What Is the Age That Most "Kids" Move Out?

Updated on November 21, 2011
V.K. asks from Roseville, CA
41 answers

I have 5 children. 4 stepchildren and my daughter. My children's ages are 22 (23 in Feb), 21 (Nov 30), 18 (Nov 20), 16 (Dec. 5) and 5 (Nov 24).

I was wondering what is the age that most "kids" are moving out of their parents houses and living on their own?

When I was a teenager I was told "18 and your out of the house!" I was a good kid, went to school, didn't cause much trouble but that's what it was back then and back then (graduated in 1996) it was doable to move out around 18-19 if you planned right. I moved out when I was 19, worked full time, did chores, went to family events.

My kids complain a lot about living here, not liking the rules (Yeah... we are SOOO hard on them... NOT), but never seem to be working towards moving out.

My oldest goes to college full time, is working at getting her AA. I thought it was a two year college but she's been going since she was 19. How did this turn into a 4 year college?? She doesn't work. She does help on weekends by watching my 4 year old so I can get things like shopping done and the occasional pedicure, in lieu of rent.

My son (21) works full time at two places (or part time at them both... IDK). He says he wants to go into the Air Force when he gets his braces off. But when is that going to happen?!?! No one seems to know. He doesn't do chores but does pay $150 in rent per month.

My 18 year old is still in High School. Will graduate this year. We are working on getting her all ready for work (need to get her a new Social card). She is going to go into college too.

I know I sound like I am complaining (I am ... Venting is very needed right now!) but I am wanting to be able to tell my kids that they need to make arrangements to move out by (insert age). But I don't know what age kids should be moving out.

I love my kids (probably couldn't tell by the above) but I am very frustrated with the way things are now, chores not being done properly or not done at all. Their pets not getting along with the pet we have had the longest. Pet rules not being followed. Not wanting to go to holiday family events BUT wanting to participate in their Birthday party and Christmas (for presents). It seems like it's never going to end, there is no light at the end of the tunnel and I am going to be stuck with kids in my house til the day I die. I don't want that. I do not buy my kids extras. If they want clothes, cell phone etc. after they are 18 and out of the house, then they have to pay for it. We do pay for rent, food, etc. but nothing besides that. We need every penny that comes into this house to run this house and provide a good Christmas/Birthdays for them (since their Birthdays are so close together and very close to Christmas it's always hard unless we plan).

Please help.... Thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Chicago on

I moved out at 19, then back in at21 until 25/26 when I bought my condo. The house rules had to be followed. College or work or both. We could not live at home for nothing. My parents had a savings account that was started when I was a child and all my money went there mostly. When I paid rent, my money went there as well.. that is how I was able to have a down payment 20% for the condo. I will follow suit with my kids.

I don't think there is an age, but really it depends on what is going on in the kids life. To get my brother out, my parents kept increasing his "rent", he had had enough and found a condo and moved out.

Right now is a good time to buy a place, maybe some of the siblings would want to get a place together?

Good luck

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I went to college at 17. I lived at home that first summer and that was it. My brother went to college at 17 - his senior year in high school was the last time he lived at home. My sister did move back in for 3 months after she graduated college - she was working and looking for a place to live at the time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

i moved out at 17, my oldest brother the same, the middle brother much older.

Im not seeing an average really within my friends either (some who are 30 and still live at home, lol. I think it absolutely depends on the person

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from San Francisco on

Are you giving them every convenience? I'm not talking about shelter and food, I'm talking about cars, gas, phones, clothing, haircuts/makeup, internet, etc?
STOP paying for all of that and you will see much more motivated "children."
Our oldest is off at college this year and we are paying for his tuition, housing, food and cell phone, but that's it. No car, very limited clothing allowance, no extras. He has had a full time job the past two summers so he knows how to work and manage money. When they REALLY want something they will work for it, just like we had to :)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I lived with my parents until age 19, but I did NOT get a free ride. I was helping with my niece. (They have always raised her.) I picked her up every day from daycare, and watched her on the weekends. I also bought all my own food, and paid for everything I wanted. Had I not helped so much with my niece, I would have paid rent. They didn't require me to pay rent, because I saved them a ton of money watching my niece. I also worked full time and went to school. Had I not been in school, I would have lived on my own.

