The transition into adulthood requires a switch from dependence on your parents’ rules and guidance to self-management. As much as you are struggling with this change, your parents are likely experiencing similar difficulty adjusting to this transformation. In order to become a fully independent adult, you must set appropriate boundaries for yourself and your space, despite continuing to live in your family home. If you approach this process with care, setting boundaries can also help your parents let go of the reins and allow you to make your own decisions, mistakes, and discoveries.
Consider Your Past
While living with your parents, it is easy to feel obligated to let them make all of the decisions and control your actions. You might feel like you have to listen to critical comments or long lectures without complaint. As an adult, however, you have a right to some degree of autonomy. Although your parents might be looking out for your well-being, it is necessary for them to let you navigate life on your own terms. Take a close, honest look at your past decisions and actions to gain insight on your parents’ concerns before you forge ahead in setting appropriate boundaries.
Identify Your Needs
You must identify your limits by reflecting on the situations that make you uncomfortable or impede your progress toward self-sufficiency. Do your parents override your decisions or guilt you into meeting their expectations? Do they invade your space without asking permission or even look through your belongings when you are away? You need to make a list of your physical and emotional needs to find the boundaries that will help mitigate these problems.
Have a Direct Conversation
When you are in a calm, relaxed state of mind, attempt to have a direct conversation about boundaries with your parents. Use non-inflammatory ‘I’ statements to give your parents an idea of how you feel when they overstep the listed boundaries. Let your parents know that you are working toward healthy self-management of your actions and emotions. You can alleviate their fears and worries by discussing your past actions and methods you will use to avoid those reactions or decisions in the future.
Allow Time For Adjustment
This process requires immense give and take, so take the time to understand and respect your parents’ boundaries as well. Give your parents time to internalize and apply your boundary requests. Offer gentle reminders if your parents accidentally revert to old habits. After raising a child to adulthood, it is a big deal to let go and hope your efforts were enough to give your kid a good start at life. You will also benefit from completing household tasks, like cleaning up and cooking dinner, without prompting, to show your parents you are serious about embracing adult responsibilities.
Make Changes As Needed
Transitioning into adulthood is not a perfect process. Even the most well-adjusted adults still have to return to their parents for guidance and support. Remain flexible and open to the idea of reevaluating the boundaries you set, but always give yourself time to solve your problems on your own. If you cannot find a suitable resolution, drop the boundaries and invite your parents to provide assistance and guidance as you see fit. You can always reinstate the boundaries and return to a fully independent state once you handle the situation at hand.