Telling an adult child with a kid to move
Q: Your working adult child and his kid still live with you. How do you tell him he needs to move out without feeling like you’re kicking out the grandchild too?
A: Consider your motives. If you are focusing on yourself, you are on solid ground. You may be tired of sharing the car, or you may want the spare bedroom back. You may want to recover your identity as an adult and leave parenthood behind. If so, your motives are solid.
If you are focusing more on telling your child what he should do to grow up, then you are on shakier ground. You may be training him to be dependent on you. If this is the case, seek more self-knowledge before acting.
Once you have your motives straight you can proceed with grace because you understand your reasons. You know what you need to do, not what he should do.
Show your son that you believe in his ability to take care of himself and his child. What your grandson can read from this is that focusing on oneself can actually be a loving act for all.
— Debbie Pincus Ward, parenting coach
A: I suggest a five-point discussion with your son.
1. Begin by acknowledging the value of this experience, and explain how you are grateful for the precious time you’ve had together.
2. Take responsibility for initiating this change. Explain that it is intended to free up more of your time.
3. Agree on a schedule for your son to make new housing and child care arrangements.
4. Be clear that living separately does not mean that you no longer love him or your grandson.
5. Affirm you still want to be part of their lives. Describe what terms work for you, and listen to what terms might work for them.
— Carl Pickhardt, author of “Boomerang Kids: A Revealing Look at Why So Many of Our Children Are Failing on Their Own, and How Parents Can Help”