4 Strategies for Living at Home as an Adult

My younger sisters (Ellissa, Rebekah, and Suzanna) and I sat in our kitchen nook late into the night. We chatted about our weeks and then landed on this topic: How to be an adult daughter who chooses to live at home.

Rebekah is eighteen, Ellissa is twenty-five, and I’m twenty-nine years old. We all live at home, and it’s an arrangement we want to make work. None of us are perfect at handling these dynamics. We’ve each had our bad days, selfish moments, and unkind words (given and received). Communication between adult daughters and parents is not always easy. It can be hard to balance honoring our parents and still be an adult. We’re all still continuing to learn and grow.

Yet as a twenty-nine-year-old woman who’s chosen to live at home, I’ve learned a few lessons along the way.

  • I’ve learned what makes for a peaceful home and what makes for a contentious one.
  • I’ve learned what nourishes relationships and what destroys them.
  • I’ve learned what attitudes help and what attitudes hurt.

If you’re an adult daughter who’s chosen to live at home, you can probably relate to the joys and struggles that that life brings. Allow me to invite you into our sister circle. Pull up a chair. Let’s talk about four strategies for living at home as an adult.

1. Stay humble.

It’s hard to be humble and consider others as more important than myself. It’s hard to say, “I was wrong!” It’s hard to accept wise advice. It’s hard to allow others into my life. It’s hard to get outside of myself and realize that I’m not the most important person on the planet.

No matter where we live or who we live with, displaying genuine humility is hard for all of us. Because we are sinners, most of us struggle with pride. We value our thoughts, our opinions, our ideas, our preferences, and our wants above everyone else’s. Choosing to repent of our pride and instead display hearts of humility is not easy.

But if we want to have peace in our homes and do this living-at-home-thing well, we must ask for the Lord’s help to grow in humility.

I love what Philippians 2:3–4 says:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

This should be our goal.

2. Remember you’re on the same team.

I encourage you to view your parents as your teammates. Don’t view them as the enemy that you are trying to keep out. Open up and invite them into your world. Start the conversation and express to them what you are thinking.

No matter who you share an address with, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re on the same team.

Something else that has been helpful is having regular, direct conversations about our living arrangements. This looks like going out to coffee or dinner and just sharing how I’m feeling with my parents. I share the positives and the negatives of my status as an adult living at home, and they share their pros and cons with me. Instead of waiting for issues to come up, we are proactively trying to share our hearts and find the issues before they appear. I would encourage you to do the same thing with your parents.

These strategies are important preparation. It’s likely you will always be living with someone. Right now it may be your parents and siblings. In the future, it may be a husband and kids of your own or a roommate. No matter who you share an address with, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re on the same team.

3. Freely offer important information.

We all like to feel in charge and in control. We don’t like to freely offer information or feel like we’re not independent. This mindset will cause you serious problems if you’re still living at home. Instead of putting the big hand up that says “I’m an adult, and I don’t need anyone knowing about my life,” try having the exact opposite mindset.

When you’re going out with friends, just send a simple text to your parents that says, “Hey! Heading out with Kate and Jenny. Be back around 9:30 p.m.” Try volunteering information instead of waiting to be asked. (This requires humility!)

There is just so much trust and freedom that comes from being open rather than keeping silent. Remember, your parents love you and are on your team. Freely offering information to them will only help build bonds of love and trust between you. I know my parents only care about knowing where I am and what I’m up to because they love me. They aren’t trying to control my life.

I’ve made a habit of offering information about my whereabouts so that my parents don’t ever have to wonder. It’s been one of the best things for my relationship with them.

4. Look for ways to invest and be involved.

There are so many practical ways for us to be a blessing to others at home. One of the biggest ways I’ve sought to be a blessing to my family is by mentoring my two younger sisters. I’ve been officially mentoring Beks and Sue for several years. Because I live at home with them, I have a unique perspective into their lives. My mentorship of them is a way for me to link arms with my parents and help them out.

