Adult Children Who Live at Home

Updated on February 07, 2012
P.K. asks from New York, NY
30 answers

Should an adult child (early 20's) who lives with her mother be permitted to have her boyfriend sleep over? I don't like it for multiple reasons (partly because I like my privacy) but at least I know where she is. This has not become a habit, but the other day they were up late watching TV and fell asleep on the couch. I woke up at 3 am and told him it was time to go home, he left, but It got me thinking. This was never an issue in the past, we had rules and they were followed, but now she is an adult, do the rules need to be modified? Any suggestions, especially those who have been through this are welcomed.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I will not permit this in my home. I teach them what is right and wrong and know that when they are older and not here anymore they will make their own decisions. That is a privilege for the married and it's worth waiting for. Just my beliefs. BTW, when I was young, it was ok with my mom and that I regret. Good luck and I hope he is a good one.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

sleeping at the house is one thing. sleeping together is another. I was 26 when i met my husband and we lived together before marriage. but when we would go see my parents we would have to sleep separate. Their rules. I obeyed. I will be the same way. Sleeping in another room.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Why did you have the rules in the first place? Did you have a moral reason for them or not? If you did why would you change the rules? If not then I guess it doesn't apply and why have rules at all?

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answers from San Francisco on

Dear PK,

I the case you mention, I would have given the boyfriend a pillow and blanket let him sleep on the couch for the rest of the night, and told your daughter to go to bed.

If your adult daughter and her boyfriend are working and can support themselves and want to live together, they should find a place of their own.

If you are still supporting her and she is going to school, I would not allow the boyfriend to start sleeping over because before you know it, you will be supporting TWO adult children.

No matter what age your children are, if they are coming and going all hours of the night, you will worry about them and won't sleep well. So it's fine to set limits, even with adult children. Your house, your rules.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

When my sister and I were living at home it was NEVER acceptable to have a member of the opposite sex sleep over. It's just disrespectful. My sister lived at home until she got engaged and never once did my brother-in-law (nor any other boyfriend) stay over while my sister was still living at home.

It's your house.If you don't want her boyfriend sleeping over or if you want him out of the house by a certain time you can make those rules. If your daughter doesn't like the rules she can get her own place and make her own rules.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Adult or not it is your house and she needs to follow your rules. Something like falling asleep on the couch is not a big deal, it's not like they were hiding anything. I would talk to them together and explain that they need to be more responsible and/or that you don’t approve of his staying over.

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answers from New York on

PK, my daughter is 16 so I'm not at the adult children at home part. I can't see that I'd let them pretty much live together here. However, I fully approve of sex before marriage, it's a part of normal adult relationships and is fine for adults (not high school kids). I would have no problem with the significant other staying if they simply fell asleep watching a movie. I would never wake someone up at 3 a.m. after a couple of hours of sleep and send that person on the road, groggy, to drive home. I wouldn't welcome strangers to spend the night, but if it's a long term, established relationship, I can't absolutely rule out a scenario where a significant other might spend the night. If she's living at home as an adult and supporting herself, then yes, definitely not expected to follow kid rules. I don't believe in saying that the kiddults are my equal in that I'm happy to take their money but that they're not my equal in any other way.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

If you are not comfortable with it then don't allow it. Your home is still your home, if she wants to live with you, she still has to follow your household rules. You are nice to let her live there. = )

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

If you allow your adult child to live with you it is as if they are a roommate and have the same rights and privileges as such. If you don't want others coming over to stay the night that might be something you guys lay out in some house rules, but be prepared to give up some of your ideas too. They are an adult after all.

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answers from St. Louis on

My daughter's boyfriend stays over when he is here but he lives six hours away so he has to stay somewhere.

Still the first time he visited she asked before he came if it was okay to stay here.

It is not an issue of adulthood or relationships it has all to do with respect that you in fact own the home and should be consulted.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Would you ask if it was ok for your boyfriend to stay if you were coming to my house?

That's what adults do.

Now you can make allowances for her that you wouldn't for any other adult b/c she's your daughter and this is a situation - like x number of days per week, or the boy has to sleep in the garage. But adults seek permission and talk it out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Awww... don't take the fun out of it!

Having to come up with clever places is half of being young and not having your own place.

