Empty nest?????

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/07/2011 ( 36 moms have responded )

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Ok, so what is a good age for a child to move out? 18 and off to college? College in town and live with parents until out of college and has a career at 24? Until he or she is ready to get married? I know all cultures are different but is there a point where they are not living there own lives? When do you say enough and tell them it is time?

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Krista - posted on 01/07/2011

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It really depends on the circumstances, I suppose. College in town and living with me is not really an option, as there are no colleges nearby.

I think it is good for young people to live on their own for awhile before they settle down. And by "on their own", I mean ALONE. No roommates. I think it really helps a person become comfortable in her own company. Personally I LOVED living alone. It was great, to be able to figure out what I wanted, what I liked, and to really develop my independence.

So as a general rule, I'm not a fan of the idea of living at home until you get married and move in with your spouse -- I think it's a big missed opportunity. That being said, if the child is going through difficult times and needs to move back home for awhile, that's fine, as long as they do their share of the housework and contribute to the household expenses as best as they can.

Barb - posted on 01/08/2011

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Julianne, grieving the end of Jr's childhood myself, i want to encourage you to enjoy every second of your children's childhood, the good and the bad, because when they grow up and move away, even the bad is going to make you chuckle.

I just want to clarify, don't give up on your dream. Mary (My Psych friend) went back to school, i believe when her youngest was either a sophomore or junior in high school. Her going to back to school and studying along with her daughter encouraged the daughter, almost challenged her, to study hard as well. (if mom can do it at 40, i should be able to do it at 16)

Maybe i'm giving this peptalk to myself, LOL..
Life doesn't end when the kids' life begins. It's just this transition, this unknown. So much of your life before has revolved around what the child is doing and now he's moved on. Granted, for some it won't be this sudden. (Jr went off to bootcamp, so communication has been one letter from him so far. I've sent 14, he's been gone 32 days)

But really, everything seems to be in a limbo, transitional state where you are just not used to making plans without him.. Like, in the summer we go fishing in Minnesota. Will he get leave so he can go with us or do we just make our plans to go without him?

Go without him? That's almost crazy talk and sounds like treason.

Mary had it right, she had school to keep her busy. I need to find a grant.

It isn't like this for all parents. My parents shipped me off to boarding school when i was 14. I haven't lived in a home with my parents since then. I have no doubt that my parents never went through what i'm going through with missing Jr. They didn't want me around, I wanted him around. That's the big difference.

Isn't that how it goes though? when we want our kids to stay, they want to go, and when we want them to go, they want to stay?

Barb - posted on 01/07/2011

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Julianne, I just had a friend become a Psychiatrist at the age of 55. You aren't dead, no need to stop trying to be what you want to be.

[deleted account]

I wish i had the support of my mom when i was younger. I was 12 and wanted to get some nice things for myself like winter boots and a jacket, since my mom was a bitch and didnt support me. I got a job, then she started taking all my money because i had to pay "rent." It would have been different if she actually bought me something. She took the money for the other children who were more important than i was. I worked my ass off for nothing. Then when i was 16 i stopped giving her money because i was tired of having nothing and working constantly. So she kicked me out. I got an apartment but needed to drop out of school so i could support myself. Working full time and going to school full time sure puts a strain on someone. It pisses me off because i wanted to go to university. I wanted to be a doctor, she ruined that for me with her selfishness.

Johnny - posted on 01/07/2011

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Depends on the circumstances. I left for university when I was 17 and never went back. I was/am still happy about it and my mother still claims it caused her depression. She should have had another kid, probably a boy, whom she could have coddled so he'd never move out if that's the case. Or she could have just treated me like the adult I was when I stayed with them for a month after college. Then I probably wouldn't have run back out the door so fast.

I think it really depends on the circumstances. I want my kids to be strong and independent, but I'm happy to shelter them as long as they are getting an education or working hard to save for a home AND are pulling their weight around the house with cooking, cleaning, and bills. No free lunch. Although, I won't be making "rules" for them. If they are adults, I will treat them as such.

