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Having the right mindset can help moving back in with parents less awkward

Many adults are being forced to move back in with family during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Photo (c) Maskot - Getty Images
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many consumers’ living situations, including prompting many young adults to return home to live with their parents. 

Now, researchers from North Carolina State University are working to make this transition a more positive situation for consumers. According to findings from their recent survey, adults who move back in with their parents don’t have to feel shame about the decision if they properly frame and plan it out.

“People move back in with their parents for a lot of reasons, and the trend is increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic woes,” said researcher Lynsey Romo. “We launched this study before the pandemic happened because we wanted to learn more about how adults who move back in with their parents manage that process. How do they think about it? How do they talk about it?” 

Coping with moving back home

The researchers surveyed 31 adults between the ages of 23 and 31 to understand how young adults handle moving back home with their parents. Participants discussed their decision to move back home and the things that have helped them view the move as something positive rather than a setback. 

The discussions ultimately boiled down to four main points that can help consumers stay positive about this decision: creating a timeline, detailing expectations, being mature, and contributing to household duties. 

Planning for the future is an important part of adults moving back in with their parents. Making it clear how long the arrangement will last and what adults hope to gain by the move are two good ways to maintain positivity and strong relationships in the home. 

In terms of expectations, the participants shared that it’s crucial for adults to hash out the details with their parents. This includes discussing everything from responsibilities around the house to financial obligations, and even curfews. 

Lastly, the participants said acting like an adult, even when around parents, can help give agency to adults living in their childhood homes. Being able to maintain maturity can help identify new roles in the house; though many adults may see moving in with their parents as a step backwards, it’s important to establish new boundaries in a familiar place. 

“On one hand, study participants were certainly aware of the stigma associated with moving back in with one’s parents as an adult,” said Romo. “However, it was equally clear that framing the decision to move back in with one’s parents as an investment in the future helped people think about the decision in a positive way and communicate about it in a positive way.” 

Moving forward, the researchers hope that these findings are beneficial to adult consumers that have moved back in with their parents or are planning a move back. There are ways to positively frame this situation, and having the right mindset can make all the difference. 

“Moving back home is a reality for a lot of people right now,” Romo said. “Hopefully, this work will make them make the most of that circumstance and avoid any stigma associated with it.” 

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