To My Adult Children Living At Home : I Love You, But Get Out!

Over 40 % of adult children are living at home with parents in Canada.Can they move out & make it on their own? Maybe not,but maybe they need a little push!

In a few weeks, both of my boys, will be celebrating their birthdays. My oldest will be 25! (insert gasp at where all the time went) By the time I was his age, I was married, had him and lived in my own house. Wow, things sure are different for the younger generation now. And I know I am not the only one among my friends that have adult children living at home.

I was aching to get out of my house from the time I was eighteen. I’m not sure if I should be flattered that my kids don’t want to run, screaming in the opposite direction at the moment they could. But that’s just it, they can’t even if they wanted to. For example, my oldest works full-time. In fact, he works most weekends as well on the side for cash jobs. But by the time he makes his car payment, insurance, gas, food, cell phone and pays for all of his drugs (he is a type 1 diabetic), there is barely anything left.

He actually makes more money than some of my friends’ children. But still, I can clearly see it won’t be enough for him to survive on his own. He would definitely have to get a room-mate anyway because of his condition.

Some of my friends are insistent that it is time for them both to go, no matter what the adult children living at home circumstances may be. They may be right. I fantasize about the day I will be an empty-nester. You know, when you leave the house for the day or weekend and come home to it looking exactly how you left it? That. I long for that.

Here is a summary of some of the suggestions being thrown my way to help me make this happen:

Over 40 % of adult children are living at home with parents in Canada.Can they move out & make it on their own? Maybe not,but maybe they need a little push!

Well meaning advice from friends on how to get adult children living at home to move out!

  1. Downsize your home: Obviously this is meant to just squeeze them out, literally. And while, in theory, this sounds like a great idea, I have had one friend that did just this with not so great results. Initially, everyone moved out and things were bliss. Then, a few years later, one of her daughters divorced and not only did she come back, but brought children in tow with her. What can you do? You can’t turn the little ones out, or can you…
  2. Move to a different area, city, country: Sometimes the thought of completely leaving everyone behind is appealing but I know I would miss everyone, not to mention that would mean I would be moving farther away from my aging parents and I just foresee more problems with that than solutions.
  3. Move out: I actually know a few people who moved out of their own home and left the kids behind. Besides the fact that we could not afford to do this, the thought of my man boys having free run of the house with me not there scares the crap out of me. My house is already just this side of “frat house chic” and I don’t need it to cross the line.
  4. Get rid of luxuries: So I’m supposed to cancel my cable and internet? Really? What the hell am I supposed to do? Winters are cold and long here in Canada my friends.
  5. Have sex on the kitchen table: While this sounds like fun, my old body says it is not. One night when everyone was out for the night, we decided to have a go in front of the fireplace on the floor. We put blankets down to soften the surface but it was not 10 minutes in that we both agreed that our knees, backs, arms were killing us and up the stairs we went. My days of having sex anywhere other than a bed are LONG over.

As you can tell from my rebuttals, none of the above seem appealing solutions to me.

Do you have any ideas? All sarcastic, funny, well-meaning advice on how to get adult children living at home to move out would be greatly appreciated. Show me what you got!

Update: One out. One to go. Check out what I won’t miss when they are gone.


Added from comments, my friend Laura and her suggestions. It’s no wonder she’s single. Just kidding!

  1. Start practicing nudity…
  2. Stop cooking, doing dishes, and buying groceries
  3. Start bringing your friends over to discuss the most boring topics on earth, in front of the kids and include them in the convos.
  4. Start leaving Geritol, Viagara and other drugs for old people around the house.
  5. Buy adult diapers in bulk, start leaving them around the house. walk around the house wearing them. Just them.
  6. talk about menopause constantly
  7. pull your pants up just below your boobs
  8. stop wearing bras all together
  9. Stop showering and cleaning the bathroom.
    And Finally
  10. Pretend you don’t know who they are or why they are there.



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  1. Just found this on Pinterest – wonder if you have an empty nest yet? My eldest has just moved back after 3 years away….whilst the middle one has just left for uni – one out one in – my daughter is beside herslef having thought she would be rid of both brothers. Your post made me laugh so much…and despair in equal measures!! Wish me look as looks like I have a house full for a few more years….

