Breaking Free: The Pros and Cons of Young Adults Leaving Home

Jun 14 / Michelle Arseneault
If you're reading this, chances are your teen (or young adult child) is reaching that magical (and somewhat terrifying) age where they're considering taking that monumental step towards adulthood - moving out of the family home.

As a parent, you're probably feeling a whole mix of emotions: pride, worry, excitement, and maybe even a hint of sadness. That's okay. It's a big step for you, too!

In an effort to help you navigate this exciting period in your child's life, we're going to explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of young adults leaving the nest. By the end of this article, the goal is to provide you with a better understanding of what to expect, which in turn, will help you guide your teen through this rite of passage.
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The benefits of flying solo

Let's start on a positive note and discuss the numerous advantages that your young adult will gain from experiencing independent living. It's worth noting that while it might be a scary thought initially, there are many benefits that come with the move.
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Emma’s story

Young Emma, fresh out of high school, has just moved into her first apartment while she starts college. In the first couple of weeks, she manages to set up her utilities, put together her budget for the next few months, and begins to get into the groove of cooking her own meals (a feat that extends beyond just ramen noodles and canned soup!).

One day, she successfully fixes a clogged drain in her bathroom by herself by following a do-it-yourself tutorial online. She didn't need to call her parents for help or hire a professional. It was a small thing, yes, but doing it by herself filled her with a sense of accomplishment.

This feeling is rooted in overcoming challenges and proving to herself that she can figure out how to do things she'd never had to handle before. This simple act boosts her confidence and proves to her that she can navigate the hurdles of independent living, one step at a time. Over time, these small victories accumulate, affirming her capabilities and fostering her growth into a self-reliant individual.

And that, dear parents, is a glimpse into the kind of "sense of accomplishment" your young adult might experience when they begin living independently.

The drawbacks of taking flight

Now, as much as I'd love to only discuss the sunny side of this journey, it's also important to understand the potential challenges that come with moving out.
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Preparing your young adult for takeoff

Understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks can help you guide your teen in their decision-making process. Encourage them to consider all factors, reassure them about their concerns, and remind them of the various steps they can take to successfully navigate this new chapter.

Financial planning

Help your child understand their income and potential expenses. This involves creating a budget and sticking to it. Ensure they understand the importance of saving and not living beyond their means. You can even help them to open a savings account if they haven't done so already.

Life skills

Before your child leaves home, ensure they can take care of themselves. This means being able to cook a few basic meals, clean, do laundry, and perform basic household tasks. You'd be surprised at how many young adults aren't proficient in these areas!

Emotional support

Emphasize that being independent doesn't mean they're alone. Encourage them to maintain open communication with you and other trusted individuals. Make sure they know it's okay to ask for help, and you're always there for them.

Practical advice

Offer advice on the intricacies of living on their own. This could include things like understanding a lease agreement, knowing their tenant rights, and recognizing the importance of paying bills on time.

Emergency preparedness

Ensure they know what to do in an emergency. This includes having relevant emergency contacts, understanding basic first aid, and knowing when and how to call for help.

Health and wellness

Teach them about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet, staying physically active, getting regular health check-ups, and the necessity of adequate sleep.
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Landing thoughts

Your child leaving home is a significant transition for both of you. It's a time filled with changes and growth. Yes, there are challenges involved, but with your support and guidance, your young adult will likely thrive in their new environment.

Remember, every child is different, and what works for one might not work for another. The key is to remain open and supportive, allow them to make mistakes (within reason), and be there to offer help when they need it. It's a learning curve for them, and as they navigate this new phase, they're likely to evolve into more resilient and self-sufficient adults.

In the end, it's all part of the journey, a journey that could shape your child into the confident and independent adult you're hoping they'll become. As they step out into the world, cherish the moments, be there for the hard times, and most importantly, enjoy watching them spread their wings.
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