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 | By Dr. Gelasia Marquez

How can I get my adult son to grow up and move out of the house?

My adult son does not want to move out of the house. Any suggestions about how I can get him to grow up and move on?

When discussing this issue it is important to remember that millions of adult children are still living at home and, in today’s economy, it is likely they are doing so for financial reasons. Still, it can be challenging for both parties.

To begin, a positive and clear communication between parents and adult son must take place. Parents need to explain to the son that the transition from parents’ home to his own place is an expression of his own autonomy and a sign of his self-sufficiency and ability to take care of himself in a responsible and independent way. It is important for the parents to select their words carefully to help him understand that this is an opportunity to change – to reach a new stage of his growth. Under no circumstances should the son feel that he is being pushed away from “his” family home. Parents must be receptive to their son’s response and help him to articulate his hesitations, doubts and concerns.

Then, together, parents and son must discuss the timetable for this important rite of passage and the steps that everyone will follow. The Catechism reminds us, “When they become adults, children…should assume their new responsibilities…” (2230)

Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.