Ever since the day your child was born, they have been your everything. You have spent hours cuddling with them, embracing their love, showering them with affection. Every day, you’d watch as they’d get a little older and a little bigger, and you’d hope they could say the same small, loving size forever.
And now it’s time for them to get their butts out of your house.
Sure, they were once the apple of your eye. They may still be. But growing up is growing up, and it’s time for you to help your child get to independence, so that you can get back to focusing on you.
Tips to Release Your Child Into the Urban Wild
The first thing to remember is that it is a process. If your child shows an unwillingness to move out on their own, chances are it’s because there is something that’s holding them back. In some cases it’s the current economic climate. In other cases it’s some sort of bad behavior (drugs, partying). In other cases they may simply be taking advantage of your hospitality or parenting. They may also have not yet reached that level of emotional maturity.
No matter what is causing them to remain dependent on you, there are strategies you can use to try to teach them how to leave the house. These include:
- Turn Your Home Into An Apartment – No matter what, it’s time to give up the “free ride.” If your child wants to stay, eat, and sleep, they need to do so in a way that teaches them how to budget and use their money. That means that they should pay for rent, pay for their own food, pay for their portion of electricity, and more. As a parent, you should always be teaching, and these requirements start that teaching process.
- Be Strong and United – You and your partner need to show a united front against the child. Neither of you can give in at any point. That is because if any parent secretly gives their child some extra money, or pays their rent for them, or allows on thing to “get by,” the child learns that you aren’t serious about their moving, and all they need do is wait you out. Be united, and the child will understand that you’re expecting real change.
- Accept the Risk – Pushing your child out of the home may make you feel like a bad parent. But your child is not really a child. They’re a young adult, and they’re a young adult that is not reaching their potential or living a full life. Pushing them towards independence is an act of love. It comes with some risks – like a child that doesn’t learn how to be out on their own – but loving your child enough to want them to do better is still very real love.
Adult children that refuse to leave the home generally dislike discomfort. After all, they are likely still in your home as an act of comfort. It’s okay to make life more uncomfortable for them. If your home feels less like a home, then they’ll be forced to seek out that comfort out there.
Certainly the process isn’t always easy. But while you may not be used to pushing your child out of the house and letting them make their own mistakes, the truth is that behind your frustration with having them live in the house is a strong love. You want your child to reach their potential, to branch out, to make their mark on the world, BECAUSE you love them. If staying at your house isn’t accomplishing that, then pushing them out of the nest is the most responsible choice you can make.
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