home.
And no, I’m not one of those stay-at-home daughters who spends all her time cooking, cleaning, and working hard to become a competent homemaker.
I own and run my own business of teaching music to over 25 students and sharing music through ministry opportunities or paid gigs like weddings or memorials. God has blessed me with a job doing what I love and what I’m gifted in while also getting paid very well in the process.
I am getting financially closer to the point where I could live on my own if I wanted to, but I would never consider the idea. Not only am I extremely close to my family and cannot imagine living apart from them unless I get married, why would I want to spend all my hard earned wages just so that I could experience a little more independence? It would be a gross waste of money and misuse of the resources God has blessed me with.
However, I do recognize some of the extra challenges living at home presents and have experienced bumps along the way in my relationship with my parents. Therefore, after talking with a friend also living at home, I decided to sit down and share four lessons I’ve learned that I pray will help you, fellow young adults living at home, to thrive.
1. Honor Your Parents
Honoring your parents doesn’t stop once you reach adulthood. It continues throughout all of life, and while it may change as the relationship changes, children—single, married, young, or old—should never stop honoring their parents. This is foundational because without honor, your relationship with your parents will have nothing but problems. So before looking at the following tips, master this one.
2. Have Open Communication
In all relationships, communication is key. This is especially true in your relationship with your parents and is even more important as you get older and gain more responsibility and start having your own schedule, priorities, and commitments. Many misunderstandings, awkward moments, and hurt feelings can be avoided with open communication.
3. Remember, Your Parents are Adjusting to This New Relationship Too
Their little boy suddenly grew up and their little girl is becoming more independent with each passing day. While this process happens gradually, parents are often surprised when suddenly their little baby is a young adult. So as your relationship with them grows and changes, remember that they’re feeling the growing pains too and are adjusting to this new season along with you. Therefore, give them grace and remember that they’re learning along with you.
4. Work as a Team
It’s no longer two parents and a child. There’s now three adults with different ideas, opinions, and plans. While your parents are used to working together in their marriage, you are now a third adult with dreams, goals, income, decisions to make, and places to go. Therefore, it’s crucial that you all work together as a team. Don’t have a “me against them” attitude, but when making a decision, make sure that you’re all on the same page.
If you’re working hard at honoring your parents, maintaining open communication, and remembering that they are adjusting to this new relationship too, working as a team should come fairly easy. Just remember that you are still living under your parents’ roof, so they do hold more clout and authority than you do. But if you show the proper respect and deference, then together, the three of you can build an effective team. And you can truly enjoy and thrive as a young adult living at home.
I’m learning and growing in this too, but the bumps that my parents and I have had over the years have resolved quickly and become fewer and farther in between when I’ve remembered and implemented these four principles.