My parent's rule was this: You are either in school and paying for your own gas and everything else, or you are working and paying them rent. I think it's a smart rule. I mean, why would your kids move out? They have no time frame, or have to put much toward their living expenses. I think you need to come up with expectations. That could be rent, chore chart they do and check-off, finishing school, working more, whatever you decided it is. If they don't agree to do those things, then they can choose to live elsewhere. What could they do for YOU to make your life easier? That's what they need to do. If not, they sound fully capable of living on their own.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Well, my 21 yr old SS is talking about a gap year between undergrad and grad and living here. We have made it clear that rent will be expected and that this is not a party house. It is a family home in which is baby sister will still live FT (though we expect SD to be in college). I will go through the roof if he acts like he did last summer. When he lost his job (not his fault), he turned into lazy 15 yr old boy. Or maybe 16 b/c he had a car. Had it been more than a month I think I would have had a coronary. He was totally aghast when DH told him he'd pay rent to live here. SS will be 22 by then. WELL old enough to pull his weight - including helping with the groceries and the house and and all that....or finding somewhere he can live like a slob. If he wants to live in the family home, he has to be accountable. I don't care that he goes out, but his GF cannot stay overnight here. He must indicate if he'll be here for dinner and not call up and say, "What's for dinner?" before he decides if a trip home is "worthy" or not. Etc. DH thinks I'm overreacting, but I had to deal with him more than DH did and frankly I think SS is an overgrown boy when he thinks he can get away with it.

I moved out when I graduated college, though honestly I'd lived near campus the summer prior and was mostly out the door before then. My sister moved off campus sometime during college and that was "moved out" as far as we were concerned.

I would sit down with each of them and lay it out. If you want to live here, this is what I need from you. If the one babysits, maybe make it a real job - get him up in the AM. Walk him to school. Pick him up after. Watch him these nights as needed.

I think you need to consider even going so far as a contract/lease with each and if they are in violation, then they don't get to stay.

It's tough love. But if they can't abide by your rules and respect your home, then things need to change. I would make it clear that if they are family, they participate as family (HUGE peeve of mine that my sks bow out much more than I will ever let DD do) or they don't get treated like family.

And since they are your sks, where is DH in all this? Is he enabling them?

If you want them out, you need to make it happen. Take steps to make it an uncomfortable nest and give them a deadline, be it six months from now or a year from now. And hold to it. Make it something firm on the calendar and not "when I get my braces off/graduate/pigs fly".

I also agree that $150/month for everything is very low. Sit down with the bills and make it a realistic contribution, especially if he does no chores. And they're well over 18. Focus on the younger kids at birthdays and Christmas. In our home we get stuff for the "big kids" but they no longer get gifts from Grandma or aunts and uncles.

But that goes back to, where is DH? Why isn't he making his kids grow up?

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lynchburg on

Hi V.-

I guess a few things stood out to me from your post...one is that you cannot be significantly older than your oldest step child (as per graduation in 1996).

Also, you came into their lives at a very difficult ages/stages (assuming you were there prior to the birth of 'your' five year old...)

Also...these are your husband's biological kiddos...and I have to wonder what 'his' expectations for 'his' kiddos might be?

I have 7 kiddos...One completely out of the home (college graduate...in army)...next three in college...and home for breaks...and 3 still in HS.

I would NOT put any of them 'out' of the home...if they were here full time. I would have similar expectations that I have for those still here...specific chores...a sense of 'contributing' for the 'family good'...etc.

If any were living here having completed school (and in this economy there MAY be)...I would expect chores as usual...and a $$ contribution toward the running of the household...WHICH *I* would set aside in a savings account to help them with a 'nest egg' for when they are able to venture out on their own.

I want 'their home' to always remain a safe place for them to be (or 'fall' if that is the case.)

Just a few of my thoughts...
Best Luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Once I went to college, I lived at college more than at home, but still came home during the summers. Once I had gotten my veterinary degree, I got my first job and it was out of state, so I was out of there! It wasn't until I was 24, but then again, it typically takes 7 to 8 years! There never really was a question about it - you finish school, you get job, you figure out how to budget based on your salary, live on your own, and pay your own way.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The "rule" in our home post high school was: part time job, full time college (18+ units per semester), B or higher GPA, live at home until graduation + 6 months. For this, they could live at home and we would pay for their schooling and books. The PT job was to cover vehicle expenses and their personal entertainment, etc. My oldest two sons didn't choose college, but school of hard knocks and left home as soon as they graduated HS (now in their late 30's and making 6 figure incomes and doing well). Our youngest milked the process, refused to show me report cards or give me his school schedule. He did work and when it became obvious he had extended his work hours to what appeared to be full time with hardly any time spent at school we pulled the plug and changed the rules. Rent was to be paid $150 per month, no staying out past midnight on week nights (we had to get up early for work & I'm a light sleeper). Our intent was to put the "rent" money in savings, then give it back to offset apartment deposit, etc. This went on for about a year with son frequently "forgetting" to pay rent, refusing to clean his room & bathroom weekly and so on. About then Oprah had a show where experts talked about how to get your grown children out of the roost. I put some of the suggestions to use.
1. family meeting where we gave our son a contract spelling out our terms for his continued residency at home
2. move out date - we gave him a week to determine his move out date (we had this meeting in February-March and he chose December 31)
3. rent - due on the 1st of each and every month
4. consequences - for every day rent was late his move out date moved up 1 week.
Our son found a roommate and moved out in mid September, however, because he had missed timely rent a lot, his move out date had become mid-October. He was furious with us and claimed we didn't love him and I told him it was because we loved him that he needed to be on his own (he was 25-26 at the time). We helped him pack & move and gave him the rent money he had paid us to get him started. Within 6 months he came home to visit and told us he wished we'd taken the stand earlier. He LOVED being on his own. BTW, he's 34 now and holding his own.
My boys all know they can come "home" for 6-12 months if life throws a curve ball and they need help, however our bedrooms have all be re-purposed (home office, work out room, music/entertainment room, sewing/craft room) and conditions won't be as comfy as when they were young.
We don't do our children any favors by allowing them to linger with no responsibilities, yet just because the government has declared 18 to be "legal" age of adulthood, doesn't mean they're ready. There was a time when 21 was the legal age (as in my day). Each child is different, as is each family. Do what is best for you and your family. Our job is to prepare them for independence, and give a nudge if necessary.
Good Luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

