As a parent, it is natural to protect your child, no matter how old he or she is. It has become increasingly common for adult children to spend more time living with parents after graduation.
For young adults, finding work after graduation is not as easy as it previously was. The job market is competitive and since having a college degree has become the norm, college graduates do not have any special advantages when applying for a job. In fact, for some graduates, it is even harder to apply for jobs since they have no practical work experience. Even if your child is lucky enough to get a job right after graduation, the increased cost of living makes it harder for him or her to move out immediately.
There is nothing wrong with giving your child an opportunity to get his or her life established before getting a place to live. However, you must be careful not to make things too comfortable for your child, otherwise, he or she may not see any reason to become independent. If you feel like your child is starting to take advantage of your generosity, you need to ask him or her to move out. Asking your grown child to move can be uncomfortable, but there are some strategies you can follow to make it an easier discussion.
The problem many parents face is knowing when it is time to ask their child to move out. The majority of parents end up letting their child stay at home because they convince themselves their child is not ready to leave. While this may seem supportive, you may actually be doing more harm than good. However, it can be equally harmful to kick your child out when genuinely at a point where he or she is unable to get a home.
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Asking yourself the following questions helps you address whether you need to talk to your child about moving out:
Answering these questions also helps you address what needs to change at home. Even if you end up letting your child stay with you, based on your answers you may find there are additional rules your child must follow if staying with you any longer.
It is challenging to have a neutral view regarding your child. If you are unsure whether your child is taking advantage of your kindness, then you should speak with someone who has an outside view such as a friend or another family member. For these outsiders, it is easier to look at your child as an adult as opposed to someone who needs your care and protection.
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You are not the only one who needs to change your view. If there are issues at home with your child, then he or she needs to change the way he or she looks at the house. Many adult children end up feeling too comfortable at home and start to think of the house as belonging to them as much as it does to you. Even if you do not want to ask your child to leave, it is important he or she knows you are the owner of the house.
You and your child need to be on the same page with your views. Ask him or her how long he or she intends to stay and compare this time to how long you were expecting him or her to stay. If you both recognize it is time for a change, then set a reasonable deadline for your child to move out. He or she does not need to pack his or her bags the next day, but you can decide on a specific time frame for the move-out, such as giving him or her three months to start looking for a place to live.
For many families, the main issue with an adult child staying at home comes down to a lack of communication. Your child most likely does not realize he or she is a burden on you. Your child may also not have any idea what to do in order to move out. When you talk to your child about moving out, it is important you also help him or her come up with a plan to leave. By doing this, you not only guarantee success for your child, but you also make it clear you are not asking him or her to leave because you do not want him or her around.
One of the hardest but most important conversations you must have with your child has to do with finances. Many adult children who live at home have limited financial responsibilities. Even if your child is perfectly willing to accept your request and leave the house, you do not want to rush him or her out if there is not an understanding of what is financially expected of him or her. If your child leaves home without knowing how to set a budget, then there is a high chance he or she will end up back at your doorstep within the year. Make it clear you plan to help your child find an affordable place to live. Answer any questions he or she has regarding finances, and do not be afraid to ask your own questions. For example, you can ask your child how much he or she expects to put aside each month for utilities or groceries. If your child gives an unreasonable answer, then correct him or her. You can even show your child your bills or take him or her grocery shopping so he or she has a better idea of how much must be saved each month.
If your child needs financial help to move out, then you have to decide how much assistance you provide if any. Make sure you establish a limit you are comfortable with, even if your child is not. If your child still relies on you financially after moving out, then it may feel like he or she never left in the first place. At the same time, your child may not be able to move out without you cosigning for a lease.
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