6 Subtle Ways to Encourage Your Adult Child to Move Out

woman talking to her daughter

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AnnaMarie Houlis4.87k
Journalist & travel blogger

It's not easy to raise children. That's no secret. But what may feel harder about parenting young children can, sometimes, be parenting older children.

When your child grows up and becomes an adult, they start to live by their own rules. They form their own opinions and have their own set of beliefs and values. And they even learn to live their own lifestyle, which may look similar or very different to your own. So what do you do if that adult child still lives with you?

Kicking your child out of the house isn't going to be an easy conversation to have. But some parents feel fed up and need to have this conversation in order to keep their best interest in mind — and other parents are doing it for their child's best interest, because they know that their child may need a little tough love in order to get the ball rolling on their life.

With that said, here are six steps to getting your fully grown, adult child to finally move out of your house and start building a life for themselves. With respect and love.

1. Have a candid conversation with your child.

First and foremost, it's best to try to have a candid conversation with your child. Let them know exactly why you feel that it's time for them to move out. Share your feelings with them and lend an ear to make sure you hear out their concerns, as well. Remember that conversations are two-way streets, and you need to be willing to listen just as much as you speak. Once you both understand each other better, you'll have a simpler time working out arrangements for them to either leave immediately or ease their way out of the house.

2. Help find your child find alternative housing.

If you want your child to move out but you find that they're struggling, it may be a wise decision to help them find alternative housing. Talk to your network to see if you know anyone renting a room, or help them search on apartment and house rental sites. If your child is looking to buy a place, and you have experience doing it yourself, lend a hand to help them through the house-hunting process. Moving out can be stressful, which may be why they're taking their time. But you can help them do it if you're willing.

3. Ask your child to start paying rent.

Ask your child to start paying you rent that may cause them to want to move out on their own. If they're going to have to pay rent to you, they may feel that they might as well pay rent to live on their own elsewhere.

4. Consider going to a family therapist with your child.

If you don't know how to have this tough conversation with your child, ask them to join you in seeing a family therapist. With a professional in the room, you can have a more intentional, safe, guided conversation that helps you to both see each other's sides and come to a conclusion or compromise.

5. Write a letter to your child.

Write a letter to your child about your ask for them to move out if you don't think you can have the conversation face to face. Make sure that this letter does read as insensitive. Include your reasons for wanting them to move out, which may include wanting the best for them and encouraging them to start their lives. Let them know that you believe in them and know that they're ready and prepared to live on their own.

6. Make a list of expectations for your child.

Make a list of expectations you have for your child if they're going to continue to live with you. This may include that they'll clean up around the house, cook their own meals and do their own laundry. You won't be babying them anymore. And they may no longer be interested in living in your home anymore if they're not benefiting from it like they once were. In that case, they may choose to move out on their own accord.

FAQs Fed-up Parents Are Tempted to Ask

Here are the coveted answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that fed-up parents want to know.

Can I legally kick my son out of the house?

Whether or not you can legally kick your son out of the house depends on a few factors. For one, how old is your son? If your child is 18 years or older, you can, in fact, legally evict your child. But if they're younger than 18 years of age, you may not be legally allowed to kick your son out of the house.

Can you kick your kid out at 16?

Parents cannot kick their children out of the house at 16 years old. Only when your child is 18 years or older can you legally evict your child from your home.

What to do when your child doesn't want to live with you?

If your child doesn't want to live with you and they are over the age of 18 years old, you can legally evict them from your home, allowing them to live elsewhere. If your child doesn't want to live with you, and you are worried about them, it may be in your best interest to help them find suitable, safe housing elsewhere. If you really don't want to let your child go, consider talking to them about going to speak with a family therapist or another professional to work out the issues that may be causing them to want to leave.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that parenting isn't easy — and kicking your child out of the house can feel daunting, difficult, stressful, upsetting and a whole host of other mixed emotions.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.