Tell the two older ones they need to go find someone who needs a roommate in an apartment.

Once they are the older ones' ages, skimp on the birthday and Christmas gifts. Really, V., the little bit they are giving you is nothing.

Your son, for sure, needs to move out. No girl in her right mind wants to date a mama's boy. And he needs to learn to be a man by not living at home. I've told my older son that he may NOT come home and live with me. He HAS to learn to be a man. There is nothing like HAVING to pay bills to get a young man to get and keep a job. It's good that you aren't paying for anything for them but food. But you need to tell them to move out. Let that be their Christmas gift - first month's rent after the beginning of the year.

Good luck,

5 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

feelin' your pain. My older son is 24 & .....

He barely made it thru H.S. He took one year off to work, found his hip could not support him (battled a degenerative hip disease from age 6 on), & then tried one semester of college. He could not walk the campus & couldn't sit thru class.

Took another year off to try working again....but drank/smoke/gamed most of the time. We did a family intervention & got him back on track with his surgeon. The dr fast-tracked him, everything was in place....& then the sr surgeon stepped in & put on the brakes. Another year of waiting for surgery, another year of barely working....& more drinking/smoking/gaming. I was sick of it. But I also knew as slow as we were moving....we were moving forward.

Hip replacement was one year ago. He's doing great. Not totally without pain, & we know this replacement will only last about 15 years. He is registered to return to college next year.....& I can't wait!

When he moved out btwn H.S. & surgery, I rejoiced! I turned his room into a guest/craft room....& went to town with it. Loved having the room to craft. He was a little offended, but ....oh, well.

When he moved back in for surgery, I gave him the larger of the two guest rooms...complete with bathroom.

Thru it all, we have either fully-supported him or supplemented his small income. It's been a long, hard haul.....but we did also take him thru his 1st hip replacement which was a life goal for me. I know that thru his college years we will be supporting/supplementing him. I just hope he places well after college.....:)

I don't have much help for you. Today's world is very different. Not only are many adults staying at home, but many/many are returning after college. The job market is that bad. My only recommendation is to have a whole family conference & share with them how you feel. Make a game plan.....but, please don't kick them out. I would, though, make it very clear what your expectations are.....& what the consequences will be. Hope this helps....

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I love my boys, but long before they're 18 they will know that after high school they can go to college (move there), go in the military, travel the globe or get a job and a crappy apartment with roommates, but they are going somewhere! I don't understand the new idea so many kids have where they stay at "home" for years into adulthood. After 18 they need to get out and start living their lives, making all their own decisions, dealing with the fallout and growing up. My sons will know that we're always here for them, but only in the direst of situations can they move back. Don't feel bad though, from what I see everywhere, you're certainly not alone!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I moved out at 19 because what I wanted conflicted with what my parents wanted. Friction is a good way to slingshot kids out of the nest. Make it too comfy and there is no reason for them to leave.

My parents didn't treat me like an adult when I was living under their roof. "Their roof, their rules" was the mantra chanted through the halls. They wanted to know where I was and what I was doing and who I was doing it with. Every. Second. If I wanted to stay up late and read, dad would wake up to pee at 1am and come in and flick my light off telling me to go to bed. I had a boyfriend they didn't 100% approve of so we weren't left alone. Ever. I had a sister that was three years younger than me and we fought like we were being paid to. My mother doesn't belive in knocking and barges in to clean whenever she pleases, moving my things about willy nilly. (She also will pick a bathroom lock if you're in there taking a dump if she needs the nail clippers rather than wait.) In addition to all that, my father didn't like closed doors and after I closed mine in his face one too many times, he ripped the door from the hinges and threw it down the stairs. I lived without a bedroom door for a full year before I'd gotten fed up with the whole shebang and moved out.

