What age should the kids leave home?

Poll coming.

Providing there not being a good reason for the offspring to stay (I.E. help paying for the bills, taking care of a sick parent, etc), at what age do you think children should finally leave home to make their own life?

I’m 30 and I’ve been living on my own, in my own place, for about ten years now. My brother, however, is 21 and still living at home with no end in sight.
And while this isn’t as eyebrow raising as older ages, I’m curious the opinions of everyone here. What age should the kids finally fly the coop?

Vote and then, by all means, feel free to expand on your answer, tell us when you left home for good, tell us if you had any kids who left home and at what ages (or if they’re still with you) and/or anything else you think is relevant to your opinion.

I would expect my kid to “officially” leave home when she graduates from college. If she doesn’t go to college, leave about 19 years old.

She’s still with me… but then, she’s 8. :wink:

The answer would vary very much depending on whether you’re talking about (on one extreme) a child who is married, finished with school and working versus (at the other end of the spectrum) a child who is single and getting a JD/MD/similarly intensive degree.

Depends. Does the child want to leave and do the parents want the kid to leave (if no to both, I really don’t see the problem)? Does the kid have a stable job that pays enough to live independently?

I think young adults should be out of the home at eighteen and getting their sea legs. That’s if the parents have done their job of preparing them well. If there are still a few lose ends perhaps a short time longer.

And after eighteen it’s definitely time to start paying some measure of rent and helping with household tasks.

Children who stay longer that that are apt to become dependent on other people to solve their life problems and don’t seem to mature as well as others.

It’s just generally not a healthy thing for parents or for kids.

My opinion and not written in stone. I can think of a number of circumstances where it may not apply.

In an ideal world where every place has jobs, livable wages, and affordable housing, I’d say it would a little immature for a person in their early-to-mid 20s to still be living at home, granted they aren’t in school. Not so immature that they would be deserving of ridicule, though, just that I would be curious why they would be in that situation.

Nowadays? In this economy? I say anything goes. I know college grads used to be able to take their pick of McJobs while they churned out resumes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. What are they supposed to do?

I see nothing wrong with a kid never living outside his parent’s house for his entire life, as long as everyone involved is content with the situation.

Agreed. I have one kid that I don’t mind living with us. He’s tidy, quiet, responsible, considerate… half the time I don’t even notice he’s here.

The other 4, however, I can only take for a few months at a time. :slight_smile:

I have one child. She could live with me as long as she wanted to. She doesn’t, but she could.

I think things are a little weird if the kid doesn’t get on out at 18 and then not come back.

I never got a chance to leave home, my home left me :slight_smile:

But seriously I was out on my own at 16, (mum died when I was 16, dad died when I was 11). For those who ask, I was in college at 16 and my first flat was with a roommate, and back in the early 80s no one ever checked ages, or even ID. So you could easily lie, which I did to get by.

If a kid is sharing a home with the folks, he/she could just as easily be sharing a flat.

I could never have lived with my folks. Despite any financial savings you just grow up quicker and are better for it.

I got pitched at 17 and so did my sister. We went to college and my parents sent us some money. I didn’t like it, but on the other hand I figured that’s about the time you strike out on your own.

I am 23 and living at home, although I did just move back after 4 years in the army. I am planning to stay for the next 4-6 years while I go to college. I would prefer living on my own, but my mom is nice enough to not charge me rent, so it saves a lot of money (I do do chores around the house and cook though). If the child isn’t doing something with their life then I think they should be booted out, but as long as they are in college/ actively trying to become fully employed I think it is fine.

25 (26 in a few days) living at home since Sep 09. Before lived on my own for near 6 years, Moved back to my country from abroad, and am in a field where I travel alot in anycase and work 14-18 hour days. when I don’t. Am hardly “home” at all, its just a place to sleep. My own flat would be a waste of money in the circumstances.

FTR I make (much) more than my parents combined and do pay my share.
So I am an immature man child, sue me.

I put 20. Even if the kid starts college right at 18, more and more experts say it does better to send the kid to a local college and keep them at home for a couple of more years. As long as they are working or going to college, I think you don’t need to kick them out at 18.

Kids who can afford to leave and don’t want to leave seem weird to me, though. I mean, do you really like living under your parents’ thumb so much that you just don’t want to move out? I know, financially sound, but don’t you want your independence?

It’s actually possible for all kinds of different configurations of adults to live in the same extended household without anyone necessarily lacking “their own life,” or being under anyone else’s thumb. It depends on the nature of the relationships involved–whether everyone is able to respect everybody else’s necessary independence–and this in turn may be either damaged or supported by the physical design of the household (which is not necessarily the same as the house).

