Telling an adult child with a kid to move

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - FOOD - By Chris­ten A. John­son chrjohn­son@chicagotri­bune.com

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”

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