How to Tell Your Overprotective Parents You're Moving Out
Depending on your personality and how rebellious you are, breaking the news will vary from excruciating to just picking up your stuff and taking off without looking back. Chances are though, if you're looking online for advice, you're nervous about confronting your parents.
Be Sure of Your Decision
Nothing is worse than setting off the parent bomb without thinking things through beforehand. Be sure that you are able to move out and that this is what you really want to do. It'll only make things worse if you end up having to come back at a later date because you weren't able to make it.
If you're moving in with a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend be sure that they are trustworthy and someone you can function with and be around most of the day. The point of moving out and being on your own is to improve your quality of life and to experience new things. You don't want to move from one negative situation into another.
One piece of advice is to have spent a few days alone together, in a hotel, at a family member's house and see how everything goes. Is your potential roommate clean? Were they courteous with their space and did they look after themselves?
If you need some sort of an excuse to test the waters, try finding an event that is a distance away from your house so it will force you to stay with your potential roommate. A film festival, a band, a mini vacations, etc.
Experiencing roommates in College dorms is also a good way to not only familiarize yourself with living with someone else, but it will also allow you to visit your parents (on school breaks), and the act of your going to college may also help alleviate their fears.
Don't Break the News Alone
If you're moving in with a roommate or a boyfriend/girlfriend, having them there for support will show a certain level of commitment that you're not alone in your decision to move out and might help remove some of the fear that you're parents will be feeling.
It's also nice to be able to talk back and forth and show your parents that you've thought about potential job offers and what you'll be doing to accomplish your goal together and how you'll have someone to support you.
Have a Plan and Be Ready to Defend Yourself
If you're parents are like mine, as soon as I broke the news to my dad, he immediately said "No, you're not." In which case I had to defend myself and tell him what the plan was, who I had talked to and that I would still have the connection and support of people in my creative industry. It was a risk that I was taking, but I was prepared and willing to see where the decision would take me.
When planning to move out, is your job going to be a permanent one or is it merely a step toward your dream job? Be sure to think about how long you want to commit to wherever you're staying.
For me, my move's time was limited to one year. Same with my internship. I gave it one year to do everything I could (build relationships, networking, finished projects for my portfolio), then I would move on and continue pursuing my career.
This helps avoid getting stuck in a dead end situation and also gives me a driving force to complete what I want to accomplish in a set time.
When you told your parents you were moving out, when did you tell your parents?
Break the News to Your Parents Last
This might seem a little odd to some people, but for me, I found that it was easier and a little less daunting after talking to my friends and family before confronting my parents. You'll be able to talk about what you want to do, without an air of disdain or disapproval.
Ask for advice. Your friends and family will be able to tell you how it was when they left the house and hearing it from them will encourage you to make your decision.
If you're like me, someone who hates conflict, this is going to be a scary and new situation for you. You'll be glad to have the support and love of people you care about before you step into the ring with your parents. There's comfort knowing that you have the support of friends and family, especially if you know that your parents are not going to support your decision.
Other Factors to Consider
- Boyfriend/girlfriend - how serious is the relationship? Can you trust him/her? Are you ready to commit to living together? What would happen if things go wrong?
- Any animals you need to find homes for - do you need to find a home for pet? Who will take care of it? Are you taking your animal with you?
- If either of your parents are sick at the time - if leaving at the moment is the right choice? What will you do if things get worse with them?
- Leftover junk - how much stuff are your parents going to let you keep in the house if any?
Tell Mom or Dad First
If you're closer to one of your parents, it might help to tell one of your parents before the other so that you can test the waters. You might also be able to ask for help from whoever you're closer to on how to tell the other.
Have Realistic Expectations Before Confronting Your Parents
Ideally, you want to tell your parents with plenty of time so you can say your goodbyes and get your affairs in order. However, avoid any kind of unrealistic expectations in your head. If you have any past experiences with mistakes, you should have a general idea of how your parents will react.
Were they mad for a couple months the last time? Will they support you or give you the silent treatment? Will there be screaming and is there a possibility they will kick you out of the house?
Preparing for the worse will help keep your resolve strong. As much as I wanted to still be friends and have my mom like me, I knew that telling her that I was moving out, across states (and with my boyfriend to boot), would make her furious. Knowing this, I was prepared for the silent treatment and knew that my name would be mud for a couple months.
If you are moving in with a roommate, it's a good idea to bring them by the house for your parents to meet so they at least will know what sort of company you'll be in.
Understanding Your Parents' View
As much as you want to move out and no matter how it goes down, remember to look at it from your parents point of view. If you're the first child to move out, or the only one, it's no doubt going to be harder for you to break the news to them. The same is true if you're a girl, if you're moving in with a boyfriend/girlfriend or moving across states.
Make an effort to alleviate their fears by having a plan and thinking things over before you act on your decision. Be sure to let them know that you still love them and they're welcome to come by and visit.
Advice I Would Give My Past Self
Don't wait as long to tell your parents. The anxiety and stress I had, could have been reduced significantly if I hadn't waited so long. It's better to not picture every possible horrible outcome then just getting it over with.
Have a better relationship with my parents. Growing up, I never felt close to either of my parents or that I was able to talk to them about big life decisions. I found more comfort and support from my friends and boyfriends' family and parents. As such, I don't feel like I picked the right words to express why I wanted to move out.
- Leave a picture frame with a good picture of yourself inside
- Write a nice letter when you leave expressing how you'll miss them, if you're better at writing than talking about your feelings, this may be a good way for you to express your emotions
- Buy a webcam so you can Skype
- Promise that you'll keep in touch.
After you finally move out, there's a possibility that one or both of your parents will need a little bit of a "cool down" period. Let them have their space and when you feel like you've given them some time, remember to try to be friends after the situation.
You can't choose who your family are, but they're important and are your biggest support system. And as annoying as it is, being overprotective just means that your parents care for you. It's a big life decision, not just for you, but for your parents as well.
What's Your Moving out Story?
How were your parents when you broke the news? If you have a story, feel free to share it below. How you approached the situation may help someone else.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.