How to Get Grown Children to Leave Home

By Kay Ireland
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They're known as boomerang children -- kids who leave the house for work, school or otherwise, but are soon back under your roof for myriad reasons. While you definitely want to help your adult child to get on his feet, there's a thin line between helping him and hurting his chances. By creating an action plan, you help your adult kid leave the house with confidence for the future.

Step 1

Communicate with your adult child about your expectations. It's all too common to tiptoe around the situation to avoid upsetting your child or making him feel unwanted, warns the AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons. But your child may not realize that you're unhappy with the current living situation and be blissfully unaware that you expect him to find another place. By sitting down and using "I" statements -- "I feel like I'm doing a lot of the work," or "I think that it's time that I lived alone," you take responsibility for your feelings without pointing fingers.

Step 2

Talk to your adult child about his goals. Chances are that he has plans, but they may not be definite. Or, he could have issues preventing him from wanting to live alone, like the lack of a job or low self-confidence. Knowing what could be stopping your child from leaving can help you formulate a plan.

Step 3

Create an action plan together, suggests An action plan should be equipped with specific steps that your child can take to live on his own, such as getting a job, saving up a deposit and first and last month's rent or even placing an ad for a possible roommate.

Step 4

Set a timeline for the action plan and a date where your adult child should move out. Having a concrete date circled on the calendar means your child needs to put his plan to action. Without a move-out date, he might seem enthusiastic about the plan but never really complete the steps. You can even write a contract stipulating conditions and dates for moving out so you're both clear on the terms.

Step 5

Banish feelings of guilt about asking your adult child to move out of the house. Your own guilt and negative feelings can make it easier for your child to use your emotions against you. Instead, remind yourself that you're helping your child by teaching him to live on his own without the crutch of family.

About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.