If you want to get rid of your adult children. Treat them like kids and off they'll fly. By hook or by crook, they'll figure a way out.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

You need to stand up for your rights. Give a drop dead date to get out. The 4 year AA woman needs more responsibility. She can fine friends to live with until she earns enough to be on her own. I'm 8 years older than my step daughter and had to kick her out (kicking and screaming) when she was 23. I had my husband tell her she is worth more than $8 and needs to ask her work for a raise (she wanted to live on my couch since my new born was going to get the room she was using). Somehow she ended up with $15 an hour after we helped her write a letter. She is a hard worker, but is willing to accept the minimum since 'daddy' will take care of her. It is great now because I do not need to hear her complaining about our house and she can come over and complain about other relatives (women need to complain about something). I really do not think 2 grown women are supposed to live together. I do not see how you are surviving. Can you start a remodel? Remove bedroom doors and let the adults know they need to get their stuff out so you can have your art room, office, and workout room? (okay that is a fantasy, but I have heard about other families removing doors). Your husband needs to be on the same page. Tell him what you want/need and he needs to have his adult children move out. Set the rules now, because you will need them for your 5 year old. Do you want her turning 25 saying her almost 50 year old sister got to stay there and do nothing (4 years at a community college is a joke, only working parents can get away with that) why can't she?

My point is, it is funny what they can do for themselves when you stand up for yourself. My 18 year old niece has been on her own (goes to Jr. college and works) my sister is a dead beat, so she is forced to survive and find roommates for an apartment. Parents today give the kids too much.

I was 17 during the 90's and move to a different state to go to college (my parent were wealthy, yet i still lived in a dorm the first year before finding 3 roommates). I would come home for break and by my 3rd year (age 19) would live there year round. I did not want to be a 'loser' and live with my parents. It seems like so many are doing it today that they do not need to worry about the bad reputation.

I do not have advice about the family holidays. Are your adult step kids expected to go to your family events? I am guessing you met them when they were older and maybe they have not bonded with your side? Do they have a mom? Is she able to relieve some of the burden? Also, you do not need to save your money for Christmas/birthday presents for adults. Not sure what you give them, but if it is $100, spend $50 instead.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We were never told "18 and out," but we did have rules. I lived at home through college and my first real job experience. I was 25 when I finally moved out.

My mom's rules were:
1) You had to be in school. If you decided not to attend college, you had to pay rent.
2) Rent would be waived if you had a job and were contributing to the household (ie: groceries, paying utility bills, etc).
3) Regardless of age, we had to keep our stuff to ourselves and the chores divided up between us and done on schedule.

And we know that even today (I'm 34, married with 2 kids) if something were to happen, we'd be welcomed back at home. For me, that will hopefully never happen again! My sister and her 3 kids are currently living with my mom and stepdad while she goes through school to get her degree.

As for clothing, cell phones, and extras like that, we had to buy all of that when we were in high school if we had a job. I didn't have a cell phone until I was a year out of college!!! (of course, I graduated 12 years ago; completely different times now)

I think you need to decide what YOUR boundaries are, then have a sit-down with all of your kids, either individually or as a whole to present a united family front. Same rules for everyone, ya know? At this age, if they don't like your rules, then they can figure out how to live on their own. It's a fine line we walk as parents: teaching responsibility vs being too harsh. But if my parents did ANYTHING right, it was teaching us responsibility and preparing us for a successful life when we got out on our own. No more enabling!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

I SORT OF moved out when I was 18. I went to college in a town an hour and a half away. I came home for summers. Other than summers, I was out. I worked part-time during school to help myself with odds and ends, and I worked during the summers back home. I would tell the oldest two to find a cheap apartment and live together. It wouldn't be any different from living at home (each has own bedroom) except they have to pay for their own food, etc. My brother is going to college really close to home (10 min from my parents' house), but he is working and lives in his own apartment. I think they need to get out and have their own place. Heck, I can't believe they haven't been ITCHING to get out. Most kids are!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

Have your husband be the bad guy. That was what worked for my parents when I moved home after college.
I didn't like the rules either. I thought we would essentially be living like roommates but it became clear that in my parents' minds, it was basically like I was a teenager again eating dinner with them every night, helping them clean every Sunday morning, no overnights with boyfriends, etc. etc.
My mom let things slide, but my dad would scream and holler any time I didn't follow the rules, or even if I just complained. He made things so uncomfortable for me I didn't even last a year.
My whole life turned around as soon as I got an apt. with a roommate - I made lots of friends my same age in my profession, I learned the value of money, I had pride in my paycheck and possessions, I even met the man who would end up being my husband, in the apartment complex.
I now have a great relationship with my dad.
It's your house so you need to start enforcing your standards.
If you really come down on them, they will probably leave to find better living conditions elsewhere. And yes, it is harder/more expensive nowadays, but I should add, I had many young coworkers at my first professional job who not only had roommates, but worked *second jobs* as well to afford being out on their own. It is doable if you want it bad enough.
Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Cruces on

Just to add some perspective... I am a 20-something (fully "flown" from the nest), but even in a competitive grad school program, questions of living with parents vs. not crop up. And I teach undergrads--many of whom are waiting longer than was previously normal before moving out. Many who moved out just after high school are moving back in--and the trend is not likely to disappear anytime soon. The NY Times featured an interesting article that sparked even more interest about the changing expectations 20-somethings have.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I was married and out of the house at 18. Much to my mom's distress, and she was right – I married a man just as controlling as she was. But I would have moved out anyway, since I had been working and gaining job skills since my junior year in HS. At age 25, I did move home again briefly after a trip abroad while job and apartment hunting. I think I was living at home for about 2-3 months by the time details were worked out, but I was also paying rent and helping with housework and cooking.

