How to Get Your Grown Up Child to Move Out When It’s Time

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!

“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
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When should a child move out?

It really depends on the circumstances and your relationship. If your adult child is respectful, helpful, and contributing or even necessary to helping keep your household afloat, it’s probably not time.

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.”  

But if your child is disrespectful to you or house, wasting money, and just sticking around because they’re lazy, it’s probably time to start them on their way out the door.

Can I legally kick my son out of the house?

Hopefully, you can come to an amicable resolution, without legal help. You don’t want to end up like these parents, whose unemployed 30-year-old poster child for lazy adults living with their parents. He wasn’t contributing and refused to leave until they sued to evict him. The parents won. So precedence is on your side.

5 Steps To Get Your Grown Child Out Of The House

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…”
or
“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.

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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.

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 To 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

How to Set Goals in Life

How to Manage Your Time Wisely

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Comments

  1. Great information to set aside for that day that will… inevitably come.

    1. Thanks!

  2. Great details and information. I wish I had this back when my kids were moving out. It can be such a emotional time that this is very helpful.

    1. I wish I had read it when it was time for me to move out! I knew nothing about managing important documents!

  3. I wish my parents had run my credit before I went to college!y identity had actually been stolen. So much useful information!

    1. OH no! I know, they say you should check on it for all your kids on a regular basis. I haven’t done it for my kids yet though :O

  4. Valuable information. The details are very important.

    1. Glad you found it helpful!

  5. great post our children have moved out years ago but this is definitely a great resource to help parents for sure. Thank you for taking the time to help because as we all know parenting can be a challenge and it doesn’t end when they turn 18.

    1. No it doesn’t! Parenting is lifelong.

  6. Definitely something that I need to save for future reference.

    1. Hope it is helpful!

  7. Thank you, useful information to have to hand

    1. It’s here when you need it 😀

  8. This is a practical post with all the necessary information for having everything in place to move out of the home and into independent living. This is a very helpful list for parents who are newly launching adult children. Even with all the preparation, however, it can still be bumpy sometimes, as things are forgotten. It can also be overwhelming for both parents and kids. Thankfully, after transitioning and growing used to the new arrangements, the new normal kicks in, and everything smooths out by the grace of God.

    1. Thanks Melinda!

  9. I only have a 9 month old so am years from this but will be prepared when it’s time!

    1. Never hurts to start running the baby’s credit reports now – just to make sure no identity gets stolen

  10. I think this is a great topic to teach on your blog. My children left the nest several years ago. But one adult child returned for a couple years after college and paid her college off completely by living rent-free for that period of time. Our other adult child moved in with their spouse after that and paid off much of their debt as well as saved money for a down-payment for a house. They were respectful of our rules, and my husband and I were happy to help them out since our house was big enough. Our children were careful not to be wasteful with the money they were saving, but actually used it to pay their debt down. I realize this could have turned into a nightmare, but we all were considerate of each other and have maintained healthy relationships with our children and their spouses.

    1. That’s so great! It’s wonderful that they had somewhere to land & give themselves a chance to re-launch! A lot of kids don’t have that… like foster kids who age out.

  11. What helpful suggestions. I never considered all of these details, but I can see how helpful it would be to young people who have never taken on the full responsibilities of adulthood before. Thank you for the thoughtfulness in this matter.

    1. You bet! I’m still trying to get my act together – ha!

  12. This is SUCH great info for me! My daughter will be graduating from college this May, and well, it’s time to have the “adulting” talk with her. I have taken notes from your blog, and will most definitely discuss how to store and keep important documents. Thank you SO much for this post!

    1. Perfect timing! So glad to help. I’ve been putting a lot of thought and research into what kids need to be successful on their own as adults – that’s our mission for the foster kids!

  13. Practical and helpful, and I also appreciate the complexities you touch on: it’s not always easy to know when it’s time for your (young) adult child to leave! I love what you’re doing, Christina. I wish I’d had access to this kind of info when I was bouncing around from home to home, and I thank God you’re out there providing it for young people who so desperately need it.

    1. Thanks Peggy!
      I’m thankful for you & your encouragement! 🙂

  14. Super helpful post! I haven’t launched a child yet but this is great!

    1. It’s good to be prepared ahead of time!

  15. What great, practical tips you have! Some of this information is useful for those of us whose kids have left long ago. Fabulous post! God bless!

    1. Glad it’s helpful!

  16. This is really helpful stuff, Christina. We have 1 less than a year in the working world and still living with his college roommates, but soon to be on his own. He’s only got 2 of those documents in his possession, so I have somework to do. Thanks for the list! I bet it’s a big help to those leaving foster care.

    1. It’s especially important for kids in foster care – they have access to a lot of supports – depending on the State, but they need paperwork to get it!

  17. Thank you for suggesting how should I keep my kid out. I like you suggested that parents must empower their kids to be more responsible alone. The kids can also use the money you provide for them to invest in property like family homes for sale.

    1. Definitely we want to empower our young people to be successful & independent on their own!

  18. These are great tips! I wish I would have known most of these when my son moved out. But I still have a tween daughter at home so I can save this for later.

    1. Thanks Michelle! You can definitely start setting the stage for the next child to be ready to move out when she’s grown!

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