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answers from Washington DC on

when my older son was about 17 we allowed his gf to spend the night, but not in the same room. when i woke up one morning and found them in the same bed, i invited myself in, sat on the bed, held each of them by the foot, and explained that it was important for me that i respected cara's parents wishes by making sure that their rules and ours were followed in our home, and important for them to experience what all young people should, sneaking around to find places to be alone.
he's moved out now, but comes home often for visits. he didn't ask if casual girlfriends could spend the night (and we would not have liked that) but now that he's got a lovely becoming-serious girl, we have no problems with her staying over.
my younger son, who will be 21 next month and still lives at home, has had the same gf since they were both 13. her mom is a dear friend of mine, so as soon as it was okay with her, it was okay with us. the funny thing is that we were starting to get a little nonplussed at how long it took 'em. in fact, at one point we offered to go in on a room at a romantic inn for 'em.
hey! we didn't want their first time to be in the back seat of his station wagon!

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answers from Chicago on

the rules in your house are exactly that rules. I think that if she went to bed and he went to sleep on the couch not a biggie but if she is wanting to have sex in the bedroom next to yours then yeah thats a problem. We have always allowed the girlfriends / boyfriends to spend the night but it has been made clear since you know birth lol that they are not allowed to sleep together. not even on twin beds in the same room. Never been a problem with ours till my son hit his twenties. He has an apartment in another state and the girlfriend lives with him. when they come here to visit they now sleep in the same room. I am against it but my husband is fine. so we have a tentative truce on it with the understanding that if any noise happens they are out of here and to a hotel. I can't completely force it as she has some sort of weird hold on him and we won't see him for 6 months at a time if we make her angry. Drives me nuts. We are just hoping he doesn't marry her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My daughter has had the same boyfriend for many years so he is like family to us. He works until 1 on the weekends (waiter while in college) and sometimes visits after that. He does fall asleep on the couch and I have no problem with it because I know him for many years, I am sure he is exhausted and I wouldn't wake him and want him to drive home groggy. I usually make a huge breakfast on the weekends and he always enjoys that!!! I love to feed people I am Italian lol!!! I would however have an issue with him staying in her room!!!! I am not a modern mommy in that respect!! I know they are intimate I just do not want to see it!! It is a respect issue for me. If this were not a steady boyfriend and just a casual friend, then yes,I would be uncomfortable and I would ask my children not to do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I say no. If she wants different rules, then she can make up her own--in HER OWN home. I personally believe that, regardless of whether you like her being in your home or not, whether it is a necessity or not, if she is a young 20's who's never "left the nest" then no "sleep-overs". Unless you two are living in an EQUAL arrangement (you aren't sharing her childhood home, and you are both on the lease/deed to the property, both sharing ALL expenses--including property taxes, etc)... then she should still be showing you the respect due a parent regarding living space. And in my upbringing and my values, that includes not having opposite sex (boyfriends/girlfriends) "significant others" sleeping over. That "privilege" is earned when you marry and leave your parents to cleave to your spouse.
Just my opinion... but that is what you asked for.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think when an adult (ANY adult, even an adult child of yours) chooses to live in your home, then that adult needs to abide by your rules. The boyfriend should be made well aware of the rules as well.

YOU need to determine the rules and then communicate them to daughter & BF.
Maybe : Out by 1:00 a.m.? Out by midnight? Totally OK to stay for breakfast?
After all it's your home, and this issue impacts your privacy! Totally up to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

It's YOUR house so YOUR rules should apply. But be careful, it could lead to your "child" moving out. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. They usually do leave sooner or later. But you do not want them leaving too soon if they aren't ready, just to be with a partner.

On the other hand, sometimes you have to change the rules of your house. When the kids were young, you had one set of rules. Now that they are grown, you may have to modify the rules a bit. It all depends on how comfortable you are with the new rules. Sit down with your child, without the partner around, and discuss how both of you feel. Your child may not understand how you feel. I'm sure the 2 of you can come up with a compromise that both of you are comfortable with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Before DH and I were married, I did not stay when the kids were home. When I joined them on vacation, I had my own room for the night I was there. We have a young child in our home and as old fashioned as it may be, I would prefer SS not bring home a girlfriend for the night. I think you need to discuss with her what you expect in your home. Friends gone by midnight or she visits them sort of thing. We currently tell SS that he doesn't have to come home, but we need a text or call when he decides to. He was here unexpectedly one night and had I not gotten up with DD and seen his car, I would have sent DH on an intruder alert when he dropped something a little while later.

They are adults, but if they live in your home, then they abide by your rules, even if those rules are few. Even when I lived in an apartment in college we had an overnight guests rule. There were 5 of us and 1 bathroom. We had to schedule showers. When one girl's boyfriend ruined the schedule by showering (after she was gone), we had a house meeting because some of us didn't get morning showers. It was rude. Even adults living with other adults that aren't parents need to have house rules.

