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If You Want Your Kids To Grow Up And Move Out – Start With This!

Grow Up and Move Out
Three strategies to get your kids involved at home and ready for the future.

Grow Up and Move OutWhat do your children do other than go to school? Do they participate in dance classes, swimming lessons, sports, music practice, or some other variety of extracurricular activity? If so, that’s fantastic—the friendships and learning opportunities those activities provide are invaluable. But as a Professional Organizer, I can tell you there’s one thing missing from many households that’s starting to worry me.

Many families don’t have jobs for their children or a real expectation that they will do them. Because our children are so busy, we forgive them slacking off around the home. They’re too tired, too overscheduled, or too burdened by homework. But if we don’t address our children’s participation in household maintenance, we’re going to end up with a long-term problem—one that impacts families, communities, and future job prospects.

What can we do to help our children grow up into well-rounded adults who are ready to leave the nest, make their own homes, and feel confident that their ready to face life challenges?

Assign daily jobs

If you want your children to grow up and move out you have to teach them to organize themselves. Organization starts with learning some simple tasks around the home.

My hairdresser recently told me that he was looking to employ an assistant at his salon— someone to sweep, make tea and coffee, and dust. He interviewed a number of young women for the position. After narrowing his choices he employed one young woman and realized that she didn’t know how to perform basic household chores. After his staff trained her, he sent her home with more skills than what she’d started with.

There are certain tasks around the house that will help your children live a well-balanced adult life. Learning how to wash dishes, use a washing machine, mow the lawn, and make the bed will make it a lot easier for your child to manage when they finally do leave home.

Establish routines

For some reason we think routines stifle creativity, but the opposite is actually true. Routines allow us to structure our day, providing us with the opportunity to find moments for fun and creativity. Creating routines will help you and your child get things done and learn exactly what can fit into a day.

Try establishing three daily routines:

  • Morning: wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed for school, pack bag, assigned chores
  • After School: extracurricular activities, homework, relaxation, assigned chores
  • Weekend: extracurricular activities, assigned chores

Think about how your family works at the moment. Where do you need to improve your routine to make it easier for everyone?

Expect your children to help out

Though our children seem to be busier than we were at the same age, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t contribute to the household. As parents, we’re busy too. When everyone pitches in, we’re all happier!

Where do you start? If you need to, have a family meeting. Discuss how you’re feeling about the help your children offer in your home (politely and respectfully—we all enjoy praise for our efforts) and then talk about what you’d like to see happen. Have an open discussion and, at the end of it, decide what chores your children will do, how often they will do them, and what (if any) reward they’ll receive. Remember, it doesn’t have to be money: you decide what your children’s currency is. Work with it. Create chore charts with your children so that everyone knows what’s expected of them.

Next? Change your mindset. This is particularly important if you’ve had no previous expectations or often resorted to nagging, yelling, or complaining to get things done. Be gentle with yourself and your family—change can be hard for some people. Chances are good that your children may not like to help. Keep at it. Eventually your children will become self-sufficient, capable of moving out and making you proud.

Do you already have chores and routines for your children? Do you expect them to help around the home, or is this something you hadn’t thought about before?

About the author

Helen Butler

Helen Butler

Owner and Director of Clutter Rescue, Helen Butler is an Accredited Expert Professional Organiser who works with Mums to organise and declutter their space and time.

Visit the Clutter Rescue website to sign up for the FREE five-day mini organising course, designed to help you look (and feel) more together, give you more time and an organised space so you never have to grovel for help again (or hire a live in housekeeper).

  • Sadie

    Great tips! I told the girls they’re OUT when they’re 18. 😉

  • Krystle Kouture

    I am 22 an hoping to move out in the next year. So glad I have a daily routine already.

  • Katie

    I totally agree that kids should have responsibilities and chores! Great tips!

  • Christine T

    Great article. As the mother of a tween, I make sure she does chores and have been since she was younger. She now has a great little routine and rarely needs to be reminded to do them. I am so happy to see her acting so responsibly. It gives me a lot of hope for her future 🙂

  • Great tips.

  • Our 3 1/2 year old already has a few “jobs” like helping us fold socks and washcloths, keeping his room somewhat clean, and feeding the dog.

  • Taylor S

    I love this article! So important to raise helpful kids instead of moochers!

  • Tatanisha Worthey

    Oh my goodness you are spot on– especially w/ this line “Many families don’t have jobs for their children or a real expectation
    that they will do them. Because our children are so busy, we forgive
    them slacking off around the home.”
    Thank you for the tips and the gently reminder. I started recently given the boys chores to do, but I do and have made these excuses when it comes to asking them to do more! Not any more!

  • notageek4u

    I definitely agree with what you’re saying! You have to give them some kind of ownership and structure.

  • Helen Butler

    Wow, I’m so excited to read all these wonderful comments! I’m really glad you enjoyed the article ladies! Helen, Clutter Rescue <3

  • Jen Leeman

    I agree with this a thousand percent! Routine and structure are so important and kids really do need to learn to do things for themselves. My 19 year old stepson moved in with us last year and has since started doing a lot of things his mom used to do for him. It’s good to see him learning and getting closer to being self-sufficient.

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