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Shippy's avatar

Do you feel that adult children should leave home at a certain age?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) October 6th, 2012

Times have changed a lot I’d say. I left home at 17. These days adult kids stay home much longer it would appear. If there is study involved often this is a workable solution.

But what of “kids” staying at home after 30, is this strange? Or is it OK? What if the “child” is also not working? How would you change that adult child’s perception of life, in order to get them to get their butt out of there!

Or do you think it’s an individual choice and if all members of the family are happy then its just a matter of perception? And all is well? The main question though, is, how would you change that adult child’s mind, or encourage them to leave their parents, male or female.

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15 Answers

jerv's avatar

As someone who has been forced to live in the in-laws basement a couple of times due to the economy, I’d say that there is no blanket answer. Case by case is the only way to approach this since circumstances are so variable.

woodcutter's avatar

If they are in their 30’s there could be some problems why, unless the parents just like having their kids around. I know I would not like my kid at home unless it was a transitional period.

Blackberry's avatar

No, because there are times the economy can dictate a person’s life.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It’s all really individual for the adult child and their family. My husband and I agree that once our children graduate high school, they are expected to either go to college, go to a trade school, join the military, or get a job and find a place. With any of these options, the idea is for them to start preparing to move on from our house and start moving toward their own independence. If something happens and they need to come back home for some reason, it would be dealt with on a case by case basis. There isn’t a set time line for when we want them to move out (like saying they have to be out within a year of graduating or anything like that), it’s just the idea that once they graduate, they need to work on the next step and they need to do it in a timely manner (meaning no waiting 5 years to decide what to do next).

As for how to get the adult child on the same page, I think it’s something that needs to be talked about before they get to that point. We’ve already started discussing things with our oldest, and he’s only 10. We’ve talked about why each option has it’s benefits and how which path he takes really depends on where he wants to go with his future. We’ve also talked about how he’ll probably change his mind numerous times between now and then and that’s okay, as long as he is thinking about it.

I’m really not sure how you would change an adult child’s perception if you are already at the point where they are 30, unemployed (by choice), and living at home still. The only thing I can really think of is starting out by talking with them and figuring out why they are okay with that life and if that doesn’t work, possibly tough love. I know that’s hard, but sometimes people need a push in the right direction that they only get when people start cracking down on them.

Bellatrix's avatar

Times have changed. I also left home at 17 and had absolutely no plan to return to my parents home and never did. However, rent here is very expensive and rental properties are hard to find. Buying property is out of reach for most young people. I therefore understand why people live at home for longer.

Also, I don’t think young people have the need or motivation to move out young. Their family home is often bigger with more space for people to have privacy. For instance, my children had their own room, their own television, computers. We also have our own space to retreat to. Very different from the circumstances when I was growing up.

In saying that, all of my three children have all left home. They are all very independent although they didn’t all leave in the same way. My two oldest daughters left voluntarily to share houses with friends. After a few years, one returned for a brief period while trying to find another rental place on her own rather than a shared place, and she has since moved out again. My middle child is moving back next week for a while, again to give her the freedom to find another rental place on her own. I know this won’t be a permanent situation. I will miss her, as I did her sister, when she moves out. In contrast, my son was required to leave home after he didn’t find a job for a long period of time and behaved in a way that was totally out of order. He was told to leave. I hated doing this but I felt it was the only way to force him to be more self-sufficient. He agrees our actions were right thing for us and him and well deserved. Within weeks (he moved in with his sister for the short term and we helped her out financially although he doesn’t know that) he had a job and a shared house to live in.

I would not be happy and would not stand for my children living at home and not working. This isn’t a dosshouse. I don’t think it does them any service in the long run. I am happy to let them stay here, as long as they are contributing in some way to the household, but not to take advantage of us. In the long term, if we support them when they could be supporting themselves, we aren’t managing our own finances well. In time we will retire and the better we have been able to plan for that process and our future needs, the less financial impact that will have on our children. So, in the long term it makes sense for them to not bludge off us for too long or we will be bludging right back in the future.

YARNLADY's avatar

I really feel lucky that I can actually take care of my adult children and my adult grandchildren. We currently have two adult grandchildren living with us, and we are making payments on my youngest son’s house as well.