I do have a friend who still lives with his parents. Girls diss him for it. Until they find out that his father was paralyzed in a work place accident and his mother suffers from severe bipolar disorder. He runs the household, pays all the bills, and looks out for everyone. That's a darn good reason to live with the parents and I have to commend him for sacrificing so much for his family.

Of course, most of the guys my age who are still living in their parent's basement are just lazy bums who like mom's cooking and don't want to have to do their own laundry because they are too busy playing video games.

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Sharon - posted on 01/08/2011

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Depending how well they do on grades.... college in town, live in the dorms or at home, home for dinner most of the time. Most bills will be paid by us until they start their career and are underway.

IF they should decide to not start college, they have 4 years to get a career underway and then they need to take their shiftless asses out of my house.

Veronica - posted on 01/08/2011

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My children are too young for me to decide this at the moment; however, I would help them move out. If they want to go to college, then I will help them get setup there, if they want to go to work, then I will help them there. I will encourage them to get their own apartment. When I moved out, i lived with my aunt for a while and worked; then i moved in with my sister in our own apt. for college; was evicted, met my hubby, got right back on my feet - and have been with him since. If i had it to do over again, i would have gotten my OWN place - to have for myself. I didnt like living with my sister at all.
But I learned a lot of responsibility - and although my mom would spot us a little bit of $$ here and there -- we were responsible for getting a job, and paying our own bills, food, etc.
It taught me how to be self-reliant, and that is what i want for my kids as well. I see so many kids who are enabled, where mom and dad do it all for them - that i actually wonder how they really survive - and what happens when mom and dad can no longer support them?
The economy being bad, is an excuse also -- there are so many opportunities, schooling, and jobs - people need to open up their minds, and look! Collect cans for cash, mow lawns, work out a deal with a local business (clean once a week for so much cash) -- find a networking business -- the possibilities are endless - and when people start saying that they CANT then they really CANT --- start saying CAN. Teach your children that they can and they will - and get them out there! They arent the only and lonely who had to scrap for food, and figure out how they are going to pay for heat this month. We all go through it and have gone through it - its called adulthood, and responsibilities.

SO, to conclude -- i have no doubt that i will go through empty nest sadness when my kids leave -- but i certainly want individuals who will take the right risks, have good work ethic, and learn how to survive and thrive in this world.
God will always provide - so what are we really worrying about?

Stifler's - posted on 01/08/2011

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I moved out at 19 to skip town with my boyfriend (now husband and father of my children). My sister moved out at 17 to go to uni. I think if you're over 22 and living at home/not taking steps to move out of home you're too comfortable and need to branch out on your own.

[deleted account]

Thanks for your concern and the "pep talk" barb :)

I do know, that everything in my life that brought me to this point, was suppose to happen the way it did. Being a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me, it changed my life. i have different dreams now. :)

Lacye - posted on 01/07/2011

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The day after I graduated from high school, my dad and step mom kicked me out. I went to live with my grandmother because I had no job, no car and no money. They wanted me to concentrate more on my education than me getting a job and having my own money that I could have been saving for a place of my own. (I think I might sound a little bitter. lol) I will not do that to my child. When Lily gets old enough, I will encourage her to get a job. When she graduates high school, she will get a job and pay me rent. When she is able to, she will get her butt out of my house. I want her to also go to college and work but we will work on that when we get there!

[deleted account]

Yea i know that barb, but the thing is I'm realistic, if i had have finished school, i would have most defiantly got a scholarship. I simply could not afford to put myself through medical school and support my daughter to my full capability right now. Getting a doctorate is hard work, if i focused on that, i would be neglecting my daughter.

Bonnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I had to pay for college myself and my loan wasn't enough to pay for school and fully live off of. I worked part time as well, but that wouldn't have done it either. I was lucky my parents allowed me to continue living at home. Now if only my mother had not been on my case as much as she was, it probably would have been perfect lol.

