My adult child is back in the house... As parents who love their children, do we nurture them or push them out of the nest? This is a question on many parents' minds as a growing number of adults are finding themselves in The Sandwich Generation -- caring for both their adult kids and aging parents. It can weigh anyone down and be a burden financially and emotionally. So, when your adult child comes knocking on your door, is it okay to kick them out?
Watch Dr. Janet Taylor for how parents should best handle adult children who've overstayed their welcome:
Can you kick your adult kids out of the house? Well you know, it's really interesting. Now we live in a time where as parents we've raised our children, they've gone to school, gone to work, and even come back home. So we're faced with this dilemma of, especially mothers who are always mothers, do I nurture these kids? Do I have a place for them? Or it's time to push them out of the nest?
Now we're at a time when our adult parents have parents who are living longer; so there's this sandwiched generation. They're taking care of their older parents and then their adult children come back home. It can be a strain financially, it can be a strain emotionally. There's this real conflict: Do I still actually love my children if I'm telling them I liked my space as an empty nester? Do I want them home anymore?
So to answer the question: Can I kick my adult kids out? Absolutely! You can kick your adult kids out. And sometimes that's the only way to do it. It can be gradual, where you can sit down and say, listen, we agree that you could come back here so you could save some money, get restarted, or you've gotten divorced, you're having a hard time at work, have lost your job. What's the timetable? Are you going to live here six months? Are you going to live here a year? Eighteen months? We can support each other in other ways, but you really can't live here.
So I think it really depends on the relationship that you have with your adult children, remembering they're adults even though they're your children. The reality is that at some point we raise our children so they can be self-actualized, independent and really take care of themselves. Sometimes you have to push them away or say, that's it. No more. Otherwise, they will stay there for a long, long time.
Dr. Janet Taylor is a genConnect.com expert helping couples navigate the challenges of relationships and parenting. Dr. Taylor is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Columbia University affiliated Harlem Hospital. She's a frequent guest on the "Today" show and a contributor for many outlets including O, The Oprah Magazine.