Dealing with adult children who won’t leave home

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Leaving home to become independent is an important milestone that every child should take.

Some young working adults today are reluctant to step out of their comfort zone of mom and dad’s home to start a life of their own.  In many parts of the world parenting has a predictable cycle – you have children, watch them grow up, go to school, feel proud when they start their first job and look forward to having an empty house. But, some youngsters refuse to leave home. Why should they? They have a roof over their head, use of DStv, sometimes Wi-Fi and home cooked meals.

By Lungile Khumalo

Sometimes young people don’t want to embrace independence and delay moving out of their parents’ house because they say they are “saving for the future” or are simply enjoying or need the small comforts of being at home. Lynda Blore, a psychologist specialising in parent/child issues shares advice with parents on how to tackle this issue.

SEE ALSO: 4 crucial money lessons parents should teach their children

Address the issue. The adult child could be anxious about leaving home. This needs to addressed until eventually they’re independent; Blore says parents can encourage independence by allowing their children to gradually take on more responsibilities.

Help them budget. A young adult needs to know how to become financially independent. Parents should help them form a budget.

Help them out. If possible, offer old furniture, bedding, kitchenware etc to lower the cost of moving out.

Shared living. Sometimes a move to a commune is an intermediate step for the adult child if they are not ready to live on their own.

SEE ALSO: Protect Your Children’s Financial Future

Set a deadline. Give your child a deadline for moving out. Some parents may use a “constructive confrontation” approach, where they discuss the problem with significant others in their life in a way that makes the child feel obliged to act.

Be honest. This is not meant to be a guilt trip, but your adult child needs to be aware of the burden they are placing on you as parents as you have to postpone enjoying being on your own without unnecessary financial burdens. Be open and honest, and if necessary, use a facilitator like a priest, psychologist or respected family elder to manage the process.