Meghan - posted on 01/07/2011

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I don't think it is necessarily WANTING to live with your parents. I moved out when I was 17 and had to move back in when I was 22...sometimes life hands you a crappy card. In this economy I don't expect my son will be able to move out and pay for school,a vehicle/expenses, fun etc etc etc- unless things turn around in the next 16 years.

Charlie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I don't understand people wanting to live with their parents past 18 !
Go out , build a life , explore , be safe and have fun !

Barb - posted on 01/07/2011

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I"m going through empty nest horribly right now. I probably shouldn't even post. I'm making up espionage stories about the dork dogs and the stupid cats, even have the fish labeled as subversives. (get it, subs? fish? haha) Yeah, it's that fricken bad!! It sucks big old donkey balls

I didn't want Jr to go. He was a great contributor to the household, helped with household chores, he had a job, but just his general help around here was invaluable to me. That and i just miss him even just sitting around and screaming at friends on his headset "why can't you ever kill the damn zombies?"! I mean really, what am i going to do if we have a zombie attack? rely on spy cat? She likes brains too, she's probably a double agent.

Even saying that though. I can't be so selfish as to want to hold him back. I want him to get out there and live his life. This is just something i have to get over.

The rest of you are right. As long as the child is still moving in a positive direction and being a contributor to the household, there shouldn't be any definitive move out date.

I do have to say though, cutting the umbilical cord was easier than cutting the apron strings.

Isobel - posted on 01/07/2011

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exactly...if they have a nice place...they won't come back HAHAHAHAHA

Isobel - posted on 01/07/2011

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and then when they find a place...I'll give them their rent back to help set it up :)

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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That's it Laura, my plan EXACTLY :) No free rides in this house!! And if that fails.......maybe I could change the locks.

Isobel - posted on 01/07/2011

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My kids will WANT to leave...cause as soon as they are out of school...they'll be paying rent. and nobody wants to pay rent AND live by their parents rules :)

Ez - posted on 01/07/2011

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I moved out at 19 and in my first year of university. It was the biggest financial mistake I have ever made. I wish I had stayed home longer, and for that reason I will encourage my daughter to stay at home whilever she is studying and for a year or so afterwards.

At the same time, getting out so young has been important to my development as a person (much in the way Krista described). So I don't like the idea of Milla living with me until she settles down with a partner. I want her to have roommates, or live on her own and experience the world as a young single woman. I want her to gain confidence in the knowledge she can look after herself and so won't have to rely on either me or a man.

Jodi - posted on 01/07/2011

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I moved out when I was 18 and had my first job - I had no choice because I had to move to the city.

With my children, it depends where we are living at the time. I am not okay with my kids living with me forever, I don't think that teaches them anything. One day they will have a family of their own, and I do believe they need to be able to hold their own. I would say the limit should be within a couple of years after they get their first job at worst. This gives them time to save for their own life. This may be a couple of years after finishing high school, or a couple of years after finishing university or college, depending on what they choose to do. If they decide they want to move out before finishing university, they will have to pay for it themselves, because we can't afford to put them through Uni AND pay for them to live elsewhere.

Kate CP - posted on 01/07/2011

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I moved out when I was 17 with the help of my parents. We weren't getting along and my mom and I just needed space from each other. I moved to an apartment across town and they helped me pay for things and go to school. It worked out great for us. I think each parent really KNOWS when it's time for the fledgling to leave the nest.

Bonnie - posted on 01/07/2011

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I think it depends on the situation. If the child is 24 and just sitting on their ass a lot and not helping out or anything, than yeah, probably a good idea to start changing and move out. But if the child is 24 and has a steady job, helps out around the house, and amongst other things, I don't really have a problem with it. I was 24 (almost 25) when I moved out. I was engaged by that point.

Meghan - posted on 01/07/2011

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Never. "My house" (when I get one lol) isn't just MY house. It is a home and he will always be welcome in his own home. Don't get me wrong, there will be expectations, but my job as a mom doesn't end when he turns a certain age. If he needs me, I am there!

