Parenting journey

Goal: Help your teen prepare to move out on their own

Young adult in their new apartment
Preparing your teen to move out of the family home is a significant milestone that involves practical, emotional, and financial preparation. Here are steps you, as a parent, can follow to help your teen transition smoothly into independent living.

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1 | Discuss expectations and plans

Open conversations

Talk openly about why they want to move out, what they hope to achieve, and their future plans.


Work together to create a realistic timeline for the move, taking into account factors like finances, housing availability, and any educational or career commitments.
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2 | Help them prepare financially


Teach them how to create and manage a realistic budget, including rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and other living expenses.


Encourage them to save money in advance for rent, security deposits, and an emergency fund.


Ensure they know how to manage a bank account, pay bills online, and understand credit scores and credit cards.
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3 | Teach them practical living skills


Make sure they have basic cooking skills and can prepare healthy meals.


Teach them regular cleaning habits and how to use common household cleaning products safely.


Ensure they know how to do their laundry, including washing, drying, and ironing clothes. Don't forget safety measures like cleaning out the lint tray!

Basic maintenance

Teach them how to change light bulbs, unclog sinks and toilets, and plaster holes in walls, at the minimum.
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4 | Help them search for a place

Finding a place

Help them understand how to search for a safe and affordable place to live, whether it’s an apartment, shared housing, or college dorm.

Leases and agreements

Teach them about the importance of reading and understanding rental agreements or leases before signing.

5 | Teach them to take care of their health and safety


Discuss the importance of managing their healthcare, including scheduling doctor’s appointments and refilling prescriptions.

Emergency preparedness

Teach them what to do in case of emergencies, including who to call and how to keep important documents safe.

Personal safety

Talk to your child about personal safety, both at home and when they're out and about. Discuss what to do in case of emergencies, the importance of locking doors and windows, and safe practices when using appliances.

Personal grooming

Help your child understand how personal grooming will help keep them healthy both physically and emotionally (social etiquette). Teach them grooming skills for their needs.

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6 | Prepare them emotionally

Coping skills

Talk about coping strategies for dealing with loneliness or homesickness.

Support network

Encourage them to build a support network in their new community, including friends, mentors, and professionals.

7 | Teach them about life administration

Important documents

Make sure they know how to obtain and keep safe important documents like their birth certificate, social security card, and passport.
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Teach them about the responsibilities of living independently, such as voting, taxes, and civic duties.

8 | Help them master transportation

Public transportation

If they don’t have a car, teach them how to navigate public transportation options in their new area.

Vehicle maintenance

If they will have a car, ensure they know basic vehicle maintenance and what to do in case of a breakdown.

9 | Help them prepare for the move

Planning the move

Help them plan the logistics of the move, including hiring movers or renting a moving van, packing, and changing their address.

Essentials for the first apartment

Create a checklist of essentials they’ll need for their first home, such as furniture, kitchen supplies, and bedding.

10 | Help them set boundaries


Discuss how you’ll stay in touch and how often, respecting their independence while offering ongoing support.


Talk about how visits will work, including how often and any expectations around holidays or family events.

11 | Encourage independence


Encourage them to think independently and develop problem-solving skills for the challenges they may face.

Confidence building

Support their confidence in their ability to live independently and make decisions for themselves.
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Preparing your teen to move out is a process that requires patience, guidance, and support. By covering these areas, you’ll help equip your teen with the skills and knowledge they need to embark on this exciting new chapter of their lives with confidence.