How to Handle It When Your Adult Kid Refuses to Move Out of the House

How to Handle It When Your Adult Kid Refuses to Move Out of the House

It's straight out of Step Brothers.

By Marianne Garvey

Kim Zolciak-Biermann should consider herself lucky her daughter Brielle Biermann moved out.

The Don't Be Tardy daughter, 20, confirmed on Instagram that she made the milestone decision to move into her own condo, away from mom, who even gifted her with a housewarming gift for her new place.

“SO obsessed with this piece @kimzolciakbiermann got me as an early bday present for my condo!” she wrote, with Kim commenting, “It's getting real!! My baby @briellebiermann is moving out!”

The Real Housewives of New York City castmember Ramona Singer's daughter Avery Singer is getting ready to move out, too, and live in a place of her own. It also means Ramona's selling her family apartment of more than 20 years and getting ready to be an empty nester, she told The Daily Dish.

That's not the case for so many parents of millennials who can’t get their kids out of the house. They paid for college, gave the kid all the tools they need to survive like an adult human, but they’re still eating mom and dad's food and messing up the house.

Take the latest headlines about the 30-year-old man in upstate New York who was sued by his parents because he wouldn’t move out. He didn't even know how to pack up his room, but that’s another story. His parents won the lawsuit and he was given just days to move out. Awkward running into mom in the kitchen. “I have plans to not stay with them anymore — just not today, just not in 30 days,” the man, Michael Rotondo, told the New York Post

What's the problem here? Who in their right mind would want to live at home as an adult?

Well, according to May 2016 Pew survey, 32 percent of young adults continue to live with their parents, which is a record. It no longer sounds odd to tell employers, your friends, or someone you are dating that you live at home. It’s not frowned upon. In fact, it's normal. Massive student debt, declining marriage rates, and exorbitant housing costs have driven adult children right back to mom and dad. And The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston reported that because housing is so expensive, many millennials don’t even consider moving out. For many 18 to 34 year olds who do live with mom and dad, saving money is the number one plan. Thinking about your financial future is great and all, if your parents will put up with it. It’s called a job and you’d better have one.

Dr. Richard Horowitz, parenting educator and family coach, has seen this dilemma many times in his therapy practice. He tells Personal Space that the first thing parents must look at is their kid’s behavior — then take everything into consideration.

“First of all, why is the child in the house?” he says. “There are two categories, the millennial who was always there and they need to get out, and the one just out of college.”

After you determine why they’re coming back, parents need to have a plan in place, or they’re playing in the danger zone of becoming enablers.

“In my whole parenting idea, everything is subject to a plan or a contract,” Dr. Horowitz says. “I would recommend saying ‘let’s all sit down and hopefully with [a therapist] as a neutral party, set a contract on what steps we need’ and get both sides to agree.”

After a contract is drawn up with financial and house rules, parents and their adult baby see if the milestones are being met.

“You see if they are fulfilling their obligation,” he adds. “They would know the end of the story is ‘we’re going to go to court and evict you,’ but that’s the final step. If you lay things out and have dialogue and help you along the way, it should work.”

But it takes tough love.

“The whole dilemma of tough love is to say ‘I care about my kid, but I know it’s best for him or her to move out and I’m going to have to take a painful step to get them out of the house if they don’t fulfill their end. I’ve worked with many families with teens who’ve come down to a tough love option. If you’re not willing to do that, you’re going to be an enabler and the situation won’t resolve itself.”

A few things to remember in the contract so they’ll be on the path to leaving:

Make a budget

Maybe they pay some rent or kick in for groceries.

Set — and keep — a timeline

Track their monthly progress. Are they working? Saving money? Looking at apartments?

Assign chores

Clean up after yourself, adult babies. Make it like mommy doesn’t even know you’re here. Still.

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