Planning the Big Move
To help make this step easier and prevent stress and surprises, you can:
- Help your child plan their move.
- Help them find financial aid from their school or from the government.
- Work with them to figure out what sort of place they would like to live in and find a roommate, an apartment, a boarding house, a student residence, a supervised apartment, or a host family; depending on what they decide. There are always lots of options!
- Start collecting household essentials (like dishes, tools, and bedding) to give to your kid when the time is right.
- Offer to help them move, paint their place, or otherwise get set up in their new place.
- Let them have the furniture from their room, or give them furniture you do not use.
- Gift them a recipe book full of family recipes and easy-to-make meals, or invite them over for dinner from time to time. Why not?
There are different ways to help your child out financially as they start to become independent. It’s not mandatory of course, but if you do decide to help, here are some things you can do:
- Help them to budget and figure out how many hours they need to work to meet their monthly expenses.
- Give them direct financial support by sending them a certain amount of money, or by paying for an essential bill, like their cell phone, tuition, bus pass, groceries, or even their winter clothes!
- Offer a financial reward if they manage to save some money or avoid going into debt.
Should I Pay Their Rent?
If your child is responsible and can take care of themselves, paying their rent can be very helpful if you can afford it. But if your child struggles with organization and other life skills, paying their rent will only delay their ability to become independent.
At the end of the day, remember that there are many ways you can make their transition easier, but you need to be steadfast to your values and avoid creating any financial stress for yourself. And, as we all know, sometimes you need to get creative!
Staying in Touch After the Move
Once your child has left the family home, you’ll probably have a lot of questions about the best way to keep up your relationship. How often should I contact them or meet up? Can I call them or do things with them as often as I used to? Here are some things to keep in mind.
We all have different needs. While some parents want to hear from their kids every day, young adults might want more freedom. Of course, the opposite can happen too! Ultimately, it’s best not to assume that either of you know what the other wants. That’s why it is very helpful to sit down and talk about everyone’s needs and expectations. For example, talking about how often you want to contact each other, or be contacted. That way, you can avoid disappointment and misunderstanding.
Stay Interested in your Child’s Life
As a parent, it’s good to talk about more than just your child’s finances or how often they’re vacuuming. Chatting about other things too, like their classes, their hobbies, their friendships, what they’ve been up to, or whatever, can really help keep your relationship strong.
After your child moves out, your role as a parent changes definitively. But parents still act as a safety net for young adults. It’s important to let them know you’re there for your child and ready to support them, even if you aren’t living together anymore.