  2. My daughter and granddaughter live with me. My daughter works 2 jobs, could probably live on her own off that if she didn’t have to pay for childcare which I provide for free. Something I would not be able to continue doing w/o her help paying bills. I would be forced to get a second job. The economy is impossible at the moment.

    Sure, I would love to have a home without toys lying around, a bit of peace and quiet, and a day without Disney. However, we help each other and that is the best part of family.

    Don’t let others tell you what to do. Do what’s best for you and your family.

  3. Goodness, I really feel for you. That would drive me crazy. I have the opposite problem though. My two sons are just that bit older that yours 32 and 34 and they were in the generation that were able to get good jobs after uni. Then it all went pair-shaped for the next crop of kids and many are still at home. Mine both moved away for work and I miss them so much it hurts. When they come ‘home’ it’s fleeting because of work etc. We can’t visit them very often because of elderly family here. I am happy for them but selfishly sad for me. Regarding yours, can you set up a really creepy fake haunting drive them out? Amityville Horror style? Would be so much fun too.

  4. I love your sense of humor. I’m the mother of 3 grown sons and my husband and I are empty nesters and loving it. About a year ago, one of them moved home for a few months and we finally had to ask him to leave. Thankfully, he did it without us involving the authorities. 🙂 Very stressful time. All 3 of them couldn’t wait to move out and left when they were 18. The oldest came back for a short while after but then left again. I guess we were “mean” enough, they didn’t want to continue to live here.
    It is a tough world financially and hard for them to make it. Pardon my ignorance but I thought Canada had a wonderful national health care plan. Why would your son have to pay for his meds?
    I love your friend Laura’s ideas but I’m with you on the bed being much softer on our old bones. Good luck!

    1. I was sure I replied to this but don’t see it now, so sorry if it’s a duplicate. Health care is covered but not meds. He does get a credit on his taxes for money spent but that is not the same thing as getting them paid for. Especially when it can run over $500 a month. P.S. Maybe I need to be meaner to get them out! lol

  5. Great ideas. Our sons all lived with various room-mates after leaving the nest. And, like T.O.Weller, we provided our sons financial or moral support, giving them a leg up – until they were ready to go it alone.

    My massage therapist told me once that because she comes from the “Friends” generation where everyone left home and lived with room-mates until they got married or went on their own – she hopes to re-unite with any of her friends that are single once they are old, move into a condo and hire Chippendale nurses to take care of them. 🙂

  6. When my husband and I first met, our first conversation was about moving away. It turned out we both wanted to live in Ontario cottage country. What a neat coincidence!! We booked our first date the following week.
    At the time, with regard to our children (he has 2, I have 1), we both agreed: move far enough away that they can’t move back in, but close enough that we can all visit any time, for however long we desire.
    Seven years later: we just moved to cottage country. We’re 2 to 2.5 hours away from everyone. It’s an easy drive and we’ve both already driven in for the day, on two separate occasions, to help 2 of the 3 children.
    They know they can still call on us. They know we are here. This is not “abandonment”. They are 26, 27, and 30 and, in each case, they are finding their own way. (And feeling pretty good about themselves in the process.)
    Older parents can be a greater challenge, but we know that none of them are alone and we are a phone call away, (Let’s face it, end to end, crossing the GTA can take over 2 hours. We no longer have traffic to fight, so we’re not really that far away! It’s all about perception.)
    So, you may wonder, how did we get them all out?!?
    1. We married one of them off. 😉
    2. We never gave the other two permanent rooms when we joined households. There was a place for them to rest their head, but it was always temporary — until they got their sh*t together. They appreciated it and got their sh*t together.
    3. We help them when ever we can, so they know they’re never alone, unless they want to be. Everyone needs a leg up every once in a while.

    1. That sounds fantastic! We have four combined and my husband moved into “our” house when the kids were all early teens. I guess my real problem is that I always intentionally fought for the house in my divorce so that they could have it. So it looks as if I will have to be the one to leave. Ha! P.s. Do you have a spare room? I can be there for late lunch! Lol

  7. Love your ideas – both my 24 yr old son & 21 yr old daughter have left home (8 years ago & 3 yrs ago respectively) – now I have 3 sons left at home… one going to uni next year!! ….

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