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4 Strategies for Living at Home as an Adult Daughter

By: Bethany Beal

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 nineteen, Ellissa is twenty-six, and I am thirty (I lived at home until I got married at 30 years old). All three of us willingly/joyfully chose to live at home (the other girls still live at home).

None of us are/were perfect at handling these dynamics.

We 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 parents while still being an adult.

Yet as a thirty-year-old grown woman who chose to live at home, I learned a few lessons along the way.

  • I learned what makes for a peaceful home and what makes for a contentious one.
  • I learned what nourishes relationships and what destroys them.
  • I 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 yourself. It’s hard to say, “I was wrong!” It’s hard to accept wise advice. It’s hard to allow others into your life. It’s hard to get outside of yourself and realize that your 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 was helpful was having regular, direct conversations about living arrangements. This looks like going out to coffee or dinner and just sharing how you’re feeling with your parents. Share the positives and the negatives of your status as an adult living at home, and let them share their pros and cons with you. Instead of waiting for issues to come up, proactively share your heart and find the issues before they appear.

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 made the habit of offering information about my whereabouts so that my parents didn’t ever have to wonder. That was 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 adult daughters to be a blessing to others at home. One of the biggest ways I sought to be a blessing to my family, was by mentoring my two younger sisters. I’ve been (still am) officially mentoring Beks and Sue for several years. While living at home with them, I had a unique perspective into their lives. My mentorship of them was a way for me to link arms with my parents and help them out.

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

I tried to make regular efforts to be around my family. I tried to join family meals as often as I could, chatted with the family when they were home (rather than hiding in my room), and hung out with my siblings whenever possible. Instead of viewing your home as a hotel (come and go), try to view it as your home. Choose to be invested and choose to make 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.


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10 Responses to 4 Strategies for Living at Home as an Adult Daughter

  1. Kate says:

    Great topic! Having recently graduated I’m living at home with my family, and have started helping homeschool younger siblings. It is really a joy and a challenge as sometimes I’ve struggled with feeling somewhat insignificant or unhelpful… I guess I’m in a waiting stage right now, and God wants to teach me and guide me without my forcing the map from His hands. What a great opportunity!

  2. Helen says:

    Thanks for this post, girls, but can I ask a further question? Has anyone any suggestions for managing this when you have deep denominational/world-view differences? Especially with a single parent?

    • Karen-Tranae Kacie Newsome says:

      That sounds like a situation where you need to pray constantly asking God how to honor Him and your parent. It won’t be easy but with God nothing is impossible. If you haven’t already, take a look at 2 Timothy 2:22-26. Be blessed!

    • BK says:

      I can relate. Since going to college, I have found my home in a very conservative church. Previously, I had grown up in mainstream non-denominational churches, a little bit towards the liberal side. Each one of us in my family has since settled on their own views; dinner table discussions about theology could go on and on between two of us if not moderated by a third family member! I asked a trusted older church friend, and her advice was this: the Bible defines what I believe. But when it comes to parents, do your best to be agreeable with them. Don’t discuss topics that you are likely to disagree on unless you are specifically asked. You may never be able to convince them to share the same views as you, but do your best to live faithfully to God and honor your parents as much as you can, and at some point they might say, “that’s how (name) does things” and leave you to make your own choices. I hope this helps!

  3. Christie says:

    This is great encouragement, Thanks for posting this!! Personally, this is something I have struggled with for a while. I am a college student who lives with my parents when school is not in session (winter break and summer). For me, I get in the mood where life is all about me since I’m the one who has “another life”, (college). This can cause me to be arrogant and not listen to my parents because I just don’t want to. However, I agree that having a humble heart goes a long way. God knows our heart and our parents heart. We are called to be kind and loving to our parents and help them out. With that in mind, that does not mean we have to agree with them 100%. We can respectfully disagree with them if we do not agree with them and still love them. I think one of the main takeaways is having communication with parents. In reality, there will be times where we as adults get upset with our parents or annoyed. Letting the parents know in advance of a code (What we should do for one of us if we are upset). For example, if you need a break from your parents, let them know in advance that you will say, “Could you give me a few minutes, then I can respond?” This gives you a while to cool down and once your ready, you can reply to them!

  4. Eliza Noel says:

    This was definitely helpful! I’m 19 and the oldest of nine kids, so this is my parents first time having an adult living at home and we’re all kinda trying to figure it all out 🙂

  5. Ann says:

    GREAT POST BETHANY!!!!!!!!!!!!♥♥
    I do struggle with pride a lot, this really helped!
    also, I encourage everyone to Pray to Jesus about everything that you struggle with in life;
    The lord has really brought me a long way from where I was with pride & emotions.

  6. Stefanie says:

    Do you feel that living at home for so long was a good or bad thing before marriage? I lived on my own for 6 years before getting married and that makes you become mature quick – no one else will pay the bills or wash the dishes, I had to. I know women who married men who lived at home and described their husbands as being babied by their mother. They didn’t know how to cook, do laundry, even run a dishwasher!

  7. Stephanie Boyes says:

    Do they have the option for a career or education before marriage, or even instead of?

    • V says:

      Hmmm well Stephanie Boyes… that’s a good question, I’m young I don’t know your age but I hope if your older you don’t mind some thoughts; )
      As a young woman my parents have taught me that the most important thing is to know the Lord and his word, to practice outside of before marriage what I would do in my future, also learning something that I could do at home as an help/gift account (savings) for example, lessons of violin piano sewing art etc, learning yo take care of others at nursing homes (volunteer yes but learn deffently!) Cooking to sale (if allowed) cleaning houses (older couples need the help and are willing to hire for $10 hour instead of pay hundreds on knee and back care) babysitting, nannying.
      Stuff that can be done in the home married or not married, also a question to be asked is “why do or would I need a full career?” Is a full education necessary? Reading writing math grammar (most importantly bible) is the needed, but what would a higher education do for you?
      Marriage I believe is a very good thing and shouldn’t be traded out for a career, ofcourse there are some women who never get married (because that’s Gods will) I believe God will lead you to the right thing when the time comes.

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