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When Should Kids Move Out of Their Parents' House?

Updated on November 1, 2012
Lisa HW profile image

"Lisa" , a "social sciences enthusiast" and Mom of three grown kids, writes from personal experience/exposure and/or past research

A Matter of Circumstances

There is no set age at which grown children should move out of their parent's/parents' home. Although, of course, moving out is something that is healthy and normal for most young adults, the age at which a person does this often depends on the emotional and financial readiness of the young adult, as well as on the parents and the child's relationship with those parents.

In a minority of situations, there are troubled families in which teens and parents not only don't get along, but create a truly unhealthy situation for all involved. These are circumstances under which agencies working with minor children may get involved and even recommend other living arrangements for the teen.

A common time for people from healthier families to move out is upon graduating high-school and moving away to live at college. For many college students this move is the final move from the family home. For others a temporary, post-college-stay back at the family home is necessary while the graduate looks for work and saves some money. We live in a time when housing and other expenses are higher than they've ever been, and, in general, average pay for college graduates (and others) in a number of fields has not kept up with the rise in the cost of living expenses.

Some college graduates pursue advanced degrees. Some are able to do this while living in their own place. The circumstances for other graduates may make staying in the family home something that will facilitate obtaining that graduate degree.

Whether or not high-school graduates have attended college or other job training, other factors play a role in the age at which a young person moves out of the family home. Some young people require extra time to become financially stable enough to move out. Entry-level pay often requires time for saving, as well as the matter of finding a roommate. When young people and their parents have a healthy and happy relationship they may be in less of a hurry to find a messy or over-partying roommate. On the other hand, the young person who wishes to have a very different lifestyle from his parents may want and need to move away much sooner.

Living in one's parents' home is not necessarily of not being generally independent. Just because young people live with parents that does not mean that they need to live as if they're children. Parents who encourage independence, and children who exercise it, can live under the same roof as independent adults. It requires reasonable people, common sense, and compromise; but it can be done.

Some young people want/need to move out as soon as possible. They may not mind finding the least expensive apartment in an undesirable location and then share it with whomever is willing to be a roommate. Other young people may prefer to wait until they can afford a decent location and fewer or no roommates. Kids raised in relatively safe rural, suburban, or higher-end urban locations may prefer wait until they can afford to live where high crime and cockroaches are not part of daily life. Parents of these young people are often just as happy to let their children wait a little longer for this reason.

Some young people feel some responsibility to stay and help parents for a while. Individuals with recently widowed parents, recently divorced parents, or parents with financial problems sometimes prefer to stay at home a little longer and help.

Parents, too, are different. Some parents are happy to have theirgrown childrenstay as long as they want too, while also being aware that moving out is a normal and healthy thing for children to do as well. Some of these parents see living under the roof as one thing and being otherwise independent (when it comes to laundry, food, finances, etc.) as another. Others lean toward continuing to do laundry and fill out taxes for their still-home children. Some parents believe grown children should move out as soon as they are no longer in high-school. Of these, some believe their children should be given no help whatsoever. Others of this group may be more than willing to have kids come home to do laundry, to involve themselves in their child's financial matters, and to provide the paint and painting labor to their child.

Generally, when grown children have their own children it is, of course, best that the new family has it's own residence. Even then, though, there are times when grown children need assistance in caring for their own children and when the third-generation children will benefit by living with their parent in the grandparent's/grandparents' home.

Even after grown children have long ago moved out of their childhood home there are times when they return, often to care of elderly or ill parents. When married grown children divorce they sometimes return to their parent's/parents' home until they get on their feet. There are even those times when a single, professional, adult remains in the home of a parent simply because the two have worked out an arrangement that suits them both. In Italy, middle-aged men are known to remain in the home with their mothers until they marry, even when they are financially very stable or even extremely stable. According to Italian culture, the American practice of expecting 18-year-olds to move out is difficult to comprehend.

There are, of course, the young people who move out for a while but discover that the living situation they are able to afford is not acceptable and possibly even unhealthy. Many discover that roommates leave suddenly, which means they are left with footing more of the rent bill than they can afford. Some discover that a full-time job covers rent and phone but not food. Others discover that it only covers rent or that roommates bring in questionable guests or substances.

Still others learn that inexpensive apartments often include cock roaches and/or rats, that roommates may let dishes pile up in a sink for weeks, or that they cannot feel safe coming home at night. The reality is that someone who pays to live in even an inexpensive apartment has less of a chance to save to live in a better apartment, sometimes the wisest choice is to live with parents until one can afford to find the most affordable living situation that is, at least, minimally acceptable.

Sometimes, too, families have gone through particularly difficult circumstances, and grown children may prefer to wait before moving out. Children who have lived with one parent because of divorce may enjoy some time living with the other parent before they move into their own apartment or house. When illness, tragedy or death has occurred in a family grown children may feel the need to remain closer longer, if only to have time to get past grief. The rules often change when a family has gone through particularly difficult times. The "rules of emotional upheaval" often take precedence over the "rules of moving out".

There is no set age at which grown children must move out of their parent's/parents' home. It depends on the people involved and the situation. Most young people want their own place, and most normal parents encourage independence. We live in a time, however, when living expenses are often higher than many newly-starting-out people can afford and when it is common for even college graduates to move home for a while after graduation. More important than establishing a set age for young people to move out is that all involved have the confidence to do what is right for their particular family, without feeling pressured to do something else and without feeling the need to apologize to anyone.

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      anon 6 years ago

      Apple I feel very bad that you are in such a situation. I do respect your culture and your parents and your feelings, but do understand that life is about choices and sometimes in life we have to make difficult choices. Here in the US it is against the law to threaten anyone or make them feel threatened. Unless you are in living in India I might say you have no choice, but if you are in the US you do have the choice to protect yourself. The way you make it sound like you are in harms way if you dont do as your parents say, i.e "MIA", etc? I do understand that you dont want to hurt your mother and that is admirable but you should try to talk to your mother and let her see it from your eyes. I dont want to offer you any information that may put you in harms way so if it is as volatile as you say please be careful and take care of yourself, but in the US you do have a right to be who you want to be. This is your right and your choice, threats have no place in anyones life, thats very unfair to you and ultimately to your family connection.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      military, I'm sorry to know you're going through this, but I don't really think there's anything anyone on here can do, other than to suggest you DO talk to your school counselor. You shouldn't feel afraid at home. There's no question about that. You probably shouldn't second-guess when it comes to whether or not a counselor would believe you. Usually, when someone is telling the truth, there's a good chance that's pretty obvious. Not always, of course (and especially not when someone has an emotional investment in the matter, like your mother does); but outsiders can often be more objective. If nothing else, maybe the counselor could give you some ideas about some things you could do.

      You won't like this comment of mine, but if you were my son or daughter I sure wouldn't want you thinking about joining the military either. I know you're not a child, but you're still very young. I, personally, think even considering the military is something people ought to at least be 18 before they even consider it.

      Whether this would work for you and your mother depends, I guess, on what your conflicts are about; and what kind of people you are; but here's what my son (who was 17/18 at the time) and I worked out when we were going through a "high-argument" stage. Neither of us liked arguing, particularly my son. He'd been through some difficult times (we both had, but I was all grown and could deal with it better). Anyway, what he didn't want or need was arguing and feeling estranged from me. He said to me, "I can't stand fighting all the time," so we agreed to stop trying to talk about the "hot button issues" that would get us arguing. Basically, the problem was that he wanted to do stuff that wasn't healthy for him; and since I was a mother who wasn't going to go against my own judgment and tell him, "Oh, OK. Do whatever unhealthy thing you want to do," I couldn't back down. He was right in own way, though. A lot of the people his age actually were doing some of the things he wanted to do. (This was almost all about whether or not he could just drink whenever he wanted to drink - alone, out with friends, a lot, etc. etc.) The drinking age in my state was 21, and I felt like I had to stay a "good example" by not being a parent who was willing to condone his breaking the law (and worse, making my house the place where an under-age kid was having alcohol).

      So, anyway, we agreed not to even talk about the stuff that got us arguing. He knew where I stood. I knew he didn't agree. Instead of always talking about the hot-button issues we made it a point to only talk about "neutral" stuff (like TV shows, movies, food - anything neutral). This wasn't perfect, by any means, because we really weren't communicating. We weren't fighting, though. In fact, sometimes (often) we'd find we were enjoying our time together, laughing or just talking about that "harmless" stuff. I would have liked to have been able to really have genuine communication with him, but what it did for us was keep us from having more damage to relationship, and keep us from growing apart farther. Sometimes there was a little bit of a walking-on-eggs feeling going on. Most of the time, we just kind of went back to not fighting because we had agreed to set aside issues for a while. He outgrew that stage he was in (and he also got to legal drinking age, so I no longer felt it was my responsibility to keep a minor from drinking in his bedroom). In other words, time resolved the main issue. In the meantime, we'd had a stretch of time of getting along as mom and mostly-adult son before he was to move out of the house and get his own place. I had mentioned our earlier conflicts with a counselor at one time, and the guy said, "That's no different than what I have going with my daughter, who is the same age." Some disagreements/conflicts between teens and parents are kind of part of what a lot of people have.

