Once it looks like you are going to have an adult child move back home, planning with you family in flux is the name of the game. After all, you don't want to duck or get hit in the head when a boomerang flies back toward you. Use these tips to help you get started.
Have a family meeting where all of you can be open about your needs and expectations. Listen to what your offspring, and their partners who may be moving in too, say about what is essential to them. Express your own set of values and what you require to make the change work for you. You can set the tone for the meeting by agreeing to create a list of your family C. C. & R.'s.
Boomerang C.C.& R.'s. These are not the tedious covenants, conditions and restrictions that comprise the C.C. & R.'s of homeowner associations but rather the guidelines that will help you structure a compatible framework for living together in your household.
Just as in real estate the most important characteristic of a property is location, location, location, for a boomerang family, the first "C" is communication, communication, communication. Make it a must to keep the lines of discussion open between you as you work through the issues that come up.
Cooperation is the second "C," as you remember to come from a place of love. You are more than just a landlord - you are a parent who shares with your children their desire to succeed. And your children are more than just tenants - they have grown up with you as their role models. And don't forget other "C's" as you decide on the specific "rules and regulations" of your new relationship - courtesy, consideration, competence.
The "R" is respect - as we know from Aretha Franklin, that's spelled R-E-S-P-E-C-T and it's needed on both sides of the generation gap. Discussing the boundaries you each want to set ahead of time, and making sure to adhere to them, will avoid hot button issues from developing later.
Have a Plan B to use when you are readjusting after your initial arrangement does not work out exactly as planned. As a Sandwiched Boomer, you know the importance of being flexible. Few plans can be put into place exactly as we expect. Both you and your boomerang need to accept that nothing is set in stone and your changing relationship is a work in progress.
To find more tips to help with sensitive communications with your boomerang kids, click on the post title above. It will take you to HerMentorCenter.com and our article, "How Politics Can Teach the Sandwich Generation a Lesson in Communication."