I was raised in a family where it was common for several generations to live together.

flutherother's avatar

You can’t lay down rules for what is best, but for most kids it is good to get some independence in their late teens or early twenties. Unfortunately for economic reasons this is not always possible.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I could argue the toss over whether or not an adult child should leave home beyond 30, but truth is, so many people appear to be doing just that, staying at home beyond 30, simply because life is more affordable when the responsibility is shared in terms of bills and other general living costs. Despite this though, I know of some 30+ year olds (my ex-girlfriend being a thoroughly good example) that go through life living with their parents continuing to live with the spoiled brat mentality that one can only imagine they developed early on in childhood. Unfortunately the more it is allowed to fester the worse it certainly seems to get.
I’m inclined to agree with @jerv on this one.

Argonon's avatar

I think it would depend on the situation.
I knew a woman who lived with her mother until she was 50. She decided to stay with her to keep her company and rake in extra cash and support her since her mother just started working for the first time after a divorce and needed extra finances. She moved out when she had a family of her own and her mother can keep herself afloat.

ucme's avatar

No one’s business but their own.

Pandora's avatar

Here’s the catch. Your kid graduates high school, goes to college and then has these enormous bills to pay. In the past people didn’t have to go to college unless you were going to be a doctor or lawyer. Now there is a degree needed for practically everything and anything not requiring a degree pays minimum wage. You can’t survive on that these days unless you live someplace really cheap or a place that has a lot of government assistance housing. So off to college you go and now you have these bills that will last 15 years or so after graduation. Then it may take a few years to get into your field. It will pay crap for the first few years till you build desired experience. So in the mean time you have this expensive degree and you are only making enough to pay your tuition bills. So how are you going to afford housing, food and in some cases medical unless you go back home till you make more.
Back when we were growing up you could do ok with only a high school diploma. Not any more. Funny thing is a lot of people end up in jobs that they didn’t even get a degree in because the competition in their field was too much and they end up taking a job that will at least help pay the bills.
So I don’t find it strange to see 30 year olds living at home. Actually I grew up in neighborhoods where young families lived at home with mom and dad but they were taking care of them. Not the other way around. So it wasn’t uncommon to find my friends sharing a room with grandma.
Also knew people who took in family members to help pay the mortgage. I had a friend who was an only child, so he lived at home with his mom. They were the only family each of them had. So why not. Why double their expenses and be all alone? Years ago it wasn’t uncommon to take care of your aging parents. Now we stick them in a home and call it a night. If you ask me. That is stranger still.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t feel there is any particular age my kids should leave home. I know they will try to be independent, but I also know that the economy may make it difficult for them to be independent.

My parents kicked me out at age 22. It is true that I managed to make my own way, but they could have made the same thing happen just by giving me a few hundred dollars, and sending me off to the City. No need to make me feel like they weren’t behind me and I couldn’t count on them.

But I believe in the carrot, not the stick. I’ve used the stick on my kids—metaphorical stick, I don’t hit them—but I always feel I have failed when I have done so. It’s better to get my kids to do things because they want to, not because they’ll get hurt if they don’t.

I found a job under pressure doing political work, which is what I wanted to do. It wasn’t a very impressive job, but it did keep me alive. It led to grad school, which led to other jobs doing work I wanted to do although not well paid. I was always able to support myself after I left home, and you could argue that getting kicked out made it happen, but I wish it hadn’t happened that way because it put a distance between me and my parents that has never been closed.

Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

In some cases I think no. Even though I am a child still and still live with my mom I don’t have the necessary things to support myself yet. I do think that moving out and getting kicked out are two completely different things though. Over all I think it’s up to the Adult Child and Parent/Parents to decide. I don’t think only Adult Child, or only parent I think both. (but we all know that parents [some] would be glad to have the child out haha)

woodcutter's avatar

There may be no choice as some parents downsize their larger home and get a small apartment or house that is much easier to manage. Kinda hard for the adult kids to land back “at home” when there’s no room at the inn . Our son is welcome to come back but since he has since married and his wife already has a kid from an ealier relationship it would be almost uncomfortably tight to all be in one house so hopefully that alone would be motivation to get cracking on looking into other accommodations. Our one pink toilet would be going non stop with 4 adults and a small boy sharing it. At least then the seat wouldn’t be cold in the winter for long. Not a good enough reason to drag that situation out though.TMI?

rooeytoo's avatar

In my case I couldn’t wait to get out on my own because I felt I had outgrown my parents rules. I could have friends over but there was no place to entertain except the common family area. And of course no overnight guests. I was in school, had student loans but I worked a couple of part time jobs just to gain my independence.

Has the economic situation really changed that much, I mean proportionately? When I first started working, minimum wage was about 1.25 per hour, so even though housing was much less expensive, the wages were a lot lower also.

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