      Whether or not this kind of thing would work for you, I don't know. What I do know, though, is that 15 can be about the most miserable age a person can be. Life usually gets a little better at 16, and it can get better and better with each year after that. Separate from the problem with your step-father (because I can't help with that), try to at least keep in mind that you're at this awful, tumultuous, age that can feel unbearable even when everything at home is otherwise wonderful.

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      military 6 years ago

      im 15 almost 16 i was planing on geting emancipated from my parents after i turned 16 but that plan was crushed when i researched it and found out that there had to be certain grounds to file for emancipation which i had some but no proof.

      i live with my mom and step dad. my mom and i verbaly fight almost every time we even talk to each other and its been like that scince i can remember. she hates the fact that im even considering the military as a option and does everything she can to try and stop me includeing basicly traping me inside. she doesnt let me hang out with my friend at their house let my friends come over go to the beach or mall unless she is right there by my side and thats when she decides that she wants to which is like never.

      i dont give my mom reason to be like this. ive tried pot once taking only one hit off of it over a year ago i dont smoke i dont skip school i get decent grades and ive had sex 1 time and i was dating the guy.and my friends arent bad they like never even get in trouble or do anything bad

      my step dad constantly curses at me insults me and calls me names. if its insulting or hurtful hes probal said it to me. on top of that he has thrown things to hit me pushed me and one time even had his hands around my neck. he has not put his hands on me recently i think he got scared of getting caught when i started treatning to tell the cops and shool counsalers. and i cant prove the verbal abuse cuz my mom just denies that it even happens. im scared of him. when he comes home from work i go to my room and stay there for the rest of the night except for dinner.

      if someone infesticated they probaly would not belive me becuase it looks like i get everything i want when really its just them buying thing to try and make up for what ever they had done. i just want to be able to move out. if i cant afford a place i could live with a friend andher parents or my brothers dad(diffrent dads same mom) i just need out i need my life and i need to feel safe. please help me

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Vic10 (and anyone else worried about how his mother/parents will feel when he moves out), this is pretty much something I think most people who feel close to one or both parents think about (worry about). I thought, rather than post a long comment here, I'd write a response in the form of a separate Hub:

      http://hubpages.com/hub/Moving-Away-From-Home-For-...

      Also, I'm in the middle of writing a Hub about my own growing, as a parent (and my own "theory" about it), as my kids got past 18 and on to being 25 (and beyond). That one doesn't have a URL yet, but it will be up later today (for anyone interested, and I don't necessarily assume that anyone is - but just in case. :) )

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      Vic10 6 years ago

      Hi,

      I'm a 23yo aussie and have been lucky enough to have just brought my first home with my partner. My issue is that my dad left when I was very young, so it has only been me, my sister and mum for many years. My mum and I live on a farm and are extremely close. Whilst I am very excited about moving in with my partner, I am even more worried about leaving my mum. To a point the worry is over shadowing the excitement. I know my mum would let me stay forever, but I also know she would hate it of i stayed for her. I know I'm a grown up and that it's probably time, guess I'm just after some advice on what's best, how to stop worrying etc?!

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Sarah,

      Lucia,

      Thank you for contributing to the discussion here. I need to return with a better response when I'm able to devote the time to giving both of your comments the careful thought they deserve.

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      Lucia 6 years ago

      I was engaged to a wonderful man and we just broke it off because he had no intention of having any of his children move out of the house. His oldest son is 25 and working in retail , his 24 year old son doesn't have a job and is not enrolled in school, his 21 year old is going to school part time and had his first job for 1 month during christmas. The 16 year old just flunked a couple of courses in high school and now has to attend summer school. I didn't realize how differently I was raised. My older sisters, my younger brother and myself all left when we went to college. We wanted to be out of the house. What has happened here. His children don't even do their ow laundry, and rarely help out around the house. Is this normal?

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      Sarah 6 years ago

      The bf and myself are both in our 60's retired and share a home together. He has a 35yr old son who we took in 12 yrs ago after his mother died because he was fragile at the time. This kid an only child is still living with us, has worked for a total of less than one year in the past 20 yrs lumping his infrequent month long jobs together.

      He has every excuse in the book as to why he can't move out, "this country stinks", "he's applied to jobs online w no response", "things aren't like they were when we left home" (almost 20 yrs earlier than he will). He plays computer games, watches tv, and washes his car. Always negative, never finishes a job, and leaves messes. I want to kick him in the butt. I have never seen such resistance to wanting to grow up in my entire life.

      He tells his father what car he should buy, what house will be acceptable for him to live there, how to invest his money. It's as if he thinks he's the adult of this household, but far from it. We are not shrinking violets but this kid is like flypaper. I am thinking about moving on by myself.

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      Kat 6 years ago

      It's really tough. I'll be 24 in a week and I'm still stuck living at home. It's just so damn expensive. I've got my B.A. but the job I had last year barely paid me above minimum wage and now my new job pays almost the same and they constantly cut hours. So it's a situation of what do I do? Do I run out, only to possibly put myself in financial ruin and end up back at home or do I wait it out and see if I ever find a job that will give me the financial stability I need? It's not easy today. Most of my friends from high school are still living at home and the ones that aren't get help from their parents anyway.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Apple, I'm sorry it took me this long to return here. I'm a little uncomfortable offering any thoughts on a matter involving a different culture; because I was born in the U.S., and my opinions and beliefs are very deeply rooted in American thinking and culture.

      I have grown kids of my own, and I wouldn't particularly appreciate a stranger seeming to try to undermine my values to them. I think people's values and cultural beliefs are often so deeply ingrained it isn't likely anyone is going to change his mind. There's that thing in Italy, where some single, middle-aged, men who have solid incomes and fine careers stay living at home and letting their mothers cook and generally take care of them. These people think Americans encourage their kids to move out far too soon.

      Personally, I think your father is right in one way; and that a person can become independent (as a person, even without having an independent living arrangement) while living with a parent or parents. I do think the parents have to be the kind who recognize that their grown, at-home, son or daughter is, in fact, grown; and have to be sensitive to the fact that they shouldn't be treated like children.

      I lived at home with my mother after my father died. Although my mother was perfectly capable of managing on her own, I did want to stay there and try to be support and company for her. She didn't know my personal business (such as finances), and she didn't try to tell me what to do or not do. She was very aware that I was grown, so we had some nice time together. Not all parents can be so "hands-off" or can keep their opinions to themselves, though. Not all parents are able to "stop acting like a parent" once their son or daughter is grown; so sometimes, with some parents, it can be pretty difficult for a grown son or daughter to live as an adult while living with parents.

      With two grown sons and a grown daughter, myself (and as an American with American thinking), I've seen my own kids' moving out as just what people want to do. It's normal and natural for anyone to want his own place, and I want my kids to be happy.

      Of course, my kids have done the away-at-school-and-then-back-for-awhile thing here and there. I've had a gradual adjustment, and two of them were past 23 when they got their present, non-school-related, apartments. For me, it's mostly been that I want them to be happy and live the way they want to live, rather than my feeling I have a right to try to keep them living with me until they get married. (Again, though, I'm an American.) My thing is if you love someone (and provided you know they're grown up), you want them to be happy and free to do what most other people their age want/need to do. Personally, I think if your father is at all to even modify his thinking you may stand a better chance presenting the "it's normal, and it's what people do" argument, rather than the "learn-to-be-independent" argument.

      With my own kids, I've found that between the time they were 18 and the time they were 25, I gradually became more and more ready to "let go" and see my role as parent as a new one, and one that doesn't involve my trying to supervise or guide them. That just kind of came naturally as they got closer and closer to 25. It's interesting to note that people don't really reach "full maturity" (skeleton-wise, brain-development-wise) until, sometimes, mid-twenties; so I've always kind of seen that natural progression of the letting-go process as right in keeping with what Nature does, as far as a young person's "full maturity" goes. In other words, maybe your father will feel just a little differently once you've past 24. Maybe he won't, of course, but it's just something I've noticed, myself, about the "letting go" process (even if I am American and lots of American young people move out and stay out at 18).

      The parent in me (the one who loves my kids so much and who wants them happy) thinks your relationship with your father wouldn't necessarily be changed or damaged if you move out; but I know very well how differently some people of some cultures think, so I don't think second-guessing what you say about your relationship with your father possibly changing is particularly correct.

      If your father has already said you'd be able to move back if it doesn't work out, that, to me, shows he'll always love you and always want to be there for you. Even with that, though, I guess my only suggestion would be for you to keep talking with your father (and mother) about why you'd like your own place and about how the values you have won't necessarily change just because you're living under a different roof. Maybe talk to them about being a young woman in America and about being "torn" between two cultures, as a young adult. Talking doesn't usually hurt any relationship (when people are honest but respectful and understanding of the others' point-of-view). Who knows - maybe with another while of having conversation with your father/mother everyone will understand the other's point-of-view a little better (and maybe even think about giving in).

