Advice on Leaving Home.

I was recently asked for advice on how someone in their early twenties can bring up the conversation of leaving home with their parents, but without hurting their feelings.

This is an interesting question, because it is a life step that everyone must take at some point in their lives, and it perhaps represents one of the first “adult” steps that one can take. You leave the nest and see if you can fly by yourself.

The first thing I would say is that you have to remember that your parents were not born old, however strange this may seem. They, too, were once young adults and likely had similar ideas floating across their minds. Regardless of the era, growing up is mostly a similar experience for everyone across any time and place. This means they are far more likely to understand your desire to leave home and start making a life for yourself. This is only natural, and it has to happen at some point.

So even if they give you some negative feedback once you bring up the subject, deep down, they are likely to remember the feeling that they had when they were young. They will remember how they felt somewhat caged in by their own parents and how they wanted to leave and test themselves in the real world.

The second piece of advice I would give is to think carefully about how you message the fact that you want to leave the family home.

There are two ways to do this.

The first way is that you can make it about the fact that you are growing up and need to move on. This will, in some ways, criticise the family home, that it is no longer the right place for you, and you would prefer to live elsewhere. This can be tough for parents to accept, and one can imagine heated arguments happening where things are said that would be best left unsaid. However, if you are reading this essay and have not yet left home, I can imagine that you have a reasonably tight relationship with your parents (otherwise, you would have jumped ship immediately at 18), and so this may not be an easy conversation to have.

The second method is much easier and is done by bringing up practical issues. Perhaps the long commute to work or university each day that eats up hours of your time, or the fact that you can move in with friends and share an apartment in a more desirable area, and so on. This shifts the topic of discussion from you wanting to leave because your parents are not giving you a good enough life in the family home to a practical consideration that any rational person can review and weigh up.

Obviously, commuting for only ten minutes each day instead of two hours is better. So the question is, is it practical for you to move out to gain this advantage?

This shifts the conversation on how you may be able to move away from home instead of whether you should move out of the family home.

By focusing on these practical aspects, you are positioning yourself as an adult, not a child pushing back against the family home.

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