Using a Contract with your Boomerang Kid

by Chris Theisen

Adam and Terri's twenty-one year-old son Jacob had just finished his second year of college and was finding it very difficult to make ends meet. He was behind on rent and had accumulated a great deal of credit card debt while at school. He decided to call his parents up to ask if he could move back into their house for a few months in an effort to get his feet back on the ground. Though apprehensive, Adam and Terri both agreed that it was the best way to address Jacob's financial situation.

Jacob moved in and all seemed to be going well... at least initially. Soon the dirty laundry began to pile up and the loud music and frequent houseguests began to be a problem. Adam and Terri realized that they had neglected to address all of these important issues before Jacob moved back into their house. They then decided to sit down and draft an agreement which Jacob would need to sign in order for him to remain under their roof.

The agreement, or contract, was written over the course of a few days and it was then presented to Jacob. It covered a wide variety of issues - such as financial obligations, household rules, chores, and behavioral expectations. Jacob also had to write up a plan that detailed the steps he was going to take in order to prepare himself to move out on his own once again.

Once all of the ground rules were established, Adam and Terri were able to focus less attention on Jacob's "inconveniences" and more time on other household issues. The written agreement resulted in fewer arguments and brought about a calm and peaceful coexistence for Adam, Terri, and Jacob.

If you have an adult child living at home (a.k.a. "a boomerang kid") and you are in need of a pre-written agreement or contract, then perhaps an agreement like this might work for you!

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