It’s no secret that more and more children are living with their parents on into adulthood. It is estimated that roughly a third of Americans age 18-31 still live at home, or have returned home after college.
While there are a variety of factors contributing to this statistic, from dwindling job prospects to a simple lack of preparation for life as an independent adult, most parents (and probably most of their live-in children) would prefer the kids moved out on their own.
For some families, it’s simply the reality – a family dynamic that wasn’t so typical in decades past, but is a healthy, functioning unit where everyone is contributing and no one wants to tear each other’s hair out.
This dynamic, however, is not nearly as common as the aloof, couch surfing twenty-something that parents are itching to get out of the house.
If you’re one of the parents still housing your adult child, especially a burdensome one, there are some steps you can take to help usher them out of the house and on into adulthood.
Getting them out of the house both frees up your time (and money), and helps them take on responsibilities they may have been avoiding.
Here are a few tips for getting those grown kids out of the house:
Teach Them The Value of Professional Appearances
A professional appearance will definitely help your child in the their job hunting endeavors, but perhaps as important (or even more so) as a wardrobe or other elements of a professional appearance: a reputable online appearance!
More and more, employers are checking out prospects’ Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, etc., and this means that young adults need to be aware of the content they are posting.
Maybe those party pictures or offensive jokes aren’t the best idea when looking for a job, but for many members of this generation (whose lives are well-documented online), this doesn’t even factor into their thoughts. As parents, we can help them understand how the image they present online affects the opinions of potential employers.
Instill a Work Ethic
If your kids are living at home, it’s usually because (at least partially) they can’t afford to live on their own. They should learn, however, that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
This means charging rent (even if it’s moderate or low), requiring contributions around the house, or anything else that is going to both relieve the burden of having an adult child living at your expense. In doing so, you help instill the values of hard work and earning their keep.
Be Clear About the Negative Impact
It’s possible that your grown child simply does not understand the disadvantages of living with parents. It can particularly difficult to maintain any kind of romantic relationship with parents sitting the next room over, and living with parents is accompanied with a stigma that an individual must not be “grown up,” or an assumption that they are not responsible enough to care for themselves.
Understanding the restrictions of living with parents may help spur some motivation to get out on their own. Help them understand the importance of independence.
If you’re live-in, adult children are wearing on your happiness, you can at least help point them in right direction. While they may not be able to immediately find careers and housing and all of things they need to stay afloat on their own, having the conversation will help them understand how important it is to you, and hopefully create some similar importance for them.
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