Shane Watson on the things nobody tells you about living with young adults.

No one ever talks about what it's really like living with "yadults", because there is so much hypocrisy involved. You want them to join you around the dinner table into the small hours, but you don't necessarily want them hearing about the time you got arrested/sacked/dated twin circus jugglers. What's yours is theirs, unless you're talking about the pomegranates you were saving for the salad, or the new white towels and the comically expensive bath oil.

Anyway, here are some tips for living with yadults, which from experience, I think you'll find useful:

• It's good to have a signal. So, for example, if you have managed to keep "the arrest incident" under wraps, when your friend starts hooting about the arrest incident, you can silence them with a single look or a word.

• Triage your drink and food. Who knows how, but they have an unerring ability to separate the quality from the own-brand, and the not-opened (therefore more appealing) from the already opened, still fresh and perfectly okay. These are the five-star luxury years. They prefer Absolut to Smirnoff, fizzy water to tap, fresh pesto to bottled, papaya to braeburns. The only way you will cope is by doing a triage of your supplies. Hide the burrata behind the halloumi and operate a two-tier alcohol policy. The secret is to decant everything and a) water it down or b) make sure that they're drinking the one containing the super-plonk.


• You're beyond the open bedroom doors policy but still, there must be no hanging out in bedrooms with love interests. This may seem unreasonable, but even if they're in there reading poetry to each other it makes you feel like proprietors of a love motel - and no good will come of that.

• Nobody moves the charger. Not ever. Anyone who moves the charger (or allows their boyfriend/girlfriend to do so) understands that this is a straight-to-meltdown offence.

• Nobody unplugs leads at the back of the TV so that you're connected to the PS3, or someone's Spotify, with no idea how to get back to terrestrial.

• Everybody eases off on politics. Lively discussions: yes, lovely, but our (new) rule is no crashing on about elitism and the defunct capitalist model while reaching across you for the truffle oil.

• No touching the heating or hot water under any circumstances. These interventions are the most stress-inducing of the lot, as it happens, partly because it is messing with your environment; partly because it feeds our paranoia that we have raised a lot of pampered Joffreys (there is no hot water because it is 3pm!); and partly because the yadults are very good at On and Up, but not so much at Off and Down.

• Compulsory clearing up the night before. If you come down in the morning to a beggar's banquet scene, the kitchen wall might as well be graffitied with the words: "Chill, Old Types, nobody cares about your bourgeois standards."

• On that subject, it's okay, if it makes you feel much better, to say: "Stay away from my mother's glasses, please." Or: "Don't light the candles on the mantelpiece."

• They should cook. Sometimes parents of yadults shy away from this because they are rarely in the mood for chickpea fritters or pasta with cheesy meatballs, but it's an essential part of the deal. Without it, you will be raising "Entitleds".

And you're still raising, make no mistake. They're not fully baked yet.