Parents Don’t Want Me to Leave Home

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From Australia. I’m 25 but my parents always treat me half my age. Everyone is either getting married/having kids at my age already. I’m the eldest and they have always been too strict and over controlling. They tell me no one leaves home at my age- even though my cousins my age have. I can’t stand them. They also play favourites and and are lax with my siblings. I want to leave desperately. I don’t want to be 40 and living at home. Why do they get so offended. The only reason why I haven’t is I’m lost career wise.

A: I really don’t think the only rason you haven’t left home is that you’re lost “career-wise.” A person of 25 doesn’t have to have made final career decisions to have a place of her own. All she needs is a job that will pay the bills. You could get together with friends and share a place and start to make a life of your own.

I suspect that you are more scared to be independent than you are acknowledging to yourself or to others. Yes, your parents may be overly strict or overly protective. But you are the one who is focusing on what you think they should be doing instead of what you could be doing. It may be that your parents also sense your fear and therefore think you aren’t ready to be on your own.

The way out of this is to get a job (maybe even two), save your money and start making mature decisions about how you want to live your life. There is no reason to argue with your parents. If you are clear, there is nothing to argue about. You can simply tell them that you love them, that you wish they’d approve, but regardless of whether they approve you know it’s time for you to go. Thank them sincerely for all their love and help and invite them to come visit.

Do everything you can to leave on good terms with your parents. If you make your move in a loving way, chances are things will eventually settle down so that you can rebuild your relationship with them on different terms.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Parents Don’t Want Me to Leave Home. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/06/07/parents-dont-want-me-to-leave-home/