Help your adult child prepare to leave home with these six tips.
According to a Pew Research study, 52% of young adults live with one or both of their parents. This number has been steadily increasing for some time, but now due to the economic effects of the pandemic, more and more individuals have moved back home to live with their parents—many immediately after college graduation. How to help prepare your adult child to leave home is something parents will want to do.
When young adult children move back home, it is important to remember that they are not the exact people that you raised; they are adults. In order to keep a happy home while your child stays with you, it is key that you support them without taking control. Throughout this journey, be open and honest and offer a positive picture of the future. Following some of these suggestions will better prepare your child for when he or she is ready or able to live independently for the first time or once again.
6 Get Ready to Leave Home Suggestions
Employment: One of the biggest reasons adult children move back home is to get “on their feet” financially. If your adult child does not have any form of employment, then encourage him to find a job. This job does not have to be full-time or in her hoped-for career area; it could be part-time or temporary. Having a job will give your child a source of income that she can save for when ready to move out. It also helps adult children get used to having more responsibility if they aren’t or were not employed before coming home. In some cases, a job helps build their resume if they seek a long-term position.
Save: It is important to make sure that young adults have the financial stability to responsibly sustain their plan to move out. They do not have to be “well-off,” but they do need to have the basic financial resources. If they do not currently possess these, then you should have an action plan in place to get them on a productive financial path. This can be done by developing a savings plan together and setting up some financial goals. Saving money is a great way to start planning for the long term before they face the added expense of living on their own.
Build credit: If your child does not know what his or her credit score is, get a credit card if he doesn’t have one or a credit report if he does. Many big purchases that coincide with their plans for moving, such as buying a home, have credit score requirements which can be made easier if positive money habits are incorporated early on. Not only that, but lenders, employers, and landlords may ask to see credit scores before accepting a candidate, therefore it is wise to have a healthy one. If your child does not have a credit card already, try to help them apply for one to build up their credit score. If your child has a bad credit score, there are ways to improve it. Start by paying off any outstanding debt, making on-time payments, and keeping credit utilization low.
Budget Expenses: To lessen ambiguity about moving out especially if your young adult has not lived on his own before, have him develop a budget. This should include monthly income and expenses. Creating a budget helps children of all ages understand where they stand and encourages them to set money goals. Make sure that your child consistently updates the budget; so she has a clear understanding of when moving out makes financial sense. The more detailed the budget, the more valuable it will be.
Set Boundaries: Almost all parents want to help their adult children, but they must still take responsibility for themselves. As soon as they move back home it is crucial to set up boundaries that will help you and your adult child remain independent during this time. Try to understand that they are both your child and an adult, and therefore may have their own boundaries to discuss as well. Be sure to listen to what they say and respect their guidelines and point of view. Setting up your boundaries and accepting theirs will help create a respectful living environment while your child stays with you.
Build & Maintain Your Relationship: The last thing you want is for your adult child to get too accustomed or take advantage of you while living at home. Establish expectations to help keep them responsible and independent during this time. Be clear about what you expect them to contribute to the household. This could be requiring them to do certain chores, pay a small rental fee, or establishing simple rules. Regardless, you must be clear about your expectations. Doing this will help keep a healthy balance between you and your children. Helping them to grow and develop as people, while allowing them to maintain their freedom, will ensure they are best prepared to move out when the time comes.