My daughter (now 40) moved into a college dorm, then an apartment, when she started college. She was responsible for 1/3 of her tuition, so she was a working student. Her dad and I (divorced) each paid 1/3. But I think the employment picture was much easier then than now.

Right now the job market is downright frightening, and I know a number of intelligent, eager post-graduates who have, very reluctantly, had to move back in with parents after their employers downsized, or they simply haven't been able to find anything more than part-time work since graduating with huge student loans to pay off. Not at all what they expected. Several of the 20-somethings I know have moved into a group house, all sharing rent, and cobbled together tenuous strings of part-time jobs to make ends meet.

I think that I would set a deadline that seems realistic to you. Perhaps, if you want to be a little more lenient, tell them they can stay if they pay you $______ for rent and meals, AND agree to do certain jobs. If it turns out that they do start earnest job-hunting and simply cannot get hired, then you might want to redraw your deadlines. But I don't think it would hurt to give them a date at which you expect the situation to change. It sounds to me like you're being a bit too generous, and they are taking a bit too much advantage of you.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Here are some (not so encouraging) stats--sorry! :(
That empty nest feeling is coming later in life for many U.S. parents as more 'kids' opt to continue living at home during their 20's and early 30's according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The recession has been a factor in when the kids move out says Rose Kreider, a family demographer with the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. According to the recent report, America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2011, 19 percent of young men age 25 to 34 are living at home with their parents and 10 percent of young woman remain with mom and dad.
For younger adults, age 18 to 24, almost 60 percent of males and 50 percent of females lived in their parents homes.

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/313840#ixzz1dAzur5om

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

At 19, I was out of my mother's house (I am 44). I worked fulltime (we were expected to support ourselves at 18 or graduated HS, whichever came first) and once I was on my own, I also went to college at night.
My oldest is 16. We expect that in two years, she'll be going away to college. She will need to work summers during that time to earn her own spending and clothing money. When she is home an vacations, she will not need to pay to live here, we'll continue to pay her health insurance and cellphone while she is a f/t college student. After college, I don't expect her to return to live her. She will go on to grad school, which typically means that she will need to take out a year round lease on an apartment or a house share and after she graduates, I expect her to be working and maintaining her own apartment. If she can't afford to live on her own after graduation, if she lives here, she will be doing so as another adult member of the household.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If my math is correct, you are what, 11 years older than your oldest? My dad is 12 years older than my mom - sheesh lady, you took on a lot of responsibility YOUNG! Kick 'em out...yep, the economy sucks - FOR PEOPLE WHO OWN HOUSES....I see plenty of jobs available for people without lifestyles of the rich and famous. You sound like a very nice mother who is willing to be put in the role of caretaker. Time to change that one!

The two oldest should get a 90 day notice. Then change the locks. Or move - into a smaller house.

If I was just starting out, it would be SO easy - rents are down, but minimum wage hasn't changed...what? You can't survive without a roommate? Neither could I! You have to budget? Oh dear - that's called living in the real world and being an adult.

It's time to to stop allowing them (the two oldest primarily) to decide what rules they follow. If you're going to live here, this is what you will do. If they are in school- great. They should qualify for financial aid...if not, perhaps they need to change schools to a more affordable alternative.

Call the orthodontist and make an appointment to have your son's braces removed...who's paying for the braces? If you are, then by golly, shouldn't you be allowed to ask and find out when they are coming off? In the meantime, living on his own is a good opportunity for growth. And by the way, this Christmas and birthday, they get a set a pots and pans and some books on finding meaningful employment and what to look for in a mate, stuff like that - no new skis or fancy clothes...OH NO, they get stuff to help them get the heck out and things that are completely useless in your house. Seriously, I'd tell them Feburary 1 they need to be out because you're turning their room into a pool room, scrapbooking room, den, playroom for your son....whatever you think sounds good.

I assume your husband has your back - if not, you have an uphill battle to fight...perhaps on 2/1 you and your young son move out and let the rest of them fend for themselves...that's another solution. ;-)

Good luck...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I moved out at 17... in 1996/97 (joined the military)

My closest sister stayed home for 3 years of community college (working part time - school sometimes full time, sometimes part time), then transferred to a 4 year school and lived in the dorms. My parents paid

My closest brother was given the option (as was my sister) to either do community college for 2, then dorms and university for 2 OR stay at home for all 4 years of school, and get a car (since dorms for 2 years cost $15,000-$20,000... it was dorms or car). He chose the car.

My other siblings split in various ways; 2 at home 2 in dorms, or 4 at home and car

((My dad was still military when I graduated HS at 17, there was NO money for school/dorms/cars when I came of age. No hard feelings, it was just what "was".))