      Personally, I don't it's anyone else in your family's business other than your two parents. If your parents get so they're mostly OK with the idea of your moving out, the other family members can either get on board or not; but what you do or don't do shouldn't be something they get to weigh in on. That, I know, is my American-culture thinking; but the main point is that what you decide should be between you and your parents, and should be something you work out between you and them. The belief that what goes on between grown kids and parents should be between only the kids and the parents isn't particularly an American belief.

      Sincerest good wishes to you. Hang in. One way or another, I'd imagine there's a chance that with a little more time and honest communication with your parents, you may be able to work something out without feeling as if your relationship with your family will change.

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      Apple 6 years ago

      Hi Lisa,

      I'm 23. I just move to US 2years ago. The reason my family move here was to get together. Because my sister moved to US 8 years ago, first to studied then she graduated and stayed. Now I want to move out to learn how to be independent and in control of my own life. But my parent and my sister, everybody doesn't think that a good idea. Because in my culture kids are not move out their parent's house still they get married. I talked with my dad last night about I want to move out to experience life. In the result, I have an answer that if I move out mean I have no family. And in case, i need to move back they still let me but the love and the relationship in my family will change. How can I convince them? how can I change their mind? They said I still can learn how to be independent while if I stay.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      bethechange, I think there are more people like you and your parents than you may realize (especially these days). My kids and I are all very close, and they've been independent-minded/capable people since they were very young. Because of that, none of us has been too insecure to go with the "financially wise" approach (one person or another at home for awhile) when the situation called for it.

      It was the same for me and my parents (especially my mother). I was plenty independent and capable when my father died (and I was 21), and I lived home to be able to be supportive of my mother (who was more than capable and strong, but to whom I was close). I had friends who suggested a person had to move out at 18 (of whatever age) "or else that person wasn't independent". I used to think (and say), "I don't have to move out of the house in order to prove that I'm capable."

      One of the great things about being in a family in which parents and kids are really close is that people don't make decisions out of things like insecurity, having to prove something, anger, or other less-than-idea motivations. A lot of people in this world would love to be close to parents and know they could move out when they'd be a little more stable financially. Thanks for sharing your own situation with others here. :)

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      bethechange22 6 years ago

      I'm 21, getting ready to graduate this semester---and in absolutely no rush to move out. I am independent, but extremely close to my family. My mom and dad are the best, and I don't see any point in putting myself in debt while I find a job in this tough economy. I want to get on my feet, find a steady job, and save up. I know my parents support that idea, and only when I feel financially stable do I believe I'll move out. I am single, but even if I were to find a serious relationship before then, I don't see myself moving out until I know I can support myself if something ever happened in the relationship.

      I know I'm way out of the "norm" for my age group, but I'm in no rush to move out. Living on your own, the bills, the responsibilities---they'll always be there. Why should I rush toward them?

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      vic2, thank you for sharing yet another situation in which someone your age is trying to figure out exactly when would be the best time to move. As you can see from the comments above, matters of moving and selecting school are pretty much part of being 18 or so.

      Each of these comments/situations are very likely to help readers know that these issues are the things so many other young people deal with at the time in life. (That's one reason I thought it was worth expanding with some of my own thoughts on these situations).

      I don't really think I have many new thoughts to add (beyond the "general discussion type" thoughts I've posted above). I think that anyone who is having a particularly difficult time deciding what to do should always talk to parents first, but consider someone like a school counselor (or other counselor) if talking to parents doesn't help.

      I know that if a person is too unhappy with his situation it can affect his ability to concentrate (focus). Then again, if a person is feeling stressed out or in an "adjustment stage" that can affect "focus" too. There's a reason so many kids flunk out of school in the first semester.

      It's not place my to offer advice. Based only on what you've written there, and assuming things at home aren't a matter of something like a severely dysfunctional family; I just kind of wonder if deciding to finish out the year and planning to move live at school next year might give you enough to look forward to to be able to find a way to focus on studying, get through the next few months until Summer, and feel happier about your situation. In other words, I'm not seeing any "big emergency" between the rest of this school year and next year (especially with Summer between them).

      On the other hand, if you feel like it is a "big emergency" and don't think you can study any other way; you could make the move, decide to make it work (by making sure you don't mess up with the studies), and prove any doubts your parents have wrong.

      Probably one thing you ought to ask yourself (and be really honest with yourself about) is whether it's really living at home that's creating problems with studying, or whether it's the work and studying, itself. If you're someone who can't really muster up interest in the work, and you're trying to think up ways to make being a student at least a little more palatable than it is now; I'm not sure moving yourself deeper into the school environment is going help.

      That's why, I guess, I'm wondering if getting through the rest of the school year might give you more time to really get a grasp on the root of the studying "issues".

    • 1stPhotoInvites profile image

      1stPhotoInvites 6 years ago

      If you can handle yourself on your own then you can moved out!

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      vic2 6 years ago

      I really need advice...I am staying at home and going to a local community college right now. I am wanting to move our next semester to a different community college in the very same city as the university I wish (and will:) attend. My parents are not comfortable with the idea of me moving out yet. They rather that I finish the full year here. I keep hearing "yeah, you should go," but my parents say I shouldn't. I really don't want to disappoint my parents--not at all.

      I feel like I will do well over there. Because that town which I want to move to consists of nothing but college students, I feel motivated when I do take my stuff to study at the university. My boyfriend, church friends, and high school friends live there (not all, but many), so I already know people. I just feel that the environment will make a difference for me..I've noticed that I can focus there a lot more, than I can at home. I feel smothered and caged at home, and i know my parents (mom especially) do it to protect me, but sometimes it just gets tiring. I'm 18 already...I've never really had much of a life in high school..even now.

      Really, I want to go..but I'm scared my parents will be right. That maybe it would have been better to just stay home the full year. My dad said last night, "If you think the grass is greener on the other side, go and find out for yourself. It's your mistake to make." My dad thinks that environment doesn't make a difference...you either study or you don't. And I know that you either study or you don't. I just happen to find it harder to focus here than I do where I want to go. I really don't know....Should I stay, or go?

      Thanks...

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Ronnielove, I don't know who else may or may not reply to your comment here, but I do know this particular Hub doesn't get - like - hundreds of people reading it and commenting on it every day. So, I guess I'll respond in case nobody else does (or in case nobody else does as fast as you may have hoped).

      The questions you've raised here are a little too complex for a stranger to really be able to give you any solid answers on. My first reaction is to suggest you try being honest with your parents about what you want to do, and how you feel, and first seeing what they say. If any of what they say makes sense to you then maybe keep talking and listening and see how it all goes. If what they say doesn't seem to at all show a shred of understanding or make any sense to you, then maybe think about seeing (at least once) a counselor (either at school or elsewhere) who could listen to your situation and maybe give you a few tips on ways to approach one thing or another.

      I'm the mother of grown kids, and if I had an eighteen-year-old son or daughter who had this kind of thing on their mind and raised the issue on the Internet; I'd hope some sensible older person would suggest they do what I've suggested above. Unless someone knows you, your parents, and your situation, I don't think it's the place of a stranger on the Internet to presume to offer more suggestions beyond that.

      I can offer some isolated thoughts, though; but even with that, I'm only offering my own thoughts and my own perspective as a mother of grown kids. Not all parents think alike, and not all people old enough to be parents think alike. Anyway, personally...

      As a mother, I don't want or need my children to pay me back anything in any way, other than to respect me as person, take good care of themselves, and try to make the most of their own life. I certainly wouldn't want them to make any choice they felt was a matter of sacrificing their own happiness in favor of "paying me back" something they imagined they needed to pay me back.

      It's not all that simple, though. Here's an example: Suppose I had a fourteen-year-old son or daughter who wanted to use drugs. I'm about as far from a "controlling person" as anyone in this world could be; but because I'm an adult and have seen that a lot of people become drug addicts (and worse) by starting to use drugs in their teens; I wouldn't be able to approve of my son's or daughter's using them. My son/daughter, being fourteen, might think, "I wouldn't let that happen to me because I know how to be careful about how often I use drugs." That's how someone who hasn't lived long enough to have seen that things "can happen to them" thinks.

      If I thought my son/daughter was using drugs I may be so frightened as a parent that I may do something like go through their belongings. After all, we parents always hear, "Don't just take their word for it. Do something before it's too late." My point is that to my teen son or daughter I'd probably look pretty "strict" (after all, other parents weren't like I about something as "minor" as using drugs once in awhile) and controlling.

      Here's where the wanting-my-kids-to-be-happy thing comes in and complicates things, though: My son/daughter isn't going to be happy if I'm always on his back about using drugs. I, on the other hand, know that this fourteen-year-old doesn't have a clue about how, no matter what he believes, he may destroy his health and life and future by beginning to use drugs.

