It’s time. Your kid is old enough and you’re ready toss your little bird out of the nest and let ’em fly! Here’s some guidance on how to get your grown child to move out (and stay out).
Whether they are headed to college or not, it’s a huge adjustment for all parties involved. The argument could be made that moving off to college is more often a soft transition. College kids often get more continued help from the parents and school.
What is the average age a child moves out?
It used to be common practice to move out after high school, at about 18 or 19 years old. And legally, they aren’t entitled to live with you past 18 years old.
But according to Time Magazine, you may want to consider letting your kid stay longer. The idea is that it will “help them make the most out of the financial breathing room you’re providing.”
A May 2016 Pew survey indicated that 18-34 year olds are doing just that. “A record 32 percent of young adults live with their parents. For the first time in more than 75 years, living in Motel Mom is the most common kind of living arrangement.”
In fact, according to the Pew survey, living with a parent became the most common young adult living situation in 2016 for the first time on record!
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When should a child move out?
Empowering Parents’ article, “Failure to Launch, Part 3: Six Steps to Help Your Adult Child Move Out” recommends,
“If you’re in a situation where your adult child is living with you and it’s mutually beneficial – or at the very least mutually respectful – that’s fine.”
Their article goes on to give some good advice for dealing with a kid who has already overstayed their welcome.
Can I legally kick my son out of the house?
Hopefully, you can come to an amicable resolution, without legal help. These parents, whose unemployed 30-year-old son refused to leave until they sued to evict him — and won. So precedence is on your side.“A record 32 percent of young adults live with their parents. For the first time in more than 75 years…" A luxury that already disadvantaged aged out foster youth don't have. #finallyfamilyhomes #fosteryouth Click To Tweet
Transitioning to Independence
Helping your grown child move out successfully requires some preparation. There’s a lot you can do to ease the transition with some advanced planning.
Step 1. Talk About It
Ideally, you’ll have begun setting the stage years in advance saying things like..
“When you finish high school and it’s time to move out…”
“When you turn 18 and foster care ends…”
Keep the conversation going over time. Discuss where they might like to live, how they will pay rent and bills. Help them to visualize and begin the mental preparation for moving out on their own.
Sell the Advantages of Moving Out
If you are picking up on some hesitations, help your kid to list the advantages of living on their own. Pepper your conversations with these selling points too.
“When you have your own place, you can decorate it like that.”
“You are welcome to stay up as late as you want, when you have your own place…”
Keep the Conversation Going
A conversation is more than you talking and selling, it’s listening. Ask questions and listen without judging or giving advice. Sometimes kids just need to work things out themselves. Do what you can to make it easy for them to talk to you.
Don’t let it drop all together, however. Not talking about moving out may give your adult child the impression you’ve changed your mind or that it’s not important.
Step 2. Gather Essential Documents
The next thing you can do to prepare is to gather all of documentation your child will need to do the “grown-up” things in life. Then teach your child how to organize important documents.
It can take a while to obtain any missing vital documents. So it is advisable to start the process of gathering important documents several months in advance of the move out date.
Step 3. Find Affordable Housing
To increase the odds when moving out, help your child find an affordable first place to live. Don’t just pick a place out for them. Include them in the search process. When it’s time to move out again, they will know just how to do it themselves.
Step 4. Set Up A Budget
Step 3 and 4 could be reversed. But usually an area will dictate what your minimum rent will be. Get a general idea of what a reasonably affordable rent is, then help your child build a budget around that.
For instance, in Los Angeles, you’ll be hard pressed to find a shared bedroom for $500 a month. In rural Louisiana, you might be able to find a small house for the same price.
Don’t forget to go over all the bills that go with living independently, like electricity, cable, gas, and water.
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Step 5. Figure Out Transportation
These days young adults are not only moving out later, but driving later and later. According to statsista.com, only “61 percent of 18-year-olds in the U.S. had a driver’s license in 2018, compared to 80.4 percent in 1983.”
National statistics are unclear, but this article about foster youth in Florida indicates less than 3% of foster youth have their driver’s license by 18.
Factor in making essential trips, like traveling to a job, getting groceries, or getting to and from school. Getting a driver’s license and a car might be an essential part of getting around. Maybe your child needs to learn how to navigate public transit, bike trails, or learn how to use uber.
Some Final Thoughts on How to Get Your Grown Child Move Out
Getting your grown child to move out may require a great deal more than what is covered here. Every family is unique and every situation has its nuances.
This article by NYU Child & Adolescent Psychology provides some great tips for helping parents and kids manage the psychological impact of transitioning to college.
Whatever the case, helping your child succeed in life will improve the odds that they move out successfully. You may find the following additionally helpful in help your grow child succeed on their own.
10 Keys to Success in Life