It’s graduation time and our thoughts turn to children leaving home. While moving out used to be an almost automatic thing, changes in the economy and culture have resulted in many kids hanging around the house into their mid 20’s and beyond. Today we’re talking about how knowing the psychology of moving out can help parents successfully launch their children into independent adulthood. Here are some frequently asked questions and some helpful tips:
1. Why is leaving home so difficult for some folks?
2. What is the best way to prepare for leaving home?
3. How do you know when it’s time for the launch ?
4. How do you deal with the emotional resistance ? ,
Tips for Parents and Young Adults
1. Remember, leaving home is difficult because: it involves change, uncertainty, and loss. These elements create anxiety, test self-esteem and confidence as well as result in some level of a grieving reaction. All of these reactions are unpleasant and we try to avoid them. And by the way both moms and dads, as well as the kids can have these feelings.
2. Prepare children for leaving home by: –Framing leaving home positively as a major life step toward becoming and independent adult. — Understand that becoming and adult is a gradual process that is made up of steps. Moving out is one of those steps. — Prepare your children for launch by developing their autonomy skills and confidence over time. Gradually allowing your child to make more and more decisions and assuming more responsibility for more parts of their life will help the process .
3. You know your child is ready for launch when:
— S/he has demonstrated that s/he is emotionally ready to assume self-care and basic life responsibilities. –There a is reasonable structure and plan for the what will happen after leaving home , e.g. school, job or military service. — There is an adequate economic and social support network.
4. Deal with emotional resistance by parents and children: — Remind your child of the advantages of becoming independent. — Normalizing and talking about fears and anxieties feelings. ( Don’t have any elephants in the room.) This is for mom and dad as well as the kids.– Address worries specifically. Reality test and problem solve. — Reassure that moving out doesn’t mean cutting off or ending. Talk about how contact and support will be maintained.