      No parent can guarantee his child will be happy forever, but parents tend to think in terms of building a life and future with a "foundation that has more potential for happiness", as opposed to what makes someone happy today and next month.

      Sometimes a parent's opinion about his child's career choices isn't about being controlling. It's about hoping a son/daughter doesn't eliminate his chance of future happiness by choosing a career/job that doesn't appear to offer many prospects. I'm not saying the parent's realistic view of any job is always right. Sometimes a person can find happiness in some of the most unlikely jobs. The point is, though, it's usually not about a parent wanting to control. It's usually about hoping a child will make choices that (at least in the parents' eyes) will offer the best prospects for a future.

      Having gone through having 3 kids all be 18 at one time or another, I've seen, too, that while I wasn't quite as able to "back off" when they were 18 as they'd have liked (and even as much as I, in my head, kept telling myself I needed to learn to do); as each year passed from the time they were 18 until they got closer to 24/25, I found I quite naturally "backed off" and was far more at peace in just knowing they were adults, and their choices weren't mine.

      A few years ago I heard that science now knows that a teen's brain isn't completely developed "until early- to mid-twenties". That made me feel good, because I'd already know that the skeleton isn't quite finished maturing until around 25. It struck me that Nature is a great thing. I thought, "Look at that! Just as children go through developmental phases, do do parents. As a mother, my "growth" was complete as each child got closer to 24/25 and Nature had kind of just led me to naturally "back off" and know they were completely adult.

      Since you know your parents love you, and you've said you love them; why not find a way to talk to at least one of them (whichever one makes you most comfortable to talk about the difficult issues). Tell them what you want. Listen to them. They may not be thrilled at what they hear, but most parents would rather hear it than have their son or daughter feeling as if s/he didn't know how to raise the issue.

      I can't speak for all parents; but as a mother, whenever I've said to my kids, "If there is EVER anything you need to talk about please know you can always talk about it with me," I've meant it - and I haven't meant, "..but only the things you think I'll be happy to hear." For most of us reasonable and loving parents, we pretty much know that the deal is we're going to run into things we don't like hearing, don't understand, or hope will end up being the way we hope they do. Still, parents are usually adults, often remember exactly how it felt to be 14 or 18 or even 30, and would never want our son or daughter to feel uncomfortable about talking honestly with us.

      Even if you can't do that, though, because you're as young as you are (I know you're not a baby, but you're still pretty young), and because you've been going out with the same person since you were only fourteen; I do think, maybe, someone like a counselor could raise some new issues/questions for you to at least consider (and I'm not saying "re-consider" your plans to move out and/or get married. I'm just saying that these two-together decisions are things that, maybe, involve issues that you haven't at least asked yourself about.

      Maybe your parents would approve more than you think, or maybe if they knew, without a doubt, that you won't be left depending on someone else's income, or that you've made a career/job choice that has stability; it wouldn't be as worrisome for them. Give them a chance to voice their individual concerns (and to defend themselves against anything you see about their ways as "controlling" - or else to at least hear from you that you feel they're controlling).

      When my eldest son was 19 he met a girl who was 18. A little less than 2 years later he turned 21, and they decided to get married. I'll be honest. I wasn't thrilled. It wasn't that I had anything against the girl. I just thought neither or them were "on their feet", and I thought they should wait. I figured, if love is what it's supposed to be it will last; so getting married wasn't "some big emergency".

      My son explained, though, that he and his "friend" wanted to share their life together; and he pointed out that he was doing what he thought was the right thing (which was not living together without being married and instead getting married). At the time, I saw that he had a point. I imagined how I might feel

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      Ronnielove 6 years ago

      hi well i am 18 and have been im a relationship for over 4 years, my boyfriend and me are planning to get married and move out. but i havent told my parents anything. they are extreamely strict and eventhough they love my boyfriend, they still treat me like a child. i have never stood up to them and i do what they say, i am worried that they will not accept my decisions and worst not aprove. they are very controlling, as of now they are upset with me because of my choice of career, they have sacrificed so much for me and i feel i need to pay them back. but if i do so i will sacrifice my happiness, how do i let them know my plans? i do trully love them and have been an example of a daughter but i feel i need to leave, i have always been independent and i am trully in love with my boyfriend, we have known eachother since i was 10 and i just know its the right thing to do.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      anonymous continued.... ....if either of them is at all useful.

      http://www.distel.ca/womlist/countries/canada/onta...

      http://www.sawnet.org/orgns/#Bangladesh (Scroll quite aways down on this second link)

      I do know one thing: Sometimes, when we don't know quite what we can do about a situation, a little time means something goes on that helps us make a decision one way or another.

      I'm sorry if all these thoughts and words are useless to you, but I thought your post deserved some attention and thought (even if I know that I have no good suggestions).

      Sincerest good wishes to you. I wish I could have been of more help.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      anonymous, continued....

      Another question might be how old you are right now. It may make a difference if you're, say, 18/19 or 27/28 (or older). If you're 23/24 or under, there's the possibility that between now and the time you're just a few years older; your parents might possibly be a little more open to (or at least used to) the idea that you want to date/marry someone you choose yourself (the way so many other Westerners do). Even if that's not even a possibility, with a little more time maybe you'd have the time to think of what, exactly, you want/need to do about your own life and family.

      Your situation and family culture aside, I do know one thing: With my own kids, I've seen that how I felt about "completely letting go" of them and truly seeing them as adults has naturally changed between the time they were 18 and the time they were 25. It's kind of amazed me how it's seemed that Nature just works; because when they were 18 and no longer legally minors, I was often struggling with not being able to completely just go with the fact that they were "grown up". I was always telling myself (and my kids) that I knew I needed to work on "backing off" (even if I was sort of good at it much of the time). As the next few years passed, I noticed that I worried less and less and felt less and less as if they were still not quite grown up completely. (The fact is they weren't at 18, even if they were mostly grown up and legally adults.) There's a part of the brain in young people that doesn't completely mature until early to mid twenties. Bones are quite matured until around twenty five. In other words, the law says people are no longer minors at 18 and are adults at 21; but Nature says they aren't completely mature until around 25. The strange thing for me was how naturally, between the time they were 18 and 25, I just kind of gradually stopped thinking I had a right to even occasionally or partially offer opinions of what I thought they should do. I noticed I was better at "letting go" when they 20 than when they were 18, and I was better again as they got to be 23/24. When they were 25 I just kind of discovered that the problem of still kind of feeling as if I had a need/right to "have an opinion" about what they did had just kind of cleared up on its own.

      I know that with the Indian-culture factor that may not happen; but then again, I can't help but wonder if, at least, the potential for even just a little more flexibility from your parents might be just that much better for a young woman of 25-plus, as compared to one under 24. (For all I know, you could be 35, of course - and I apologize if I wrote all that and you are. :/ )

      I guess my point is that while the "Indian-culture factor" will remain, there's at least the chance (depending on your age) that there are other parental factors/feelings in the mix right now that are making your parents that much less likely to be even a little more flexible. I guess I'm thinking if you're under, say, 22 or so, maybe they're more in a "mode" of thinking you ought to stay with their culture and beliefs than they might be if you were 25 and they were seeing you from those "having let go" eyes that can happen for parents once their grown child is 25.

      Believe me. I know what it's like to have family that thinks someone else has a right to an opinion about who you marry or who you don't stay married to. When I left my marriage nobody knew what had been going on in my personal, married, life (because I hadn't shared personal business). So I left (after making a very sensible move), but my mother (at least before she later learned better) did everything in her power to stop me from "making a giant mistake" and leaving "my nice husband". As you know, in the United States there are laws that are supposed to guarantee people's freedom and right to live their own life; but those laws did me no good (even in the US) when I had people in my personal life doing everything they could to stop me from making what they believed was a big (and even "crazy") mistake.

      It's real easy for people to say "there are laws that say you should be able to live the life you want" and "there are laws to protect you". What people often don't realize, though, is that laws often stop at people's front doors; and phone lines from behind those front doors do go out to any number of places in the outside world.

      What people often don't realize, too, is that when someone (like you or I) loves her mother so much, it can seem unbearable to even imagine hurting her.

      While I,personally, am willing to cut a little slack to parents whose kids are still 18/20 (because I know it took me those few other years to completely "let go"); I do think this: If you really love someone in a healthy way, you respect them as a person and you want them to be happy. The problem often is that relatives (even the non-Indian variety) can think they know better about what will make you happy, and make your life what it should be, than you do. When I left my marriage (with good sense and good reason) I was in my late thirties, the mother of three kids, and had more than demonstrated what a capable, competent, person I was. Still people thought they had a right to have an opinion about whether I knew what I was doing and whether it was the right thing. NEVER in my life would I have imagined the kind of mess and misery a parent (or others) could cause just because a grown daughter made the sensible choice to leave a marriage. Later, when my mother learned more about what had been going on, she apologized; but it was too late to undo a lot of the mess.

