As a parent, the ultimate goal is to raise a capable, independent individual who can support themselves. Getting your child to officially move out is a monumental milestone for every party involved, but sadly, it has become harder to achieve than compared to years past.
In fact, as of 2017, one-third of young adults were still living at home with mom and dad. For those guardians who have done their time and are ready for their child to leave the nest, how do you go about getting your grown son out of the house?
Generally, Open and honest conversation is the first step. The discussion should have a positive and motivational tone, while still solidifying the requirement of vacating their childhood home. Other important measures include setting a strict timeline and remaining firm on your decision. Most importantly, this is an ultimatum, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them in the process of becoming a self-sufficient person. However, in certain cases where the relationship is becoming an emotional burden on you, you may get the police involved.
- 5 Simple Steps To Get Your Grown Son To Move Out
- Ways To Make The Move Out Transition Easier
- What To Do When He Resists Moving Out
- Final Thoughts
5 Simple Steps To Get Your Grown Son To Move Out
1. Talk To Your Son About The Need To Move Out
You created a loving, dependable home for your family. You provided your children with a warm place to sleep, delicious food, entertainment and tender loving care. When you think about it that way, why would your kids actually want to leave? They have everything they need!
If you want your grown son to move out of the house, you need to tell him. Sit down and have a candid conversation about his living situation, his intentions and the reasons why he hasn’t left yet. Be honest about your need for him to take the next step in adulthood. Finally, give him a deadline. Putting a clock on this change is extremely important in ensuring its completion.
Remember to be reasonable with this time table. If he is unemployed, it is unrealistic to expect him to get a job in a day. However, two to three months is ample time to get his affairs in order. Offer assistance throughout this transition and subtly take progress reports during this period to make sure he stays on track.
2.Discuss The Importance Of Personal Responsibility
We all want our children to achieve their dreams. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always pan out the way we planned it. Your son may have gone to school to become an engineer. However, if positions in that industry are scarce, then he may have to slum it as a waiter or a stock boy until something better comes along.
Surprisingly, less than one third of college graduates actually hold a job that relates to their degree. Moreover, over 40% of college educated individuals work in a position that doesn’t require a diploma. The prevalence of available jobs is rising and if your grown son is still out of work, it is time for a reality check. Adulthood requires financial responsibility.
One of the not-so-fun parts of being a parent is being brutally honest. Telling your child to “grow up and get a job” seems harsh, but in this scenario tough love is a necessity. Moreover, many times taking on a less than ideal job can be the best thing to happen to someone. It puts a fire in their belly to work towards achieving bigger and better goals.
3.Make Things Less Comfortable At Home
The next step in getting your grown son out the door is giving him a dose of reality. NOTHING in life is free. That means room and board need to come at a cost. Furthermore, members of the household need to contribute with the maintenance of the home. Cleaning, lawn care, cooking and laundry should be required tasks.
Not only that, but every place of residence, whether it be a house, apartment or townhome, has its rules. Therefore, make some of your own. Create a curfew. Limit the number of guests and the hours they are allowed over. Additionally, prohibit overnight visitors. He may be an adult on paper, but this is your home and he will follow the rules until he decides to move out.
Finally, Nobel Laureate, economist and statistician Milton Friedman is famous for his phrase “There is no such thing as a free lunch”. Whether you choose to take the saying literally or figuratively, another great way to motivate your son to get his own kitchen is to limit what he has access to in yours.
He can have the food provided to him at mealtimes, but otherwise, he is on his own. Milk and water did him well as a child. Cut out the alcohol, energy drinks and soda. Snacks can also come out of his own budget. If he cannot afford those amenities, then they will have to be cut from his diet.
4.Maintain A United Front on Your Son’s Need to Move Out
You and your spouse need to be on the same page with the decision for your son to move out, otherwise it will never work. Stay firm on your timeline for your son’s departure, what he is responsible for until he leaves and ensure that the gravy train ends immediately.
Additionally, house rules need to remain intact, no matter what the occasion. Moreover, determine a consequence for if they are broken.
5.Address Excuses As To Why He Can’t Move Out
“I can’t afford to be on my own” or “I can’t find a job” are not viable or reasonable excuses for why he cannot move out. There is plenty of affordable housing. Your son will just have to face the reality that he may not have the luxury of living in a high end apartment or swanky townhome. Budgeting is never fun, but it is a requirement that the majority of adults have to take on.