Rosie - posted on 01/07/2011

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i think it's important for the child to move out before they are married. but it doesn't necessarily mean 18. i moved out when i was 18, moved in with my fiance, and went to school fulltime. i was overworked, stressed and ended up dropping out. my relationship also ended and everything was just crazy for a while.
if my children decide to go to college i will try to get them to stay with us, or at least help them out. i didn't get any help and now i regret not finishing my schooling. i dont' want that to happen to my boys.

Tina - posted on 01/07/2011

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I wouldn't make my child move out but if they stay past a certain age (whichever you decide) they must have a job and pay their own bills and help with yours if needed.

[deleted account]

I've never lived alone either (unless you count the week all 3 of my kids were w/ their dad). I like BEING alone, but I hate LIVING alone. It has nothing to do w/ not being comfortable w/ myself, but a dark, empty house at night? No thank you. :)

[deleted account]

I lived at home until I was 20 when I bought my home with my now hubby, however many of my friends at 25/26 have only just moved out of their parents homes.



I think like Krista says it does depend on circumstances - I went to college and university and so stayed at home (until I bought my house in my final year - I couldn't live at home any longer and hubby didn't see the point of renting) because it was convient and free. My friends all stayed at home because they couldn't afford to move out (apart from the 2 who relocated to uni - they lived in student halls).



If my children want to stay at home they can, I will do the same as my parents, if they are in education they don't have to pay board but if they are in a full time job they can pay board, I am not a skivvy!



Krista I do disagree with you slighlty though I don't think you have to live alone to become comfortable in your own company or learn who you are, I have never lived alone and I am very comfortable with who I am.



Edit to add: I think that by mid 20's our children should be thinking of moving out, if not before.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/07/2011

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I have lived alone, and with roomates...I think it is something no one should miss out on. My husband is from a very traditional Mexican home where women (and the occassional man) will not move out until they are in their 30's. This is extreme to me. His brother lived at home until he was I think 31, and one of his cousins is 38 and she is still living with her family. I feel there comes a time for a child to grow wings and fly. Parents are going to restrict your behavior no matter your age. It is also common practice for the grandparents to be a huge part in the way the children are raised...

[deleted account]

I think it is fine to move out anytime after they graduate high-school. I think it is fine to continue to live at home while working on their first college degree, but I'm with others who say after the first degree, they need to move out.

I also very much agree with Krista about living a lone. I never had my own apartment, and now that I'm home during the day and all alone, I wish I had....It was very uncomfortable at first. Now I enjoy my alone time, but I feel like I missed something. Even though I get to BE alone now, it's not the same as LIVING alone and being able to do whatever I want to do with it.

Becky - posted on 01/07/2011

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Well, normally I would say when you're done your post-secondary education - unless you're one of those perma-students who gets like 20 degrees and goes to school for 50 years! But in our current economy, I can see children staying at home for much longer, simply because they can't afford to move out on their own. And I think that is fine, as long as they are not taking advantage of their parents. I will let my boys live at home for as long as they need to, to be able to afford to set up on their own. But, once they are out of school (post-secondary) and working, they will have some financial responsibility, and they will have responsiblilities around the house as well. If they think I'm going to cook, clean up after them and do all their laundry for nothing, they're going to get a hefty dose of reality in a hurry!

[deleted account]

Never.

Nah, not really, but after spending a week w/out my kids I realized I will probably become one of those lonely old ladies w/ massive 'empty nest syndrome' when my kids move out....

I lived w/ my dad until I got married (I was 23, almost 24). I didn't DO anything though and that will NOT be ok w/ me to repeat w/ my kids. IF they are either in college or working and contributing to the household.... I'd 'guess' that I'd be ok w/ it up to early or mid twenties. That's just a guess though since the girls are only 9 right now. There are moments I want them OUT, but many, many more when I realize I will completely miss the chaos when that time really comes.

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