      I guess my point here is that I do understand how difficult the gap between the laws and what families belief can be to deal with. I've also seen for myself how the only thing that would have helped me would have been if I'd had a good lawyer or some other outside professional to step in and speak up on my behalf. Having someone from outside (someone my mother respected more than she did me/my judgment) would have meant that she wouldn't have had to be hurt. Someone else could have helped her see that I had my right to my own choices and certainly had the capable/competent mind to be able to make those choices.

      Even with all the "American feminism" and Constitutional rights and Western culture in the world (and even with being in my 30's and having 3 children as evidence that I was an adult), I wasn't able to extract myself from a situation created by people in my life who didn't approve of, or understand, my choice to leave a marriage. I tried and tried to find some outside "professional type" or "court person" to step in on my behalf, tell my a few people in my personal life what they'd only believe if it came from someone they respected more than me, and help them understand that sometimes "loving" someone isn't about trying to protect them from themselves but is, instead, seeing that they don't need that protection from themself.

      There's a part of me that thinks, "If your parents truly love you the way parents love their kids, and in a healthy way; they'll maybe come around a little if given a little more time; because they'll want you to be happy." There's the other part of me that knows, that, that when people love in a way that involves thinking they know better than you, or have a better idea of how you should live your life, sometimes all the trying to talk to them in the world is useless.

      I didn't mean to turn all this into "about me". I'm only trying to consider the situation from what I've seen for myself (even if I'm not Indian). I'm wondering if you have a close family friend or relative who may be less "entrenched" in traditional culture than you parents are, and if, maybe, talking to them might help. I'm wondering if a less traditional Indian friend or relative might be someone you parents might be open to. I'm just thinking someone who is Indian but not quite so traditional understands the issues and the culture and may have some ideas (or be able to talk to one or both of your parents).

      I found these links online. I have no idea if either of t

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      anonymous, I'm sorry to see you're in such a situation; but if ever there was a situation on which I felt unqualified to offer suggestions, it's this one. Cultures aside, I know, too, that I don't really have a right to offer other people advice or too many suggestions on something like this. Since I'm an American woman, I have a feeling even if you read what I write here, chances are my thoughts/ideas are going to be things that are useless to you (either because you've already tried them or considered them, or else because I'm just "coming from somewhere else" other than Indian culture).

      My instinct is to think that one of the few things you could do (without doing anything too drastic or hurting your mother more than you'd be willing to) would be to keep trying to have conversations with you mother about how "the next generation" often thinks differently than the previous one. I'm guessing, though, you may have already been talking with your mother. I know, too, that cultural differences can make what someone like me (an American woman of White European ancestry) thinks "might help", and how effective something like having a conversation would be if the conversation were with someone "heavily entrenched" in something like Indian culture.

      I'm an mother of a grown daughter. (Just last Saturday we had her engagement party.) I know that, for me, all I care about is that her husband-to-be is a nice person who is kind to her (and that in return, she's kind to him because he IS a nice person). I know that the last thing I'd ever, ever, want would be for my daughter (or either of my two sons) to be unhappy. There's a part of me that finds it hard to believe your mother would be any different when it comes to how she feels about her daughter; but I know, too, that her/your culture is one of deeply held beliefs, and it may not be easy for all mothers to just think, "I just want you happy, no matter what." (For that matter, I've known plenty of American women who think other women ought to resign themselves to something less than happiness for reasons of practicality or traditional beliefs - just different ones from those in Indian culture.)

      It's not clear whether by "moving out" you mean moving out and marrying the man or moving out and living with him. To me, if it's a matter of your being able to date the man but just not live with him - I don't know - I'm not sure that making that kind of compromise in order to keep with your parents' culture is all that bad. What I'm picturing is if you were dating him for awhile it may give your parents time to see that he's a nice person (or a good prospect as a husband), and maybe they'd kind of come around when it comes to his not being Indian. Also, maybe he'd have time to learn more about Indian culture and make some concessions of his own.

      If your problem is that you want to marry this person, and that's something your parents are just dead-set against, that, to me, makes it more of a challenge - and again, I don't really have any suggestions. I wish I did.

      Then there's the question of whether you just want to move out, live on your own (alone), and date the man you want you (the way so many North American women do). If that's the case, I'm thinking there may be the compromise of remaining in your parents' home but dating the man? One aspect to that kind of picture is that if the man cares about you he'll also understand that there's a certain amount of the culture that means so much to your parents that he may have to accept.

      Of course, based on your post, I'm assuming your parents just don't want you dating him at all. Are there any organizations (maybe private, but non-Indian) that deal with cultural differences and possible "blurring of lines" that young Indian women in situations like yours face? I know that governments don't usually involve themselves when it comes to culture (at least unless someone is being physically abused), but are there some "in-between" kind of groups/social workers/family counselors that work with something like generational differences in some Indian families?

      I'm going to add another comment block here because I'm not sure of how much space is left.... so, continued next block...

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      im an indian girl born in canada and moving out means that ill get disowned by my entire family not to mention ill have to watch my back for the rest of my life, if you know what i mean.

      im really in a tight situation

      im in a serious relationship with a man thats not of our culture and if they found out, id be MIA ...

      I seriously dont know what to do

      ive considered everything but i just dont wanna hurt my mother and this is why ive broken up with him

      are there any logical and realistic suggestions because this legal stuff wont cut it for my family

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Sarah. I'm not comfortable trying to answer this question because I'm not an attorney; and based on conflicting inflicting information I've found, I can see how easy it would be for someone to get the wrong answer. I'm including some links here. The "Children's Law" link probably has someone there (by phone) who can give you a sound answer to your question Based on one link, it appears Massachusetts doesn't require an 18- year old to graduate (or quit) high school before being able to move out; but, again, I'd be uncomfortable accepting something that showed up from anyone other than someone completely familiar with Massachusetts law. So here are the links. A quick look at them is probably all you'll need. There's a phone number on the "Children's law" site. The last link is just kind of general info one.

      http://www.masslegalhelp.org/children-and-families...

      http://www.clcm.org/minors_rights.htm

      http://www.massbar.org/for-the-public/need-a-lawye...

      http://www.masslegalhelp.org/children-and-families...

      http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum/family-law-mat...

      Besides calling one of the numbers shown on the links, I wonder if it may be a good idea for you to ask your school's guidance person. That person may know, and may even be able to give you info about steps you can take if you do end up moving out. Massachusetts is a tough place to be able to afford to live on your own, so I'd think if you plan to finish school there's the chance you may benefit if you could be put in touch with a person or two who might be able to offer a few tips or information that may be helpful to you.

      A lot of parents don't have a big problem with a son or daughter moving out at 18 to go to college; or if s/he isn't going to college, a lot of parents even encourage their son or daughter to get a full-time job and move out. You probably don't need me to mention this, but I'd imagine one of your parents' biggest "issues" is concern about whether you'll be able to graduate (and maybe get yourself into college if you want to do that). Even if they don't want you to move out for whatever reasons, I hope you give them the benefit-of-the-doubt when it comes to whether or not the information they've offered about moving out being illegal. Based on what I've seen online, there's a lot of conflicting information out there.

      If, by any chance, (and I doubt this) you're not able to get a solid answer to that one, simple, question you have; you could try looking on the site for the Massachusetts Court System (even if just the "main" court in your area). Or, you give a call to the "legal aid" (free) office for your area. I think, though, the only person whose answer you should trust would be someone who is either a Massachusetts lawyer or someone with an organization that specializes in teens and emancipation. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

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      LovelySarah 7 years ago

      I have a queston...now next year i will be 18 but i will still have another year of high school to get through. So i wont be graduating till im 19. Now my question is can i still move out of my parents house when im 18 even if i still have to gaduate??? My parents say its NOT legal in Massachusetts for me to do this. I dont know if they said that to make me stay or what. Please anwser back... Thanks!!! :)

    • OakvilleBusiness profile image

      OakvilleBusiness 7 years ago from Oakville, Ontario

      Early on in their twenties, they will inevitably face challenges and setbacks along the way, kind of like we did. Most people don't have it served to them on a silver platter, but if they learn to pick themselves back up and keep going they will be ok. Like Rodney Dangerfield said to the graduating college kids: "Don't go, It's rough out there. Move back with your parents and let them worry about it!".

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Mike, sincerest best wishes that some of the stuff irons out as your step-son gets just a little older. I'm sure you already know this, but it's really common for young people who have been using drugs to become delayed when it comes to some types of maturing.

      You're right about how some people can be "master manipulators (because of personality, substance abuse, or both)", and I think when any of us is dealing with one of those we pretty much know it (and don't know how to deal with it, because it isn't even something "non-manipulators" can relate to).

      If there's one thing I do know, it's that in this day and age, this kind of thing is something parents have to deal with/live with far more often than a lot of people would think.

