Of course, the issue of whether or not to let the kids move into your home takes on an entirely different slant when they come to you and tell you that unless you let them in, they're going to be sleeping on the streets.
Feeling guilted into letting the newlyweds live with you because they can't afford to live on their own? It's all right to be forthcoming with your expectations of them, including an estimated date of their permanent departure.
Oh…you saw this coming months ago, before the wedding, and you didn't say anything about it at the time. You figured that since they were getting married, they had to have some sort of plan for paying their bills. It must have slipped their minds in between all of the wedding planning and asking you for blank checks to cover the cost of the caterer and florist. How could this have ended differently? If you could go back and do anything to help them avoid this point, what would it be?
Poke Your Nose In…A Little
Well, for starters, if your daughter has only recently announced her engagement, it's not too late for you to get in on this game. No, she doesn't have to tell you how much money she and her groom have set aside for after the wedding, but you might want some kind of assurance there is some fund, somewhere, to ensure their entry into the World of Independent Living after they're married — especially if neither of them has left the safety of their parents' homes prior to the ceremony.
Lay it out for them: monthly expenses versus their earnings. Be as harsh and as realistic as you need to be in order to get your point across. You're not hurting them by being honest — you're actually helping them to get a handle on the realities of married life before they hit some pretty hard times. You'd hate to see them go out and buy a luxury sports coupe only to have them realize — too late — that they
Oh, All Right…Come In
If it becomes clear to you that there's just no way these two are going to make it on their own — at least not in the foreseeable future — allowing them to take up residence in your home instead of having them fight for space at the homeless shelter is a generous move on your part. They should be very grateful, and it's all right for you to point that out (once) if they've moved in and started acting as though they're the new co-owners.
Ideally, there should be a time limit as to how long you're willing to let them stay. This will take the pressure off of you six months down the road, when things are looking much better for them financially and you're starting to wonder when the heck they'll want to move out (
While you're shooting for common understanding and respect between parties, you don't have to take a lot of guff from the people you're helping. Likewise, you shouldn't make them feel bad about their inability to pay their own bills.
A dad who allows a couple of newlyweds to move into his home because they're flat broke is different from the dad who
While communication is the key to living in peace, there's a difference between communicating and nitpicking. The former involves matters of fact: how much they're expected to pay in rent or utilities; whether they are expected to run some errands, if you're allowing one of them to use your car. The latter involves a whole lot of complaining about issues that aren't all that important in the big picture: they paid you in fives and tens and they know you prefer twenties; your daughter bought the generic toilet paper at the store instead of the name-brand; your son-in-law used the car and didn't tune the radio back to your favorite station.
Herewith, a list of topics that are off limits to you if you're fuming over having to share your home with kids who should have known better than to attempt life on their own:
Their jobs. Assuming they have jobs, it's not up to you to critique the quality of their positions. If they're working hard and meeting their end of any financial agreement you've made with them, back off.
Their marriage. Again, not for you to judge. Maybe they
Their personal habits. All right, if your son-in-law insists on cutting his toenails in the living room, that's fair game. The way he eats his pizza (by picking off the cheese so that he might eat it separately from the crust) is not. Eat at different times if it's really getting to you.
The future of your relationship with your daughter and your son-in-law could well hinge on how well all of you are able to settle disputes. You can only control