One of my sisters has moved back home with my parents twice (after graduation for 1.5 years... until I found her an apt, and walked her through the how to find a job - she's not an independent type.... and now she's back again for 2 more years and counting. She's really not very independent.))

My baby brother just graduated from college last year (another one who did the stay at home + car option). He got an apartment 3 paychecks into his new job. He stayed local for a year, and is now working in the EU.

My parents never charged us anything for rent, and we're all allowed to come home as needed / desired BUT rules are really clear. After highschool you can go to college and stay home, go to college and live in the dorms, or stay home for a couple paychecks (and get a cosign on one lease). I've been the only one to sign up. That's not really an option my parents present. In fact, they're dead set against it (although my dad had over 35 years in), and I had to pull some serious manipulation to get them to sign on the line letting me go in a year before I was 18.

For those living at home; there is only one rule : Common Courtesy. You can come and go as you please, when you please, as long as you aren't waking people. Only those who say by 3pm that they will be home for dinner get fed (my mum shops at 3pm), anyone else is on their own. You clean up your own messes. You help out when asked.

For our family, clear expectations work. I'm the only one who ever bucked the system, and I did it by moving.

PART of what helped the system is that my parents moved when they were down to two kids. It's still "home" but it's not HOME / proprietary. My room is looooooong gone. When I came home to visit, I didn't get my old room... only 2 of my sibs "have" a room there. My glomming sister, bless her heart, won't stay in the guest room, but apropriated my baby brother's room... and it will take grad school to pry her out of it. She doesn't do change very well. She's run out of gas because "her" gas station was 5 miles away, and she didn't want to stop at the trillion other stations between running on fumes and running out. She's that type. She needs her hand held. The rest of us... we're out and about.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Our house rules, known and broadcast since they were all little: part-time job after 16 if you wanted any extras (music, concerts, expensive clothing), after high school graduation, college as a fulltime student. If you choose to attend locally (and why not, there are so many good schools in our area), then we will pay tuition OR books, you can keep your room, we'll pay your car insurance (only standard costs --- any increase due to reckless driving record was their's). Living at home meant taking care of their space and cleaning up after themselves, and helping with household chores. If they wanted to attend school elsewhere, they had to finance it on their own. If college wasn't your thing but you wanted to stay at home, then you paid rent. If you didn't want to drive the extra family car, you had to buy your own. The two who went to school were happy, the one who didn't couldn't see paying rent for "her room" and moved out, learned a few hard lessons, and is now on her own with her own little family. As always, with kids of all ages, you have to say what you mean and mean what you say.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

We must have had the same parents, because in my house growing up we were also told "18 and you're out." My mom went further and let us know that she would not be paying for college or any big weddings. Suffice to say, none of us went to college and we all got married at justice of the peace! But it didn't hurt us! These days it's really unreasonable to have that same attitude. When I was 18, you could get a minimum wage job and afford rent. Not anymore. Poor kids coming out of school do not earn near enough to rent a home at today's prices. More and more you see older and older kids still living at home. I am glad that mine are already moved out so I don't have to deal with this issue. Now the goal is to keep them out. They've all come back once or twice, but thankfully didn't stay long. Like you, I love my children but I don't want to live with them! I do think I would make the oldest pay rent even if she does babysit. You might find that that 4 year degree she's working on will turn into grad school if you continue to let her live with you rent-free. Have you ever heard the phrase "professional student." Also, right now there's no reason to get those higher degrees and incur all that student loan debt because there are no jobs anyway.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My husbands parents increased the rent every month or every three months for the children that were working starting at $50 a month, increasing by $50 every month. Those that were full time students had to be full time - I think that was 18 credits or 6 classes, if they weren't full time they had to pay some rent, meaning having a part time job. you could also start cutting back on the food you keep in the house, go out to eat with your little one often, and buy things for your dinner the day of. Your children need a sense of responsibility, if they aren't pulling their weight around the house you need to put your foot down!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When a child moves out depends on the circumstances. Sounds like you're just waiting until it happens. I suggest sitting down as a family and planning goals. It seems reasonable to live at home while going to college but you can set a time limit for it. You can require your children to plan for leaving home. Plans should include a moving date as well as preparation for taking care of ones self.

While they're living at home you can have rules that they have to follow. Again sit down in a family meeting and decide what those rules will be. First, you figure out where you want your boundaries and then work with the children to come up with a consensus.

Everyone should have chores. And those who are working should pay for their clothes, cell phones etc. even tho they're still living at home. Unless they are saving up for moving out or paying college expenses.

My mother's philosophy was that she had to make living at home not so much fun. If it's too easy, why would we want to move? We were responsible for our own laundry, cooking some of the meals, doing clean up, washing dishes, vacuuming, etc. What was expected of us is that we lived as much as possible as tho we were living on our own even tho we were still at home.