There are so many practical ways for us to be a blessing to others at home.

I also try to make regular efforts to be around my family. I try and join family meals as often I can, chat with the family when they’re home (rather than hiding in my room), and hang out with my siblings whenever possible. Instead of viewing my home as a hotel (come and go), I try to view it as my home. I want to be invested and making a difference.

I would encourage you to look into your own home life. What are a few ways you can get more involved and be a blessing?

My prayer is that you can make these single years at home one of joy and encouragement. These years don’t have to be miserable. Take the first step, and began living in a way that is a blessing to those in your home.

About Author

Bethany Baird

After a brief experience in the modeling industry, Bethany’s eyes were opened to how self-absorbed and lost her generation of young women really are. She and her older sister were inspired to start a blog (www.GirlDefined.com) and wrote a book Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Their passion is to help young women find God’s truth about beauty and womanhood and the freedom that comes from living a radically different life for Christ.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Rachel Carpenter

    Don’t take this the wrong way, because I am just curious of your reasons, but…at the age of twenty nine, not in college, why are you still living with your parents? Is this a temporary transitional stage, or something more permanent? Do you have a time you want to get out of the house by? Are you waiting on your future husband to settle down?

    • Morgan

      I can’t answer for her, but I know that in most conservative Christian circles, men and women usually stay with their parents until they get married. I know that’s looked down upon in this day and age when it’s “18 years old, time to be out on my own.” At least, this has just been my experience.

      • Rachel Carpenter

        That makes sense. My parents are allowing and encouraging me to live with them as long as I want up to the age of 23, but after that I have to either get my own place or start paying rent. I was just curious what it was for Bethany. Apparently my family isn’t very conservative!

        • Rachel Carpenter

          Sorry. Up to the age of 23 as long as I am in college.

      • Hosaena

        I completely agree with you Morgan. Even though I’m still young and nowhere near marriage, my parents say for in the future if I don’t get married right away, that I can stay till I get married,(unless I’m in my thirties and still not married). But they are in no why rushing me out of the house. I also agree that in conservative Christian circles, this is the norm, stay at home untill you get married. I’m in a conservative church, and I know young women who are still staying at home and they are in their mid-twenties. There really is no reason to move out just because your 18, even though I wouldn’t say it’s wrong, I just would question why.

  • pnwgrown

    Bethany, Thanks so much for sharing this. It isn’t a topic that I have ever seen written about! It is so encouraging to hear how you seek to honor the Lord living at home and that you are making the most of this season of life. I have often felt like the “weird one”for living at home heading into my late 20s but realize that this is where I am supposed to be and that this is a channel through which I can serve the Lord by serving my family. Thanks again 🙂

  • Hosaena

    These are good thoughts to keep in mind. Thank you very much Bethany!

  • KS

    Wherever you live is “home.” You mean living with your parents.

  • JoyAlice

    This is such a great article. I’m in my mid twenties and am also living at home with my parents. This isn’t how I imagined my life, believe me it was much more glamorous lol but this is where God wants me and I’ve accepted it (begrudgingly) . In this season he’s teaching me patience, humility, and servanthood (especially in my home church). This is the season where he wants me, I have no mortgage or rent to pay etc so it’s such a blessing. I can travel, pay off my school loans, and fatten my bank account all while at home. I know that he is using this season to better prepare me for my next. So don’t feel discouraged or compare yourselves to your friends fellow twentysomething-year olds still living at home, you’ve got a lot of company. Take advantage of it and let God show you what He wants from you this time in your life.

  • Jasmine

    This is great ! Refused think about my wounded pride being the reason I wasn’t prospering at home with my family. Thank you for this !

  • Annabelle Kwok

    This is such an apt read. I’m the eldest in my family too, with 2 younger sisters to disciple & journey with. Just want to say thank you for touching on this topic, on family, and home dynamics. It’s something many of us tend to neglect…It’s so true that when we don’t communicate, and try to live independently, the family suffers, because there is no unity. and It’s so true that we need to start looking at our homes as homes, not hotels. Such a blessed read. thank you Bethany Baird <3

  • La Princessa

    Thank you for this – this is definitely a much-needed topic.

  • Robin Greer

    Your article was great in addressing the attitude issues of a single
    person living at home, but some practical matters were not addressed. I know that wasn’t the point of your article. But the following are some helpful questions to think about.
    How do
    you help around the house? Do you help with yard work, cleaning,
    maintenance, etc.? If you are living at home (adult or child), you should be helping around the house.
    There can be this
    expectation that since you are living with your parents, it’s fine for
    them to pay your way and you do whatever you want with “your money.” How are your
    growing up in the area of personal responsibility? Do you help pay your
    way? There are electric bills, water bills, food
    bills, possibly a mortgage, etc. Your paycheck shouldn’t be all about
    you. Are you putting money into savings for the time when you may move
    out on your own? Are you on a budget so that you are not being
    wasteful? I know that some parents may be financially well off and may
    not want you to help towards household expenses, but that doesn’t help
    you to learn to be responsible for yourself. And if someone is at home with parents who aren’t
    financially well off, then that person should without a question be helping pay
    the bills. When someone is helping with work around the home and contributing to the functioning of the home, this should also lead to harmony and be helpful as you grow into adulthood.

    • Hosaena

      Totally agree with you Robin! As an adult, your paycheck shouldn’t just be all about you, but you should be helping pay the bills if your family is not well off. And if your family is well off, you should still be using your money wisely, not just blowing it all on yourself. Putting yourself in a budget and saving for the future, will give you discipline and prepare you for when you have your own place. You could also save to help buy your own home, you could help your future husband out. You shouldn’t be wasting your single years away, but you should be using them to honor God, along with all the rest of the years He has given you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Anny

    What if your parents don’t want you to have a job, car, etc.? I want to stay home biblically, but I feel that there is a job the Lord wants me to do helping prevent abortion outside my home. I’m not supposed to want a job, right?
    Please help! I want to follow God’s Word, but my parents don’t want me to have ANY independence. Their plans are my plans. Is this what God wants? Or are they misunderstanding it??

    • I know this is not easy for you, Anny. I want to remind you that God has given you parents to love you, guide you and help you in life. That is something God will hold them accountable for as they stand before Him one day. When their plans do not mesh with our desires and plans, it can be very difficult.

      I believe Bethany’s advice in the article can help you. As she said, remember your parents are on your side. They are not the enemy. You may not understand the reasons behind their plans. So I encourage you to take the opportunity to ask questions to find out the reasons behind their boundaries. You will definitely need to pray and ask God to give you the grace to listen so you can hear their hearts. You’ll need to battle the desire to state your case. But just listen to them, Anny.

      Then take what you learn back to the Lord. Ask Him to soften your heart and show you how to honor them as you know that’s what He has said. Ask Him to open the door to share your heart’s desires with your parents in a way that honors them and does not cause conflict. Perhaps that way will be through a letter that you can edit and get “perfect” before you give it to them.

      After you appeal to them, continue to pray and surrender your heart and dreams to the Lord. I’m praying for you today, Anny! These articles may also be encouraging to you:

      How to Respond to Parents When You Don’t Agree with Their Decisions http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/how-to-respond-to-parents-when-you-dont-agree-with-their-decisions/

      Are Parents Always Right? http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/are-parents-always-right/

      When Your Parents Say No http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/when-your-parents-say-no

      The Perks of Parents http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/the-perks-of-parents/

      Forgiving Our Parents http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/forgiving-our-parents/

  • Anny

    What if your parents don’t want you to have a job, car, etc.? I want to stay home biblically, but I feel that there is a job the Lord wants me to do helping prevent abortion outside my home. I’m not supposed to want a job, right?
    Please help! I want to follow God’s Word, but my parents don’t want me to have ANY independence. Their plans are my plans. Is this what God wants? Or are they misunderstanding it??