Oregon Marriage Coaching Can Help You Deal with a Nest That Never Empties

Being an empty nester can be a strange transition, but it’s also something for which you may have been preparing for years. And if you do have trouble adjusting, there are all kinds of books and articles out there happy to offer advice on how to handle it – some of which we’ve even written here!

But what if that doesn’t happen? What if, instead of you and your spouse having to deal with an empty nest, you instead find yourselves facing the prospect of living with adult children who just. Won’t. Leave.

As much as you might love your kids, having adult children in the house can be a drag sometimes. You want to enjoy your retirement by refueling the fire of your marriage – not doing your 25-year-old son’s laundry!

But telling your children that they have to leave is awkward – especially if they are having a hard time finding a job that will let them afford a comfortable apartment or house of their own. And unfortunately this is something that is happening more and more in our day and age.

So what can you do? Below we’ve put together a few “tough love” tips on how to gently nudge those overgrown birds out of your nest so you and your spouse can start moving on to the next phase of your life.

Don’t Feel GuiltyParents often let their children stay at home for longer than expected because they feel guilty about cutting them off, especially with a rocky housing market or not a lot of jobs opportunities available.

Those feelings are completely valid, but using them as an excuse to not confront your kids won’t help you or them. Remember, getting your kids to move out isn’t just for you – it’s an important step in your child’s growth and independence.

Set Goals – Talk to your spouse about when you would like to have your children out of the house. Make sure you are on the same page, so you can clearly communicate to your child you plan for them to eventually move out. Create a timeline (or a countdown) for when you would like to see everyone moved out of your house.

Cut Them Off…Slowly – Completely cutting off your child and kicking them out may be awkward and cause negative feelings. But you have to get them out somehow, and if you continue to pay for everything your children do, they’re never going to leave.

Use the timeline mentioned earlier to set limits for what you’re willing to pay for as well. For example, you can start by removing them from your cell phone plan this month, then a few months later, take them off of your car insurance.

“How’s the Job Search Going?” – You don’t have to babysit your children, but continue to check in on their job search and their plan to move out of the house. Let’s be honest: living at home can be pretty sweet – not to mention cheap. They may need a few kicks in the pants to find the motivation to get a good job.

Charge Rent Can’t bring yourself to kick them out? Or they just won’t go? Eventually, you may just have to start charging rent. For an adult child, paying a monthly fee to live at home may just be the final motivation for them to move out. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little extra cushion in your wallet each month?

Struggling to transition to this new part of your life may cause tension between you, your kids, and your spouse. For extra tips on how to smoothly become an empty nester without causing too many negative feelings, contact an Oregon marriage coach today.