      Again, sincerest wishes that some of it irons out a little (and whether it's because of a personality disorder, substance abuse, or both; there are times when some of this kind of stuff can iron out some in time). It seems to me you're doing what so many other parents in your situation do - your best.

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      Mike 7 years ago

      Thanks Lisa HW,

      We do and still do give him care packages so he does have food on the table. I could not get everything In the post without writing a book, but he does have a girlfriend who he has been with for 3 years. We do try to keep an open line of communication with him, but seems the only time he calls is when he wants something. One thing I did not mention is my son's disorder makes him the perfect master manipulator it always is about him. I adopted him when he was 5 and we always got along great. I love him like my own son and always worry, but Like I mentioned, we just can't do it any more. We do go to counceling, which helps, but as parents, we do have the obligation to make sure we are doing what we need so they can make it the best they can. As a matter of fact, he just came home for a visit yesterday and has new satanic demonic alphabet tattooed up and down his arms. He got his taxes and is receiving unemployment benefits from his last job which he did hold for almost a year until he threatened a customer (he was working at a casino). We have told him we cannot have him move back home, and suggested he try to save some money, but that fell up on deaf ears. As soon as he gets it(any money), it goes to the drugs/tattoo's, oh, and a new laptop computer. You would have thought he'd buy groceries and/or pool together with his girlfriend to get an apartment. However, the computer and drugs come first. She is not a very stable person either as she see's a psychologist of her own for personality disorders.

      For someone who say's they do not know a lot about the subject, you make a lot of good points. I think we'll just keep trying to assist him with the care packages and such, but as far as money goes, he will need to find that on his own. At least we got him to graduate high school which was a trick in itself. I even had him setup with a scholorship with Eli Lilly that would have given him a free ride to college with his phychiatrists help, but he never followed through with it. I hate the tough love thing, but unfortunately in our case, we should go with the phychiatrists direction and let him make his mistakes, and hopefully he will someday come around make something of himself. We have never been controlling parents, but always tried to instill the basic work ethics and tried to make sure he had a good stable home. I wish I could get in his head to see what's going on in there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help. Some times just hearing things from someone who has been through something like this is all it takes. We'll keep trying to do what we can, but I know it is not in our best interest to let him back in the house.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      MP, again - good luck with everything.

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      MP 7 years ago

      Thank you it helped iam gonna tell my parents i need to do this on my own..and iam gonna explain why when it comes down to me moving away which is pretty mich soon.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      MP, if you're parents are the reason you're not in school I'm guessing there must be some "issue" (for lack of a better word to use); and I can't make guesses about your parents, obviously, but what I said about "most" parents in generally what most people I know say about their kids.

      All I know is that most parents don't hate their kids for moving out. Some may be upset or worried, but most (if they're at all normal) won't ever hate their own son or daughter. One of my sons and I had a couple of "issues" going on when he was your age, and he moved out because it's what he needed to do. I knew it was what he needed to do, so I was actually pretty OK with it (even though I may have preferred he stay home a little longer).

      I think all you can do is talk to them, tell them it's "just what you need to do", tell them why if you can, and see what happens. If they're angry you may have to know you won't get help from them, but if you can make it on your own without any help; chances are you'll prove to them you could do it, and they'll worry less (and get over the anger in time).

      As I said, I can't make guesses about people I don't know, but I just know most parents don't hate their kids over something like moving out. As far as strained feelings and some anger goes, people get over those if both sides keep trying to keep things as friendly as possible.

      I do know one thing about turning 18, though. When people wait and wait to finally be 18, and then when it happens, it can feel particularly frustrating and awful to get there and not be where you want to be "as far as grown up life goes" as fast as you had hoped you would, once you turned 18. People usually wait and wait, thinking about all the things they'll get to do once they're 18. Sometimes, for some people, money or other circumstances slow down something like moving out. If by any chance, something like money or some other issue slows down your plans to move; hang in. Another few months will go by quickly. I guess what I'm saying is if there's some reason your parents really, really, want you to stay home for another while (to the point where you're thinking they'll "hate" you if you leave), maybe it's because they're afraid you won't be able to live comfortably enough on your own and are worried for you. (When people are worried they tend to feel afraid, and when people get afraid they tend to be angry.) My thing, as a parent, is I just hope my kids won't make any "life-ruining" or "future ruining" choices. That's all I care about. Knowing they're grown up and free to do what they want, sometimes it can be hard to worry about some choice I may find "questionable". Still, for me (and their father), it's always just about wanting to know they're healthy, safe, and happy - and have a chance at a good, solid, future.

      I don't know if any of this at all applies to your situation, but I just thought I'd give a parent's perspective on grown kids.

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      MP 7 years ago

      Even if iam still in school?..i mean my parents are the reason why iam not in school.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      MP, that's hard, but I'm guessing that unless your parents have real "issues", they won't hate you for wanting to move out. They may worry for awhile. They may be concerned, and they may hate to see you move away (because they love you) - but most parents want their kids to happy, understand that they want/need to move out, and don't want to hold them back. Also, most parents - even if they'll miss you - find that thinking about you being happier and growing more independent makes them feel good enough that it kind of makes up for missing their son or daughter for awhile. If there's one thing I've learned since having three grown kids, it's that our grown kids often very much underestimate us when it comes to how reasonable and well adjusted we, parents, can most often be. :)

      (I know that's not all parents, but I thin it's most.)

      Anyway, good luck.

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      MP 7 years ago

      I just turned eighteen four months ago and iam moving out but iam scared my parents will hate me if i do..but iam gonna move out and away from them.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Sydney, you've made some good points - needless to say. It can be hard for parents to know, exactly, when it's time to stop trying to tell grown kids what to do. All parents have different views/approaches; but I do think the average parent usually knows when it's time to "step back" and realize a grown child is, in fact, grown.

      My sister and I both have grown kids, and we were once talking about how it's actually kind of good to not to have to be trying to run (in our cases) four lives each - and instead be able to leave some concerns up to the people whose concerns they are. My kids' father and I have never been the type to just say, "Do whatever," but even fairly "conservative" parents like us just kind of had to remember being 18, 20, etc. ourselves, and realize what we saw as "our own business" when we were that age.

      Normally, I don't offer my "two cents" on things other people's sons or daughter say about their parents; because I don't feel its my place and don't want to be someone who encourages other people's kids to have negative views about their parents; but it does seem to me that the things you've mentioned are things most people your age would (rightfully) object to.

      I've known a few controlling parents, myself, and what usually happens is exactly what you've described - grown kids feel like they have to move out, even if, maybe, they're not entirely financially or "educationally" on their feet as much as would be ideal for someone moving out.

      Hopefully, if you move out and establish your own independence in your parents' eyes, you can then go on to try to have a less "strained feeling" relationship with them on different terms.

      Just one thought on the going-out-alone thing - on that one, I think it's one thing if you go out alone during the day (especially if you're out in a car); but, in fairness to your parents (and maybe they ARE being too much), no matter how safe an area you live in, there is still reason to hope young people won't be out alone at all hours (in a car) or won't be out walking alone at night. (I was once walking alone at night in my low-crime-rate suburb (and in my thirties) when a policeman stopped me, asked where I was going, and offered me a ride because he said "It isn't safe to be out walking alone at night." So even if your parents may be a little too much in that department, there are some basic ways people (no matter how old) need to take control of their own safety by taking a few sensible precautions when going out (and that way it isn't necessary to "live afraid"). (Sorry, as a mother, myself, I couldn't help but add my version of "being sensible" to here.) (On that particular safety issue, and in fairness to your parents, that one most likely isn't a matter of their not realizing what decent/capable people you and your sister are. Chances are, if they're like a lot of other parents, they're just really, really, worried about some of the freaks who are out there, ready to be predators. Even with that, though, sometimes parents have to trust their kids to use good sense. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. )

      Good luck with your plans to get your own place. If there's one thing I know, it's that you and your sister are far from alone in your situation with parents wanting to control your hair style, spending, etc.

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      Sydney 7 years ago

      EI'm 18 years old and definitely ready to move out. I think it's time to move out when the level of freedom that you require isn't given to you at home. My dad is just waaayy too controlling. He chooses what classes I can take (even though I pay my own tuition), won't let me and my 20 year old sister stay out after dark (we live in the suburbs not a bad area) and god forbid that I go out alone at any time day or night, and even tells me how to clean my room, wear my hair, spend my checks, and when to do my homework. It's not as though I was a bad kid (lots of academic awards, held down a job, no behavior issues) or that our culture deviates from the american norm. For some people with normal parents, the time to move out might come later but when living at home is stunting your ability to continue growing as a person, it's time to leave.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Mike 1, your post here will remain up, but I need to let you know this Hub doesn't get the kind of traffic that is likely to yield a lot of responses for you. Who knows, though - since nobody has asked a similar question here before, maybe someone who has been through something similar will have suggestions.