I personally couldn’t take living with (either of) my parents now, or really any time since (somewhat before) I moved out, but that’s them and me, not an intrinsic function of the parent/child relationship. I can imagine circumstances in which my daughters could live with me as adults.

In design terms, I like the pattern which has detached or semi-detached cottages, or at least separate-entrance apartments in conjunction with a main house. This is sometimes known as the “mother-in-law” pattern, but it also works for teenagers in developing independence, while still being part of the same overall household. There’s no particular reason why this process must lead to a single adult moving out by any given age.

Whatever the relationships, all adult members of an extended household should be supporting the household as equally as they are able.

Its variable…

And while there is nothing wrong with kids living at home for eternity if its acceptable to all parties (I have cousins who had four generations living in two huge houses next to each other until my great aunt died - now they only have three generations. They are a very tight family - the now oldest generation not living in those two houses all live within walking distance - when I was growing up, WE lived within walking distance for a while), personally, I wouldn’t want my adult children living with me.

My hope is that my kids will leave for college (they’ll be 18 going on 19 when they pack their bags) and that they will be able to live in a dorm for a year or two followed by an apartment. I think the college “living in a dorm” experience is a good transitional experience and the college apartment builds on it. You are taught in stages that doing laundry means clean underwear, that drinking all of your spending money means no pizza, that picking up after yourself means you can find things, that roommates are a necessary evil, but you can make it work, that you can live without Mommy’s checkbook or her interference in your social life.

I would hope that once they finish that, they’ll be reluctant to move back into my house - even transitionally (and I may not have room for them, we are talking about moving when the youngest gets to college into something smaller and in the city). And that when you are 21 or 22 and a college grad, you’ll continue to deliver pizzas in preference of living with Mom and Dad. But that there are good reasons to move home as a transitional stage.

But for me, its transitional once they are adults. I certainly have no intention of supporting my children indefinitely.

ETA: I have a number of acquaintances living in their parents basement into their 40s who choose not to function independently - as in, they choose not to hold full time jobs that would allow them to pay rent - their jobs are hobby jobs that let them have a good time while Mommy and Daddy pick up room and board. That I do not approve of.

I’d say every situation is different.

Living on one’s own should be done by everyone at some point, just for the maturing effect it has. Although I was employed steadily by sixteen, I didn’t move out until my late twenties. A couple of years later my dad got sick with muscular dystrophy, and soon after that my mom had a stroke. I moved back in.

Well, now my dad has passed on, and my mom is elderly but nearly self-sufficient. We’ve moved a couple of times, but my mom and I live together. We get along well, it’s cheaper for both of us this way, and I’m glad my mom’s not living alone because due to her age (she’s 84) and her stroke, she’s unsteady on her feet. This way, if she falls, I’m here to help.

I’m glad I did live on my own. It was a good experience. Someday, I’ll live alone again. But I don’t mind the way I live now. No one else should mind the way I live either way.

Yes. I actually do understand this. But I am surprised at the amount of people who do not feel the need to actually try to make a go of it first. If once you move out you decide it’s better to live with your parents, and you all get along, so be it, and if you are taking care of your elderly parents, of course, but there is a parent-child dynamic that I believe is hard to break if your child has never moved out from under your roof. At the very least don’t people care to know what kind of people they are when they live alone? The unexamined life is not worth living, I feel. Again, these are people who can quite clearly afford to live alone and just choose not to.

I don’t think there’s any hard-and-fast rule about when kids should leave. It’s all up to the family and how they work together.

I lived at home until I was 25, and then bought a house. I had spent my post-college years struggling to get my own business going and if it weren’t for the grace of my parents, I could have never gotten by during those years where the business wasn’t doing well yet.

My brother lived at home with us until he was 23 or so, then came back from 25-28, and then he got married and moved out.

Like NinetyWt’s kid, my parents thought we were tidy, quiet and responsible. All of us got along like roommates (I will disclose that us two kids did not pay rent). We did chores around the house and bought/prepared our own food.

My parents both came from families that weren’t entirely emotionally healthy. Mom’s mom took off for somewhere else when mom was 17, leaving her here to live with a friend. Dad went to Vietnam when he was 18. I don’t think either of them particularly liked those circumstances and decided to let their own kids wallow in the comfort of the family home as long as we needed to.

Times are different these days. You can’t walk out of college and into a job. You walk out of college into a mound of student loan debt with no assurance that you’ll find a paying job any time soon. It doesn’t surprise me at all if parents let kids stay on as long as they need. Those parents are saints.