As you begin to plan your transition to independent living, you may find that your parents are watching for cues from you indicating your readiness to take this important step. If you are responsible, trustworthy, and act like an adult, they will be more likely to treat you as an adult.
Do you wonder if you will really be able to handle living on your own? You can test your readiness by asking yourself these questions:
- Can you support yourself financially?
- Do you cook your own meals or meals for your family?
- What do you do to keep your personal space and your family home clean?
- Who does your laundry?
If you want someone to take care of you and to meals and clean clothes but also want the privileges of an adult to come and go as you please, you are not acting like an adult. If you complain and procrastinate when asked to help around the house, you are not acting like an adult. If you are constantly engaging in conflicts with family members, you are not acting like an adult. When you act like an adult, your parents will find it easier to treat you like one. You can’t have it both ways!
Adulthood involves a lot of responsibilities. Accepting these responsibilities willingly shows maturity on your part. Increasing your responsibilities in three areas indicates that you are becoming more mature:
- Finances: By completing the education needed to launch your career, you are preparing to earn a good living. By working and helping pay your own expenses or contributing to family expenses while you still live at home, you are demonstrating your ability to support yourself.
- Housework, Meal Preparation, and Laundry: By willingly pitching in when things need doing or even taking full responsibility for certain chores, you are demonstrating emotional maturity and increasing self-sufficiency.
- Doing More Than Is Expected: Volunteering to help other family members or taking on extra responsibility makes your family’s household run more smoothly. Perhaps you could volunteer to run errands for your grandparents, help a younger sibling with homework, or prepare dinner when your parents must work late. Doing so shows that you are well on your way to becoming a responsible, considerate adult.
Tips for Harmonious Family Living
Whether you continue to live at home, want to move out on your own, or need to move back home temporarily, here are several ways you can increase your chances of living in harmony with your family:
- Show the respect to family members that you would like to receive from them.
- Seek ways to solve problems—don’t create them or escalate them into conflicts.
- Give others the benefit of the doubt.
- Respect everyone’s need for privacy.
- Share household responsibilities willingly.
- Keep lines of communication open. Keep others informed of your plans and your whereabouts. Avoid saying things you may regret later.
- Keep relationships on an adult-to-adult level. “Please,” “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry” go a long way. Avoid returning to old parent-child roles. For example, avoid whining your parent asks you to help with household tasks. If you make a promise, keep it.
- Stay positive by maintaining outside interests and friendships. By volunteering, participating in community activities, and developing and maintaining your own friendships, you are demonstrating maturity.