Just when you thought you were seeing daylight, you get that telephone call and hear those four words that stop you in your tracks: “I’m moving back in.”
Let’s face it: We love our kids — and we often tell them that our home will always be their home — but once they reach adulthood, sharing space with them gets a little more complicated. Unlike when they were children and living by our schedule and house rules, they are now independent, headstrong and in charge of their own lives.
This domestic déjà vu doesn’t need to cause friction, however. In fact, by equipping your home with the latest technology, you can make this new chapter in your family’s life not just easy, but downright pleasurable.
1. Coming & going
Whether your kids are out for the night with old friends or working late at new jobs, there’s no reason you can’t end your day whenever you want to and still make sure they get home okay. Thanks to digital door locks, which open with a unique passcode, you can have a notification sent to your mobile phone when your kid punches in allowing you to know when everyone is home for the evening — without having to leave the comfort of your own bed.
2. A smart schedule
With your new (former) roomie in the house, daily routines are bound to get that much busier as everyone goes about their lives according to their own schedules. Automated technology can help alleviate unnecessary traffic jams and keep the household humming. From brewing coffee in the morning to locking the garage door at night, you can program when things click on and off — and whom they’re being timed for — all from your mobile device.
3. Temperature control
When they were kids, they weren’t allowed to touch the thermostat — that was strictly mom and dad’s domain. But as adults, they’re entitled to regulate their environment too. Automating your home’s heating and air-conditioning according to everyone’s in-house schedule — and comfort level — means no family member will be left out in the cold (or get too hot under the collar).
4. Television time
Just because you’re all sharing the same cable or satellite dish doesn’t mean you all have to squeeze together on the same couch to watch your favorite programs. In fact, in some cases, your son or daughter might want to boot up the movie you’re viewing, but in a different room with a visiting friend. Modern entertainment technology makes all of that a cinch, enabling everyone to share the same feed, but at different locations within the home, and even with different start and stop times. No more fighting over the remote!
5. Family time: the family meal
You may all be living your own adult lives, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice what is arguably the most sacred of all household traditions: the family dinner. Nowadays, smart kitchen appliances can be programmed to begin cooking at designated times, which means you can have dinner ready at a certain time with just a few taps on your tablet. Also, using the latest food shopping apps will make quick trips to the grocery store that much more efficient, and designed to satisfy everyone’s appetite.
Whatever the circumstances, the unexpected reappearance of an adult child in the home doesn’t have to be a problem or a burden. Indeed, it may be a golden opportunity to relive some of your family’s most cherished memories.