Shoehorning your millennial out of the family home 30



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I was listening with much entertainment to a group of nearly and over 60 year old women the other day, all of whom were lamenting at their millennial children and the fact that they simply won’t move out of the family home.

It seems to be a large topic of conversation and one that makes everyone want to laugh and cry, after all, we all love our children dearly, we just don’t want to love feeding, powering, insuring and cooking for them anymore after a certain point of life.

My sister in law finally moved out of the family home at the humble age of 30. In fact, I’m sure she didn’t do it willingly, with her parents moving a long way from the city to a “change of scenery” that was more than an inconvenient location for commuting.

Other family members have been known to make it to the age of 33+ living with their adoring mums who cooked, cleaned and served all their needs so well they simply didn’t ever want to go.

So today we ask you have you got a challenge with your millennial, or have you found a terrific way to shoehorn them out of the family home? Share it with us.

Here are some entertaining tips we found when talking to a few people who have conquered the problem.

Stop providing too many in-home services for them

My mother in law was a wonderful “magical laundry basket”, that is, her kids would put their clothes in the laundry basket and they would miraculously reappear within 24 hours on a hanger, pressed and in the wardrobe. If I had a service like that on hand and didn’t have to pay rent for it, I would never leave it either. Do you find yourself keeping alive the wonderful parenting habits your kids needed when they were younger, but should be developing independence in now they are adults?

Cut the insurance and phonebill strings

The ladies I listened to spoke of still paying for their childrens’ health insurance and car insurance bills, and most said their kids were still on the family mobile phone account too. Lovely if you can get it I guess and pragmatic for the kids. But do you think this breeds a child that learns how to incrementally handle their own expenses?

Help and encourage them to get out and hustle

Many of the people I speak to say their kids are working so hard they don’t have time to make a life for themselves. Others say their kids don’t take care of themselves, so staying at home becomes their norm. If you allow it, and make it to homely I don’t blame them! Do you!?

There is much thought that a motivated adult should be out there networking, working hard, and hustling to try and break free from the nest. If you find his or her friends constantly coming over and doing who knows what in their rooms all day, your child could be way too comfortable for his or her own good or should I say YOUR own good.

Encourage your children to try “housesitting”

There is always a family friend that needs someone to housesit for them for a month or two during the June/July holidays, and if you can’t find one, consider suggesting they look on a housesitting website. You might find that if they live out of home, in a fully equipped yet independent house, they get a taste for it.

Obligate them to more jobs round the house

If your in-home adult child is living rather concern free it might be time to impose a few more of the housey obligations on them so they recognize that freedom doesn’t last forever. Give them a three month program to shape up the garden, or ask them to take on the mowing, bathroom cleaning or meal preparation regularly and hold them accountable.

Print out the rental listings and leave them on the bench

If all else fails, you could print out the rental listings and leave them lying on the kitchen table. At least that way they know you are serious, and they know how much they are getting for nothing.


Have you shoehorned a millennial out of your family home? Can you offer some tips?


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. And the one at home takes responsibly for own washing, has done since age 15, room cleaning and excellent dishwasher duties. Plus a lot of other stuff. Moms who still wash for anyone over 15 need to think why they do so.

  2. I set an age of 23 all 4 left earlier and are independent now. it is wonderful to see your children coping and taking full responsibility of their lives, you know they can cope with anything and they do.

  3. Kate WM it is, but the millennials are bouncing back home. mainly as they can’t get jobs that pay fair wages. Or can’t get jobs. And why would you shove them out?

    2 REPLY
    • I wouldn’t shove them out if the family is happy. I wouldn’t advocate continuing to house kids who think they live in a free hotel. However, if you all pull together and like each other, what’s the problem?

  4. Both mine had to do own washing from 15, and have always had to contribute to house chores. From very young. Household management, a lesson in household bills, a shock at having to pay for water, and an Eco survey, resulting in replacing all light bulbs managed by one of them. Not a free hotel. I also have lodgers.

  5. I use the word. I don’t know what it means….

    1 REPLY
    • Its phased me. The millennium was 2000, so is that the root of millennial? Do all the 15 year olds need to get a job and a flat or whatever?

  6. Why can’t people just be honest and say I love you darling but it’s time to make your own home and look after yourself

  7. I can’t believe the kids of today , lazy uncommunicative and think that it’s ok to hang around. They are clingons and need to make a life for themsel, if the parents don’t take a stand then it will be impossible for them to move on and make something of themselves.

  8. W
    What is a millennial?

    I went off to Uni at 18. Stayed in London for another year, then went back to Mom and Dad to work (and live cheaply) to pay off my student debts. I ended up staying for 13 years. Mom, Dad and I all had our chores to do and we just liked living together. It was totally my choice to move out and buy a place of my own; they’d have happily had me live with them forever. In all the time I was with them, I had a job, had bills to pay and so on – oh and rent to them and my contribution to poll tax/council tax too. Maybe it was because they hadn’t shoved me out that I didn’t think twice about abandoning my house and moving back in to look after my Dad when my Mom was taken seriously ill with a stroke. And then staying to look after my Dad after Mom died. And then continuing to stay once he’d had a bad heart attack and needed so much care. I carried on doing my full time job and it was bloody hard. Looking back, I honestly don’t know how I managed it all. It’s perhaps called ‘giving back’.

    Frankly, I think your piece depicts, and tries to normalise, some bloody awful families. Families should decide what is right for them, because nobody else can ever know the dynamics of that particular family.

    Some kids are ready and able to leave at 16 or 18, some might not be. Some families might actually like each other’s company. That’s a conversation for the family to have together. It isn’t a conversation that any old keyboard warrior should feel they have a stake in.

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