It is your responsibility to see that your children are prepared for living on their own. Everything you do should be working towards that moment. Your children should know that you plan to have them gone and that you will be helping them to have the ability to take care of themselves. Set goals. Enforce rules.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

So I would say....get all the kids 18 and up together for a meeting. Say here are the rules....list them out. Tell them follow the rules or move out. I would also have each and every one of them come up with a "move out plan/schedule"....tell them what your expectations are and then have them comply.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I was 17 when I moved out. Moved back home when I was 23 to take care of my grieving mom b/c my dad just died. Got married and moved out for good 10 months later.

Give your kids chores and make them pay rent and food. The one daughter is going to a 2 yr school, but it's been 4 years... that's because she is only going part time and living the fun life of zero responsibility. Or b/c she keeps failing/dropping classes and has to keep retaking them. She needs to pay rent regardless if she babysits and does chores. She's being dishonest to you somehow about being a full time student. Your son can join the military with braces.

I suggest you watch some of Dr. Phil's episodes about adult mooching children. He says you need to sit down with your kids, come up with a gameplan and a timetable for when they need to be out.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Accounting......what does/would it take to make your house work?

Your grown children are MOOCHERS! Someone MUST take CHARGE! Who will it be?

Give them a two week warning and then STUFF on the porch.....Get some animal carriers....(because your grown children's stupidity and/or God forbid if any of those fools have brought baby's into this world)......If the INgrates, chose to leave without their animals....you and your partner are all for the BETTER.....LOSE those LOOSERs,until they ALL realise how WONDERFUL you and your partner ARE!

PLUS.....Take good care of the critters...NOT their fault that their human parents haven't got a grip....YET


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'd guess the answer varies widely... Traditionally, "kids" probably moved out when they went away to college or started a career. However, in some places the cost of living is so high that many "kids" move back in with their parents after graduating college. This is compounded with the current state of the economy, as many college grads struggle to find jobs. Many of my friends from college moved back home for a period of time after graduation to look for jobs, apply to grad schools, or just figure out their next step. I moved out when I went away to college at age 18, but still lived at home during "in-between" times (winter break, summers, between college and grad school, etc). However, even after getting married and starting a good job, my husband (who also had a good job) and I moved in with his parents for 9 months to save for a down payment on a house. We are very grateful for their help, as we were able to buy a house of our own much sooner by saving that money that would otherwise have been spent on rent.

I don't know if that helps at all, and I'm probably not qualified to offer advice on the subject, but.... One thing that sticks out in my head is that whenever I lived at home, it was always a temporary arrangement in my mind - it was just to help me to get to the next stepping stone on the path to independence. If that isn't the case for your "kids", perhaps you could encourage them to define their path? Maybe making progress toward independence is more important than age? It will take some people longer than others to find their way, and they may move out for periods of time and later want to return. But do make it clear that your house means your rules.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

I was 16 when I moved out of my parents house... my brother was 18, other brother was 19.

My husband didn't move out of his parents house until he was 26 (snicker).

I think the norm would be, after high school, go to college, eventually move into a college dorm, then get your own place after graduation... but for those who don't go to college or take a year or two off school, I could see where they would be home longer.

It really bugs me that a lot of kids now don't get jobs as soon as they're able. Here in VA, you can get a work permit at 15... why a kid wouldn't want a job and their own money is beyond me!! My parents would sign my work permit, so the second I turned 16, I went out and got a job I could walk to from school.

I think kids are kind of spoiled and comfortable now, and parents aren't teaching them the value of a dollar (their OWN dollars), and responsibility. I might not have a lot of money, but it's my own money, you know? Just makes sense to me, and I hope to teach my kids the same mind set.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bellingham on

I was out at 19. You should require your adult children to pay rent and board. $150 per month does not seem enough to ask for. My parents started charging me $120 per week when I was working. That got me out quick smart!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

In general the law considers 18 the age of adulthood. At 18 they can enter into legal and binding contracts. At 18 you are no longer to legally provide for them so if you decided to throw them out the nest by changing the locks, the law would be on your side.

All of the kids over 18 except for one that is still in highschool are out of the house. We have a 23, 22, 20, and 19 year old. The 23 and 22 year old share an apartment together. The 20 year old shares a place with friends and babysits overnight for a woman that works nights. The 19 year old moved in with other relatives but is working.

The deal is you set the standard in your house. Everyone in my house works around the house doing the different chores that are needed for clean and wonderful living. We have 3, 18 and under and they know when that one month after graduation they will be responsible for their own phones. The also know what we expect of them for life and living as an adult.

You must set a clear standard. Set dates, consequences, goals and follow through with what you say. I call it encouraging our kids towards independence. On the flip side, I didn't move out until I was 43. I did move but when I did I took my mother with me everywhere I moved. She needed the financial help. I purchased my first home at the age of 29 and she lived with me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm 30. After college, I lived in a dorm for a year, came back and stayed at my mom's house for another two semesters and then moved out to be on my own right after I turned 20. All my closest friends were out after they graduated high school (18-19ish). They used the money they earned during the summer and then had part-time jobs while in college to pay for living expenses (parents helped with tuition)...