Furthermore, the purpose of a job is to make money to support yourself and your family. Obviously, if you love what you do and are excited about your work that is an amazing bonus. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most adults. Truth be told, over 50% of Americans are not satisfied with their current job and 80% are not passionate about what they do for a living.
We all struggle in the start. That is normal. It is also how we gain our footing and drive to reach for something more. Failure is how we learn and grow into successful individuals. Enlighten him on some of the obstacles that you have faced and how you overcame them. The goal is to motivate him to do the same.
Ways To Make The Move Out Transition Easier
Help Him Get His Affairs In Order Before His Move Out Date
The first step to gaining independence is having all of his legal documents in order. Locate your son’s birth certificate and social security card. Next, transfer all applicable bills into his name. These will normally include his phone bill, car insurance as well as any student and auto loans. In addition, if he is currently employed, then take him off of your health insurance so that he can obtain his own coverage. While this is not everything, it is a step in the right direction.
Make Him Look Good On Paper
In order to get hired at a reputable job, your son will need a resume, cover letter, portfolio and a list of references. A well-formatted resume that highlights his professional experience and educational background has the power to open doors and facilitate his financial independence! Moreover, if you have connections in the field he wishes to enter, help him out!
Help Him To Dress For Success
Once your son is good on paper, he then needs to look good in person. Taking him to purchase professional attire is imperative for making a good impression at a potential interview. For the man child who is a little less groomed, a trip to the salon or barber is also in order. This will greatly increase his chances at landing a reputable job, in turn ensuring that he moves out.
Create A Realistic Budget
Writing things down is an effective way to conceptualize a plan and see it through. Sit down with your son to determine what he needs to move out and how much he can afford with the money he is bringing in after taxes. Help him to find affordable housing and proper transportation.
Reinforce that unless he has a medical emergency, these are bills that he will be responsible for from now on. He cannot think that he always has a safe landing pad. Then talk about the many amenities that he can cut to save money. These can include alcohol, cable, expensive meals, subscription plans and excursions out with friends. No one said that adulting was fun!
Pay It Forward
Sometimes tough love pays off! The rent that you require him to pay while still living at home can serve as a great nest egg for when he finally vacates your house. Put the payments in a savings account and then write him a big check when he makes the big boy step into true adulthood!
This money can go towards a security deposit, new furniture or even pay some of his initial rent. It can also serve an emergency fund for if things go awry or money get tight. No matter what, your son will appreciate the gesture.
What To Do When He Resists Moving Out
Talk To A Specialist
If your child does not see any issue with living at his childhood home forever, then it might be time to bring in a specialist. Talking to a therapist or spiritual leader can bring clarity and perspective that you may not be able to provide. Additionally, it can supply you with the tools to better motivate him to want to leave in a constructive and non-confrontational way.
Implement Tough Love
If your son refuses to get a job or take steps to gain his independence, it is time to pull the plug on his dependence. Pack up his belongings, put them on the front porch and change the locks. This is an extremely hard decision to make for your family and it will likely put a strain on your relationship with your son for a while. However, you are not doing him, or yourself, any favors by allowing him to continue taking advantage of your generosity.
Something to note — depending on your place of residence, you can actually get into legal trouble for evicting your adult child, even though it is your home. Therefore, make sure to take the proper steps when executing this process. Research your state and county laws and consider consulting a lawyer about what is required by both parties.
For example, if you start charging your child rent, it is imperative that you put in writing that they can stay for “X” amount of months at a set fee. Note that following this time frame, they will need to find their own accommodations. Also state that if they do not follow your house rules, that this agreement can be terminated at any time and they will be forced to move out. While this may seem ridiculous to set up a lease type agreement with your grown child, you don’t want any legal ramifications coming back at you if things go south.
Six thousand, five hundred and seventy days. That is the required amount of time that you provide for your son. After that, it is up to you how long he sticks around for his free lunch.
Many parents allow their children to come back for periods of time during college or while they are looking for work. However, it is important to remember that if this period of time extends for too long, you will end up enabling them. This can potentially lead to a lack of motivation and inadvertently extend their stay.
A good practice is to set precedents early in life. When they turn eighteen, explicitly dictate how long they have to figure things out and the new requirements of adulthood. Then when they potentially overstay their welcome, enforce a move out deadline and make strides in helping them meet this mark.
Heidi is a wife, mother, Newfie owner, writer and Meteorologist. She was born and raised in Texas and has worked in the broadcast industry for going on a decade.