      I do know there are online forums for family members of substance abusers ("and the like"). I just did a quick search and didn't happen to come up with any; but a little more searching for a forum might at least find you a site where people chat back and forth about these things, or have ideas about other sites. (If I can find the forum I'm thinking of - if for no reason other than for you to get in touch with people in similar situations - I'll come back later and post here.)

      I know people who have gone through something similar, and my heart goes out to you. Since I'm not experienced or trained to give advice on a situation like this, all I can do is say what I think I might do in a situation like that. Without knowing what you or anyone else had already tried, I'll probably give some useless ideas here.

      I think if it were my son I'd want to be supportive of him, but I'd have to draw the line on letting him in move back in. Threatening to kill you is a big, serious thing. Taking your stuff/money, and making you feel like you're walking on eggs is a sign that he shouldn't be living there.

      He's only 23, though, and if it were my son (and keeping in mind that even non-mentally ill/non-substance-abusing young people have brains that aren't even fully mature at that age), my concern would be wanting my son to know I was on his side and wanted to be supportive - but not on the terms that I would become his victim.

      Staying in touch over the phone or the computer are things I'd aim for. I'd also probably tell him that until "we could iron out" some of the differences, I'd like to keep the conversation to "neutral" subjects.

      I know you say you've been through family counseling, but I wonder if there's a counselor you and your wife could see, just for yourselves; in order to get some tips/support for dealing with what you're dealing with. If not counseling, are there any support groups in your area for parents/family members of substance abusers?

      If it were my son I wouldn't make an issue about the piercings. For now, I think they're almost the least of his problems; and based on what you've said about him, it doesn't seem to me like he's all that "hire-able" seeming right now.

      If you live in the US I'm wondering if his psychiatrist may have suggested he try to get on the SSI program, which, as you may know, is for people with disabilities, including mental disabilities and substance-abuse problems.

      The reason I think I'd aim to have him apply for that is that people like he can be put in touch with the right kind of professional or group for dealing with someone like him. They may even help him find a part-time job. I believe he would be able to get help with food (food stamps). I know there are waiting lists for this type of thing, but I believe they may be able to help him find some kind of housing, sometimes for people in similar situations as he is.

      Substance abusers are "big" for saying they want to get clean, but just saying that doesn't mean much. It's often just what they say.

      I think if it were my son I'd tell him that his psychiatrist told me it wouldn't be helpful to him to let him live with me. I think I'd tell him, "I hate not to feel free to just let you move back in, but your doctor told us that wouldn't be a good thing for you." I'd probably add something like, "The other thing is, we've now got x more to pay each month, so now, even if we wanted to ignore your doctor, it would really cost more than we can afford."

      In other words, I'd aim to come across as "regretful" that I couldn't be more of help, but wanting to "get past" any strains in the relationship and "be/stay a close family". I'd want to send him the message, "We want to stay close, but your doctor thinks (and we agree) that our aim ought to be get you independent and on your own two feet."

      I'd make it clear to him that the first thing he needs to do is get help, keep getting help, and do what his doctor(s) says. Although I know I can't really put myself in your position, I think I'd be very reluctant to try to have him committed; because I might worry that doing that would destroy all any trust he may have in me at all - forever.

      Because I'd be worried about outside influences (of the negative variety from "people out there"), I think I'd probably aim to keep/build the best relationship/"friendship" I could have with him ("from a distance") in order to have some hope of maybe still being a little bit of an influence, and maybe still giving him a sense of having a family that does care about him and remains close. (When kids are grown families can remain close without living under the same roof. I'd tell him that was the kind of thing I was hoping we could all have.)

      If it were my son I'm fairly certain I'd help him with food. I don't know what you son is getting arrested for, but I'm wondering if he gets arrested often enough whether he may sent from jail to a mental-health facility. It would seem to me it would be better for him to be sent to a mental-health place by someone other than you - you get to remain "the good guys", but he'd be there and standing a chance of getting help for awhile, anyway.

      If it were my son (and right or wrong of me), I think I'd probably give him the occasional small amount of money; and I may do something like pack up personal products, shampoos, maybe some kind of 'treat-snacks', a new t shirt, etc. and give him a "care package" once in awhile.

      I might make sure he had a cheap, prepaid phone (or $15 cards for it) so he could keep in touch, call people like his doctor, or try to find work. (Tracfone has a double-minutes for life phone for about $20; ATT has prepaid phones with free mobile to mobile and $15 cards.)

      I guess my thinking (for whatever it's worth, which is essentially "zero" in view of the fact that I'm not an expert and don't know you or your step-son), is that it isn't always an either/or situation. Sometimes there's something between "just cutting him off" or "just cutting him loose" and letting him come in and make a mess out of your life and home.

      Of the people I know, one family is an elderly couple with a son who's been out and "having issues" for years now. The son is close to 40 and not doing too well. They couldn't have him home. Another family has a grown daughter with a child, so they have her living with them "for the child". It isn't easy, but they manage; but the daughter isn't potentially dangerous and is "reasonably socially acceptable".

      When my son was 15/16 he and I started to run into some "issues" (nothing as extreme as what you've described, by any means, but "issues" nonetheless). He wanted to do stuff that I couldn't possibly approve of, so we kept having arguments. We both knew we didn't want to be fighting, so we agreed not to talk about the stuff that got us going; and only to talk about "neutral" stuff. That gave us a chance to be together without fighting, and it kind of broke the cycle of arguing. It was kind of like putting in the clutch on a car, in order to shift from one gear to another. We kept that "clutch in" for quite awhile, but eventually we were able to get our relationship from "first gear" on to "second", and so on. Even when he was 18, and even though we had gotten through the roughest years, my son did move out at 18. From there, I was able to still be supportive and helpful to him at times, still be close, and eventually build back the nice relationship we'd always had (before he went through that 15-year-old thing).

      Again, I don't know if any of these ideas/thoughts will be a shred of use to you and your wife. Maybe someone else will read here and offer you something something more helpful.

      To me, your choice of the words, "walking on eggshells" is a serious sign that having him back would be a bad move

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      Mike 7 years ago

      I have a 23 year old step son who moved out when he was 18 because he didn't want to follow the rules, wanted to pierce his whole face and body as well as have all the usual tattoo artistry done. The day after he moved out at 18, he came home to get his things and I could have died when I seen him. His hair was dyed black, he had piercings in his nose (2, 1 bull ring type and another in the side), had 4 in his bottom lip, 2 above each eyebrow and all the way down his back. This about killed his mother as he was a very good looking kid. We have had nothing but problems with him since he has been 14 and got into necronomica and being gothic. He has threated to kill me at least 3 times, but I allowed him to move back home on 3 different occasions over the past 5 years, but he always leaves again because he does not want to follow the rules and or keep the piercings out so he could get a decent (or any) job.

      We are at our wits end. We are afraid to let him come back home as we must lock up our doors because he can't stay out of our bedroom and other things. We have to lock up all of our medications as he is always stealing anything to get high. He swares this time he is changed, but I haven't seen it. He says he wants to get off the drugs and start living clean, but I can't trust him. He is phscitsoaffective and has a documented personality disorder. We have tried to get him the help he needs (Phycologists, Phsychiatists, family counceling, etc), but he will not take the meds the doctors give him. He wants to tell the Physychiatrist what drugs he wants. His Phsychiatist told us to make him go it on his own, but our son keeps calling everytime he goes to jail and or needs money. We have caved a couple of times to help him with food, but I refused to keep bailing him out of jail. We are at our wits end at to what to do anymore. We finally feel safe in our own home and do not want to go back to walking on egg shells. I have contacted different agencies to see what our options are, but no one can agree on what we should do. Some say to let him make it on his own as we have given him more chances than he should have had,others say take him back and set rules (which hasn't worked before), and others say to have him committed. I can't afford any more. My wife and I live on a fixed income because I am disabled and she works basically for insurance. We just make the bills as it is. If anyone has been in this situation,I would love to hear your thoughts. HELP PLEASE!!!!!!

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      aaaa 7 years ago

      I moved out the house when I was 16, and looking back, I wish I could have moved out sooner. Even though lived on my own, I still graduated high school. When I was 25 I paid a builder to build a beautiful home for me. I think it's a little crazy for kids to live at home for a very long period of time, especially after they graduate college. I had to live with other people when I was a teenager. Whether I rented a room or stayed at a friend's house, I was better off, anyway. At least I learned how to be independent. I could survive on a street corner if I had to. I just learned "street smarts." By the way: My home is almost paid off. Teach a child to be independent, don't encourage them to live at home for a very long period of time. I do contribute my survival in the midst of a very challenging situation to Jesus. I know He was there guiding me all along. You see tons of college graduates living at home. I read an article that said about 40 percent of recent college graduates are living at home. If your a college graduate, who lives at home, what did you accomplish? You can move out at any time and find a few roommates. I was in high school (11th grade) and lived on my own. It's not easily done, but at least I figured out how to do it. If I could do it in high school and graduate, I'm sure you could figure out how to do it after you graduate college. I do realize though that staying at home with your parents could be a good idea, especially if they are good parents, but I'd save up as much money as I could, pay them for helping me out and split, especially if your in your 30s or something. I guess it's a little more harder if you have kids. But if you're single, perhaps it's time to move on. You can always rent a room somewhere and learn what it's like to be an adult. You could save up money and buy a home somewhere. I had one roommate who paid me $500 a month while he saved up to buy his own condo. He was going to college at night. I thought he did it the right way. I'm proud of him. He was a great roommate! He went onto become a very successful TV producer, so it's possible!

