My 18 yo wants to move out. Yes or no?

Not that I could technically stop him, I suppose, but he’s a good kid and he actually asked me if he could. (It’s kind of cute when a kid who’s 18 and 6’2" says, “So can I?”)
Here’s the deal: He has some friends (seniors who graduated last year) who are taking a year off and going on to college in the fall. They live in my old neighborhood, and the neighbors report that they seem to be well-behaved. They’ve offered my son (18 year old senior in HS) a room for the cost of the monthly basic phone bill. Naturally, he wants to do it.
Things are fine here at home…everyone gets along, he’s a good kid who goes to school and works part time, pays most of his own bills, and is very responsible. He doesn’t want to move because he’s miserable, just because he wants to “be on his own.”
I can SO relate. I remember being 18 and wanting nothing more than my own place.
So, I basically said yes, he can, as long as I see the place, meet the roommates, and he solemnly swears to keep up his schoolwork and stay out of trouble. (He’s a music major is high school, so not much work to keep up on).
And then, as all parents must, I began to worry: Am I being a terrible parent? Will he think I don’t love him if I let him go? Is this an awful thing to do that will prompt years of therapy and blame in the future?
Ah, the agony. What do you think?

If you trust him to keep up with his schoolwork and his job and you think he’s ready to be on his own then I say let him! You know him better then anyone!! You could also tell him that if he does move out and decides he would rather live at home then he can always move back.

No, he’s not going to think you don’t love him. You’re not shoving him out the door to force him to learn to stand on his own two feet, but supporting him in something that he wants to do. And he will thank you for it, not just now when you’re the coolest mom for letting him do this, but when he’s older and realizes just how much it means for someone to give you the freedom to fly free or fall on your face. Stepping back and letting your kids make their own decisions and mistakes and fight their own battles is the hardest thing a parent can ever do, but it’s also the most important thing a parent can ever do. It’s making our own decisions and mistakes and fighting our own battles that makes us adults. You’re making the right decision.

Yes. He’s got to move out sooner or later and, as you say, he is responsible and it sounds like this is a planned and reasonable action. When it comes to teenagers moving out on their own, I don’t think it gets any better than this.

You’ve answered your own question right there. If you think he’s up to the responsibility, let him go.

And leave the door open for him in case he needs to return.

Let him go, and enjoy the quiet! :stuck_out_tongue:

I was living on my own at 17, which taught me a lot quickly.

[bursts into tears]
But he’s m…my…my bAAAAABBBBY!!!


I have a whole 'nother thread on the fact that he wants to go into law enforcement rather than music. Don’t even get me started.

My new mantra is “I will not live my life vicariously through my son.”

This letting go thing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, guys.

Is he paying rent or being added to a lease? I wouldn’t care if he was renting (as he’ll be able to pack up and leave ASAP if something happens) but I’d be wary if his friends needed his name on some sort of lease.

I gotta say though that you’re being a cool mom over this.

Now get ready to convert his old room into a hobby room and enjoy! :smiley:

I’ve watched five leave and none of them did it under such ideal conditions. Years from now he will thank you. That is much better than “you wouldn’t let me do it, when I had a chance.”

Let him go.

But he will be back at least once a week for a real home-cooked meal …
… and a laundry bag full of dirty clothes under his arm.


I did the same thing at 18 as your son (Well, minus the whole college thing.) I’m 27 now and have never asked for any help from my parents, and never had to move back in with them either. If he’s as responsible as you say and you aren’t wearing rose colored glasses, he’ll be just fine. Good luck to you bodypoet and your son.

I think you’re doing the right thing. If he’s responsible and you trust him, there’s no reason not to give him the oppurtunity to live on his own. I go to school with so many people who are in their twenties who even now don’t have the skills needed to live on their own. Their parents refuse to let them go. It’s sad.

Let him go.
Let him come back.
Let him go again later.
Let him come back again later.

rinse. repeat.

Personal experience: nothing says get the hell out of my life you hopeless piece of $#!+ like having the folks lock the door on you.

He knows he can come back anytime, which is probably part of the reason he’s so eager to go. :slight_smile: One of his main criteria in choosing a college has been whether or not, if he has to move back home due to finances, he can continue to commute to school (rather than having to change colleges mid-year).

I’ll also continue to help him with some of his bills for as long as he’s attending school, getting ready for college, or attending college. I pay his car insurance as a trade-off for him chauffering his younger brother to school every day, and he actually wants to keep doing that. It’s worth every penny to me, so that arrangement will stay in place.

And of course he has reassured me that he will come visit. :slight_smile: He likes to just hang out with us (go figure, we’re as geeky as you get), which both amazes and delights me.

And he still will be, regardless of where he’s living.

Wow. I know parents who have 20-Somethings who absolutely Will. Not. Leave. who would pay money to have your son, Bodypoet. Count yer blessings. :wink:

  1. He’s not moving out because he’s joining a New Age commune where they will worship aliens from Zeta Reticuli and beg for alms downtown.

  2. He’s not moving out because he got a girl preg and she wants to set up housekeeping in her parents’ garage.

  3. He’s not moving out because he hates your guts and everything you stand for and he swears he’ll go down to Wal-Mart and buy a gun on your credit card if he has to look at your ugly face for one more minute.

  4. He’s not moving out because he and his buddies are setting up a meth lab somewhere.
    He’s normal. You’re normal. Everything’s copacetic.

FYI I had a friend in 8th grade, during the depression (1930’s) who was virtually on his own. Mother furnished him a place to sleep and that’s about all as she was working full time + to support his sister. Made it through H.S. and college or tech. school. Last time I heard he had a big HV&A/C business in northern Inciana.
It can be done with dedication and hard work.

I moved out at 18, with no problems. (To go to university). If you think your son is responsible enough, then it’s time to let him go. Good luck to him!

Personally, I think that moving out while still in high school is a tiny bit too early. I know, he’s a good kid and can probably keep his studies up without any prtoblem and all that. But if it were my kid, I’d tell him he could move right now, or he could move with my full approval and blessing when his diploma was in hand.

I wouldn’t let my (hypothetical) 18 year old to move into a situation like that if s/he were still in high school.

Here’s why: your son will be living with kids who aren’t going to school. There is a strong possibility that he will get caught up in their lifestyle and not focus enough on his schoolwork. Especially since the 18 year olds I know partied like crazy when they got out of Mom & Dad’s house. I’d think there’s a high likelihood that he’ll be living at Party Central if he moves in with his friends. And it’s likely that he’d feel tempted to neglect his studies to join them.

Finishing high school is very important. I wouldn’t want something to jeopardize that for my own 18 year old.

I don’t worry so much about kids going off to college, because in that environment, the kids are partying but all of them have classes to worry about, too.