I wouldn't be too angry about falling asleep on a couch but if she decided he should stay and didn't discuss it...well...that needs a chat. I'd still talk to her about movie night, though, since you don't want him there at 3AM.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Will changing the rule give her more of an excuse to stay in your home and not go out on her own? We can handicap our kids by letting them have things too easy. She needs to have something to look forward to other than paying bills. I would not allow it if I were you.




answers from Boston on

The rules are whatever you decide they are and that she agrees to. It's your house and living there is a privilege and she can either decide that the benefits of living with you (presumably this is less expensive than living on her own) are worth it and abide by the rules or not, and get her own place.

I would not be comfortable with an adult child living at home having a significant other spend the night. To me, that's one of the privileges of living independently. I lived with my parents for 3 years after college (I was a single mother and really need the extra hands around and the break on rent, but I did pay rent) and never, ever would I have considered having a guy stay over or even spend a substantial amount of time there.



answers from New York on

my fiance and i have been living together for 3 years.. most of the time at my parents house and for 6months at his parents house ... im 23 right now so when he moved in i was 20 and he was 23... i really think it depends on what kind of kid your daughter is, do you trust her, so you trust her boyfriend..although she is an adult the bottom line is that its Your house ... my parents never had a problem with it theyve always loved my fiance so i think that had alot to do with it.. but i will say at the moment im 14weeks pregnant lol


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi PK-

I NEVER thought I would say this, BUT I allow my oldest daughter (20 - and a junior in college) to sleep in the living room on the couch with her boyfriend when she is home on a break and he is here for a night or two. She is a GREAT student...has a scholarship...honors...and works both as a waitress and at a barn (she is an equine major) and truly is a wonderful person. 'He' is a senior physics major...and they have been in an exclusive relationship for over a year.

Much to my relief, they both have their own apartments off campus...and with their very busy schedules, I know that they have little time to see each other.

There truly is no 'hankie pankie' going on when they are here......there is no way to 'close' the living room off. And with my houseful, particularly would be near impossible! lol

I am not sure how I would feel if she was living here...but I am sure I would address it and come up with some kind of compromise.

In hind sight, I wish I had spent more time (perhaps even living with my now ex) as perhaps I would have seen some red flags that I didn't see while only dating.

Am anxious to read other answers...

Best Luck!


answers from San Diego on

If it were not for my grandson, I would fight tooth and nail against it. But I've enjoyed having my grandson under my roof. I figure the barn door was open on that one a long time ago. So I put up with it. She's moving into an apartment next month. I can't change that either. I'm sure it is time for her to start learning some good lessons in life.

It's really up to you. Are you against sex outside of marriage? I mean be honest and not hypocritcal. If you are not against that then I can't see that it would matter.



answers from Detroit on

No and you don't need to explain or justify.



answers from New York on

I think it's up to you what you want your house rules to be. If he lives locally I don't see a reason for it if it makes you uncomfortable. I could see it making sense if the BF was visiting from someplace where it is too far to drive home at night. In my experience driving more than about 30 minutes in the middle of the night might be unsafe.

My parents are pretty liberal but didn't feel entirely comfortable with overnight guests until I was in a pretty long term relationship (same thing with my younger sister). Both my sister and I each moved in with the BF we ended up marrying. Once we were living together on our own they didn't worry about and if we visited together we stayed in the same room.



answers from Baton Rouge on

My grown daughter and her fiancé currently live with me. They had their own place until he got laid off and they couldn't pay all the bills with just her wages. They have their own room and it has a door they can close when they want couple time. When she was a teen I knew she and her boyfriend were sexually active and he was allowed to stay the night. I knew she knew about safe sex and I knew they were practicing it because I saw condom wrappers and used condoms in the wastebasket when I collected the trash for garbage day.



answers from New York on

I wouldnt allow it but in that case he could have slept on couch or for other reason snow then the couch it is only i am 50 engaged and dont let bf sleep over never want to set a bad example i have teens



answers from New York on

I agree with you. It doesn't matter what age your daughter is. It's YOUR HOUSE, and still YOUR RULES!


answers from Dover on

Now if this is about it being her bf rather than your privacy, that makes it a slightly different spin. Because on the couch still violates some of your privacy. So, would you be asking this if it was one of her female friends? or just because it's her boyfriend?

Your house, still your rules. Personally, I don't like it either but as a mom, I also wounded want to put the bf out on the road at 3 am half asleep. Maybe you can set a "must be gone by" time limit on his visits and once in a while say "ok, it's movie night, I don't mind if you crash on the couch tonight but Suzy still sleeps in her bed alone". Or something like that.

I have a 20yr old boy so I have been through this. Unlike some parents of boys I don't feel like since he's a boy it's for the girls parents to worry about. I don't agree with that double standard. I have woken up to kids sleeping in my living room because I have told him that I don't want them on the road drowsy...just as I don't want him on the road drowsy.

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