    • Richard Armen profile image

      Richard Armen 7 years ago

      Each child is different and because of that I think it will vary for any kid. Some need to move out sooner though in order to grow up and become more independent and responsible.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Tyson, I agree about moving back after divorce. If it's really economically necessary, I suppose it may be necessary; but, in general, I'm not a big fan of the idea. (Of course, if my grown kids were to get married and then get divorced, I'd be more than happy to have them stay for awhile.) :)

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      Tyson Yates 7 years ago

      For me there is no set age.I've known people who lived with their parents until they got married.While I would support the idea of living at home until marriage I don't think that

      you should move back if you get divorced.

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      movearoundus 7 years ago from Miami, FL

      I think, kids are the near future of the society and they should have under the utmost care of their parents. They need to build out a charity at home and after getting enough maturity, then only they should move around. Rents are factors as the financial condition bring into consideration there, especially in US, where the cost of living is really penetrative.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Audrevea, thanks for sharing your comment. I think, in a lot of ways, it's the same in the US (or at least in places like where I live, where the cost of living is higher than in many other places.

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      Audrevea 7 years ago

      Moving out has really become not the done thing in Sydney. I think it's mainly the cost of living that keeps people living at home with the parents & also there's no stigma attached to it.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Rita, that's certainly a difficult situation; and I wish I had some kind of suggestion for you. As a stranger, I don't know enough about you or your family to be able to just suggest something based on not knowing the whole situation.

      I don't know if you live in a different culture than that of the US, but in the US you are old enough to decide to move out on your own. You could aim to do it without fighting (or fighting too much), and try to essentially tell your father, "I love you, but I need to live on my own." That, of course, is if you can support yourself without any help from parents.

      If you can't yet support yourself you could stay at home until you can; and in the meantime, keep in mind that you're working on being independent and are fortunate enough to have parents willing to help you get on your feet before moving out. You could just talk openly about your plans and preparations to move, about how much you appreciate how supportive they are (rather than kicking you out at 18, the way some parents do) in the meantime.

      Your father doesn't have a legal right to tell you that you can't move, and he doesn't have a legal right to tell you you can't move until you have children; or to tell you where you can live. There are times when a son or daughter may have a mental disability of some kind and when it isn't all that unreasonable for parents to aim to have their grown son or daughter remain home, just because the son or daughter may need some help managing day-to-day life. If nobody has any kind of disability, however, it isn't reasonable of any parent to try to exercise that degree of control.

      In fairness to your father, and based on nothing but trying to cover all bases, is there anything you may have done as a teenager, or may be doing now, that has made him worry that you'd make bad decisions if you were out on your own? If that's the case, he needs to see that whatever it is is a thing of the past and that these days you've matured.

      Assuming you've reached the stage where you can support yourself financially, I don't know how you might approach things. Maybe your mother or another older family member could talk to your father. Maybe you could find a counselor to ask for guidance. You could go ahead and make your plans, while giving your parents "friendly warning". You could just get a place and leave. You could try looking for information from legitimate reference sources with regard to the fact that it's normal for grown kids to need their own place, and then ask your father to read it.

      For the record, a lot of parents don't consider the kids as "mooching", no matter how old they are.

      The world is full of babies born because their mothers thought they would be their ticket out of their parents' home, even if the mothers end up going to welfare agencies for support. It would be good if someone could help your father see the "message" he's sending you.

      Good luck with your situation. I wish I could be of more help, but there's only so much any stranger can offer.

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      Rita 7 years ago

      What about the parents that say no on being independent? I turned 20 couple months ago, and I told my dad that I wanted to move out and stop "mooching" off of them. He told me he'll never let me move out until I have babies. And even after, he told me I had to live at least 3 miles from them. What the hell can I do?

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      RN4081, I think that's how it with kids in general - most have their own, natural, wish to be independent from awfully early on, but the realities of life/finances (especially since this, today's, generation of young adults has come along) often mean that "being independent minded" and "being completely independent in reality" have to be two different things.

      If they go to college they are not independent until graduation; and even then, today's graduates often start a lower pay (and in entry level positions) than yesterday's did. It can take time for a new graduate to get on his feet. If they don't go to college they may end up taking a job means having to have a roommate. Needing roommates to help cover rent doesn't particularly mean being "financially independent".

      I do think parents and grown kids need to be secure about the sometimes practical/necessary living arrangement (not moving out the day after turning 18); and realize it is just a matter of money/practicality - and not the measure of a person's level of mental/emotional maturity, or "independent-mindedness".

      Sometimes it's actually the grown son or daughter who is most unhappy/dissatisfied with having to still live with parents. A lot of parents would be just as pleased to have them stay around a while longer.

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      RN4081 8 years ago

      My daughter is turning 18 in one month and she's graduating from high school a month later. Since she was 10 years old she's said "The day I'm 18, I'm moving out." Now that day is fast approaching and she's rethinking it. I can't even imagine how she would support herself if she did move.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      For me, on the other hand, a person can know what life's all about whether they live alone, share residence with a roommate, or share it for a while with family.  Lots of middle-aged kids have their elderly parent come live with them because the parent needs a little help.  I don't measure need, independence, or knowing what life is about by age.   To me, if you can be "roommates" with your kids and maintain a healthy relationship that doesn't include one person taking advantage of the other, I don't see setting a random age to require moving out.  Secure, capable, grown kids usually move out as soon as they're financially able; and if any six months (or two years) is what it takes I don't have a problem with that.

       I lived with my mother when I was in my early twenties because my father died, and I thought she could use the company for a while.  It actually gave us a chance to develop a grown-up relationship as "friends".

      Those of us who have had kids move out and live with roommates (where I live the rents are really, really, high) have learned that roommates move out to live with girlfriends, take jobs in other parts of country, etc.; and the remaining roommates can be faced with a sudden need to find a new arrangement.  I like my kids to know they never have to settle for some bad situation because they have no choice.  I'm fine with having them know they always have a place to stay until they do the next thing.  In fact, I'm one of those parents who "likes" my kids so much I'd be happy if they lived with me forever - although that, of course, would be good for me but not healthy for them.

      I know an awful lot of people who live on their own and have absolutely no clue about what life is about.

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      kits 8 years ago

      For me as long as you are in a right age and responsible enough for your actions, then it's time for you to move out. You're not getting any younger, Know what life is all about.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      I think when kids and parents have a good relationship, kids are confident in their own independence, and parents are confident in their own ability to understand that kids are grown up; there's nothing wrong with working out a situation that helps kids get on their feet before going out on their own.

      Someone I know used to brag about how independent her kids were because they all moved out at 18, but then she and her husband managed their checkbooks and taxes for them. She did all their laundry, and brought them cooked meals a few days a week. Then some other grown child may stay home a few extra years to help his widowed or divorced mother. I think the matter of independence and sense of responsibility involves more than who moves out when.

      My sister, with a son who moved out and into a crummy neighborhood where the apartments are affordable for young people, once joked how we work so hard to raise our kids in nice suburbs - only to have them all move out into awful neighborhoods where the buildings may not even be up to code. Some young people are happy to live in those places or else to eat pasta with ketchup on it or pumpkin pie filling out of a can.

      My kids, at different times, have tried that kind of thing, and dorm living; and I always wanted them to know if they get sick of it and just want to stay where there's lots of food, and their car isn't likely to be stolen, they're welcome at home. One moved out at 18 and never moved back in. One is still in college. The other one moved out, moved back, and moved out again. I kind of like the "revolving door" policy for the early-20's set. It keeps me from ever suffering from empty nest syndrome, but also provides for variety. :)

    • Ask Addie profile image

      Ask Addie 9 years ago

      I have 5 kids. Two have moved out. One moved out to go to college and then moved back to get on her feet and jusrecently moved into her own place. She is 25. Another moved out a few weeks ago and she is 23. I moved from my parents home at 17. I had a very independent spirit. It is hard today though on our youth, with the costs rising so quicky and salaries dwindling. I have though always told my kids that when they are 18, they start paying for their own bills and help the household.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      These days a whole lot of young people move out, move back, move out, etc. etc. Rents are high, and most young people struggle financially, but they usually enjoy being on their own (even if they dump catsup on pasta or eat pumpkin pie filling out of the can for lunch ). If they eventually get on their feet (many do), but if they need to move back for a little while to regroup, I think that's ok too.

      I think if they're single they don't need to see either living arrangement as "written in stone".