On my husband's 18th birthday, his mom charged him rent. $100 dollars a week (mind you, her mortgage was only $650 a month). We got a place together when we were 21(married very shortly after that), that's when he moved out. ...now we have four kids!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I moved out when I was 18, so did my kids... mine had to join the military tho in order to get a good enough education to land decent jobs.
This economy is crazy, if you are only a high school graduate there isnt a job out there that would afford rent, car and food. I'm guessing lots of parents are feeling the "new norm" of kids not being able to leave the nest until the early 20's and finally prepared. The ones that linger at home and not working towards a career will probably stay home forever unless they marry well?
I think that would be one reason why for parents with young children today should probably save for college funding to help their kids launch.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

To me it's 18 because that's adulthood. I left home at 17 because I couldn't wait to start life, get roommates, get to school, etc. I was working all through high school preparing to take flight.

I plan on giving my kids the boot at 18-with lots of notice and prep. If they have some extenuating circumstance, like they got full scholarships to medical school and need to stay a bit longer to stay on plan..OK....but we don't live near any medical schools :)

I don't think you can just spring it on them right away. Age doesn't matter so much as helping them get out there and be adults when it's doable. Pulling the rug out so to speak. In your case, I would work it out with each one for their deadline. If they like it there well enough, they're not going to "up and move out" suddenly of their own volition. It's very hard to get out and earn enough to pay for all your own bills. That's what they need to tackle.

And honestly, after 18, (early teens when I was a kid) their birthdays and Christmases don't need to be costing you anything significant.....sounds like you're helping them stick around ;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Considering the circumstances (long college stay and no college w/o plans - small rent doesn't matter here IMO) the 21 and 22 need to find their own places to live.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I don't think there is an age now days for kids to leave home. The economy has a lot to do with it but they can still go out and find something.

Have a family meeting with all and explain the new house rules. Put a date to the leaving home for Air Force/braces say 6 months. For the student with AA goal give her a date to finish. The part time worker give him a time to leave. Whatever you do stick to it. As far as all the other animals in the house the would have to go since they are not being cared for. This is your home and if they don't like the rules as you say there is the front door.

Get your husband on board with what you plan. Show a united front to these young adults.

As far as all the big money on birthdays cut back on the older ones. They know what the holidays are about and they can deal with it. Birthdays are just another day and there is no need to go over board to celebrate it. The little one yes the others no. My birthday is close to Christmas and I either got a big gift for Christmas or a big one for my birthday and a smaller gift for the other. If you feel you have to give gifts set a limit and stick to it. Should one complain about the gift tell him/her that the money amount is the same just the gift is different.

Everyone need to pay rent to help with the household expenses. You have to pay them when you have an apartment so why not start at home? Make it more than $150 as that may only cover the electric bill.

Good luck and keep us posted.

The other S.

PS I have a cousin whose adult children came home for a bit after they lost their lucritive jobs. Son got a job and daughter I think finally has something after four years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I moved out when I was 17...went off to college seven hour drive away from home.

I would usually go home for Christmas break and about 4 to 6 weeks during the summer.

Other than that I studied and worked on my own all the way through graduate school. By then I was married and we lived independently from family even tough we were both still in school.

So...17 was when I moved out...other than visits.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

I can't tell you what the average or norm is....I cna tell you what myself and my brother did, and I expect the same from my kids once they get to be that old. After graduating highschool, we both went on to 4-year universities (both over an hour's drive away from home), we got jobs, scholarships, grants, and loans, as well as our parents paying some amount, too. We each lived in the dorms, but kept a room at home, for school breaks and vacation, weekend visits, occassionally, we came home for all holidays and family occassions that we could reasonably make it to.

After we graduated with our bachelor's degrees ( me in 2000, brother in 2006), I went on to "officially" move out ( took my bedroom furniture and everything) and get a full time job, that summer - I lived in the same city I went to college in, paid my own rent, utilities, and college loan payments. My parents did still pay my car insurance at the time, since it was cheaper to have it on their policy jointly. My brother immediately went on to grad school at the same college he'd done undergrad at - a free ride, and had a paying job to pay his rent, 2 years later, he graduated with his Master's degree. Then he went on and moved halfway across the country to get his PHD at Virginia Tech - the education is paid for, by his working at the school and doing research there, he pays his own rent and utilities with roomates.

I expect my own children, when we come to that point, to graduate High school, and then DO something more....not just sit around loafing. Either they go to college, paying as much as they can themselves ( with shcolarships, grants, loans, jobs) and maybe a little assistance from us, or they get a job and contribute to the family expenses if they stay living at home, or they get a job and move out and do it on their own.

I believe it is harder for kids to go it alone now, as the jobs are lower-paying and fewer available, but the costs of living haven't gone down at all. BUT there should be some type of system in place in your house and for who does which chores and they should have to chip in to utilities, food and rent, just like a "roomate situation" once they are out of High School, if they are going to continue living there, in my opinion.

Good Luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions