When your Young Adult Leaves Home, Should you Let them Come Back?
My experience is that it’s best to support a one-way ticket when leaving home. There are circumstances where a transition back home can be helpful for the young adult and in some cases for the parent. In the former case, sometimes a young adult needs a transition period to another job, another apartment, or as in the case of my youngest daughter a move back home to save money and prepare for marriage. In such cases, it’s important to establish a timeline for this transition and hold the young adult accountable to meet it.
In the latter case, there may be a circumstance where a parent is ill or disabled and the young adult moves back during this recuperation period. There are no hard and fast rules. If both parties are comfortable with the arrangement and the young adult is functioning as an independent young adult—job, paying, rent, covering expenses, and helping with food costs and upkeep of the house, I’m not sure this is a problem. A young adult can be fully emancipated and demonstrating emotional maturity and independence even though that young adult is living at home. In other cultures, there may be three generations living in the same house. I think we have to be careful about being judgmental of ourselves or others who may have a young adult living at home.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if living at home is appropriate for your young adult.
- Do you and your young adult get along?
- Is the young adult self-sufficient: job, car, and so forth?
- Is the young adult contributing to the household: rent, cleaning, cooking, and so forth?
- Does the young adult demonstrate progress in establishing their separate identity, their independence, and their intimacy needs?
- Are you as parents okay with the arrangement or do you wish to obtain or regain your empty nest privacy? Although we are a child-centered society, it’s okay for the parents’ desires for privacy to be a basis for a young adult to move on.
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