THE BLOG
06/17/2016 05:13 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why Millennials Living with Parents Is Robbery

My 6-year-old daughter with Down syndrome walked on the edge of the pool deck, flirting with danger. Neither my wife or I was close enough and yelled at her, "NO!"

2016-06-16-1466116581-5005605-DownSyndromeSpecialOlympicSwimmer.jpeg
Photo is author's own

Our daughter has not completely learned how to swim yet. Although she has had swim lessons, she's just not there yet. She has to learn though. Living in Arizona, 50% of the houses have pools and for her safety, she must know how to swim. Minimally, she must be able to get to the side of the pool if she falls in.

Recognizing an experimental learning opportunity, I walked right over to her and nudged her so she would fall into the pool. Yes it sounds mean, but I wanted her to feel the danger of falling into the pool while we were near her. My wife and I watch cautiously as she fought the water. After about 5 seconds underwater, her head popped out of the water and grabbed the edge of the pool. She succeed. She found safety by herself.

The experience was scary, but successful.

Parenting Allowing Experimental Learning

The life of parenting is surrounded with experimental learning opportunities to help children grow. But the opportunity is not always acted upon by parents. The fear of children hurting, suffering, struggling, or even being angry can be too much for parents. So parents opt out of the opportunity.

This doesn't only include little children, but also adult children.

Majority of Millennials Living at Parent's House

Recently Pew Research Center released a study stating that Millennials most popular living arrangement is living at their parent's house at 32.1%. Millennials are not flying the coop to venture out on their own.

Many factors lead to this popular living arrangement. One of the most popular reasons is financial. However, not all reasons are financial. For example Mike Trout, one of major league baseball's best players, reportedly just moved out of his parents house in April of 2016. The reasons are more than just financial for Millennials obviously.

Other reasons may include:
  • Relationship issues
  • Serious illness
  • Job loss
  • Going to school
  • Attachment issues

No matter what the reasons are, the decision is robbing Millennials of their transition into adulthood for further development. Millennials need to plan to move out and develop.

For Millennials ready now, you can move out of your parent's house in 60 days. For the others that need more convincing, here's the reasoning.

Why Living at Home is Stealing Developmental Growth

A father with 3 Millennial adults in their early 20s told me, "As a parent you wonder if you’ve contributed to them not wanting to strike out on their own--if you've made it too easy for them." While all 3 of his kids still live at home with he and his wife, he concluded by saying, "We can’t help worrying that we may just be making it easy for them to put off the launch."

Parents must make a decision. However, the decision is not whether or not to kick out their adult children, but whether or not their adult children are ready to take the next step into adulthood.

2016-06-16-1466116101-3877322-MillennialsMoveOutofParentsHouse.jpg
Image by kaenie via Pixabay

Surprisingly though, many parents underestimate their children's readiness to graduate into adulthood. Of course they may fall and probably will fall, but in those failures, great lessons are learned. The reality is young adulthood is messy and in that messiness, identities are discovered.

Melissa Cleveringa, a mother of another Millennial in college, sees the financial implication not superseding the developmental implication. Melissa said, "It may cost both of you (parent and child) more financially, but that’s the stage in life. We can’t expect optimal results as an adult when you skip it (developing into adulthood)." Allowing adult children to stay at home could be robbery of development.

Leaving home to develop into adulthood is crucial for many reasons. Adult children are probably still developing their identities in the early stages of adulthood. Living with parents means dependency. They must graduate into independency to truly shape their identity beyond parents. Responsibility, resourcefulness, and problem-solving are other skills developed by young adults when they move out of their parent's house.

Personally, I love how Dave Ramsey put it on his show when answering a parent who still had her adult child living at home. "I don't want to teach them (adult children) responsibility, I want them to leave. Which (actually) teaches them responsibility."

Parents Need To Allow Development

Deborah Davis, a mother now reminisced about living with her parents too long as a young adult and not leaving until 28 years old, "It’s very difficult finding your way in your twenties and probably even worse when you have parents that don’t let you find your way and figure out who you are.  I feel many times that I was a decade behind in developing as a person. I honestly have nightmares that I’m still living with my parents and they are controlling everything I do."

Spin it however you want, young adults living at home will not develop the same as those living on their own. Sure, they might be better off on the financial bottom line, but are they developmentally better off?

It's a tough question to ask and to answer for parents.

Young Adults Need To Make The Decision

Drake Baerresen, the VP of Sales and Marketing at Turnkey Marketing and an older Millennial himself, never lived at home with his parents after high school graduation and recommends adults move out as quickly as possible. He told me in a recent interview, "The move helped me develop a broader worldview from experiences. Experiences is key. You really gain experiences that help shape and mold how you think. It's not necessarily more about being independent, but being more effective. It helped me make better decisions. It helped my career even."

Young adults need to make the decision and commitment to graduate into the new stage of adulthood. The move produces new life experiences. And it is in those experiences where the skills of problem-solving, decision-making, and critical-thinking can come. Baerresen said, "It's just so much easier under your parent's roof to run for help."

Young adults need to make the leap so they can develop. They need to venture out and experience life like never before. There is still a lot of resiliency in the early stages of adulthood and that resiliency will be key in their development.

Make The Plan

As much as it hurts for adult children and parents, there needs to be a move for Millennials to leave their parent's house. Whether young adults need to leave in 60 days or plan their departure after a certain life event, there needs to be a departure plan.

There must be a departure plan.

There is too much at stake with adult children living at home. Development is being robbed and possibly parent's checking account is being robbed.

Millennials, make a plan to move out from your parent's house. Parents, sit-down with your young adults and make a plan with them on taking their next big step in development by moving out.

--
Jared Buckley helps Millennials develop their skills for success, purpose, and impact. He believes true development comes through experience, environment, and expectations. You can read more at JaredBuckley.com.