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Your social life
• What do your parents think about you having friends or girlfriends/boyfriends to stay
over? Negotiate with them what is a reasonable situation. While your parents might
know that you are sexually active, they might not be comfortable with it in their home.
• If they are against you having a boyfriend/girlfriend stay over you will need to accept
this and show your parents that you are reliable and mature by sticking to their
expectations. They may change their mind later on.
Don’tWear Out YourWelcome
• Have a deadline for when you want to move out, even if this is a few years in the
future. This will show your parents that you have serious plans to move on to the next
stage of your life. It may take you a few years to save and accumulate the furniture,
but having a goal and sticking to it will help you move towards independence. Your
goal should be to get your parents to see you as a responsible adult.
Here are some more tips for living under one roof with your parents:
• Occasionally try to listen to your parents when they speak to you – they like it, and it
keeps them quiet for a while.
• Occasionally doing something small and helpful without being asked makes your life a
lot easier – it’s a mental thing; they think you’re being helpful so won’t ask you to do
anything else that will certainly be bigger and more cumbersome. Attack is definitely
the best form of defence on this one!
• Apart from the TV, feign total ignorance on all technical matters; you know absolutely
nothing about iPods/computers/radios. Failure to do so will result in you becoming
in-house technical support. This is draining, annoying and means you get endless
calls at weird times asking where the volume switch is on the DVD player (I know,
extraordinary, but true). Instead, suggest they get a professional in to help them. Being
charged by the hour concentrates their minds beautifully.
• Little things go a long way – buying the food just occasionally will make them think
they have produced an angel. Actually cook it for them and you never need to lift
another finger in your life.
• When tired and grumpy, retreat. I personally love a bit of confrontation when I’m
grumpy. However, it is advisable not to use your live-in parents as your steam valve.
They don’t appreciate it and then you get the “I’m just very disappointed in you” chat
– and who wants that?
• Lastly, the most important rule. Don’t put the intimate birthday party you’re giving
while your parents are away on Facebook and then be surprised when the world turns
up and trashes the place. There’s a reason Facebook has privacy settings. Use them.
A version of this article appears in the July issue of ‘Saga Magazine’; subscriptions available
from Telegraph, Emma Soames by Emily MacManus 02 Jul 2009