At What Age Should Kids Leave the Nest?

March 14, 2016

The TV was on in the background as I scurried around the apartment getting our bags together to head out. Steve Harvey was on the Today Show talking with Savannah Guthrie about his new TV show and at the end of the segment, a couple of people from the audience were invited to ask Harvey, typical Harvey questions. But the question (and his answer) I’ve been thinking about was this one: When it comes to your little birds leaving the nest, at what age should your kid(s) move out? Is there a right time to get your kids packing? 

Leaving the Nest

The reason I found this question so interesting was the same reason I found it interesting that my friends were shocked I was moving back home after college – because, at my house, we never discussed it. There was never a discussion at my house growing up about what age my sister and I would move out; in fact, it was just assumed that my sister and I would move home after graduation. I’m sure that seems very antiquated to some but that’s just what it was in our house. My mom’s thoughts were that we would stay under their roof until we were married. Maybe it’s a Cuban thing because a lot of my family is the same way.

My sister and I were both working full-time jobs. I went back to graduate school. I bought a car and made car payments. I paid off my hefty credit card debt. My life was exactly like my friends’ except that I lived with my parents (and grandparents). And honestly, I loved it; I never much liked being alone so coming home to a house that smelled like my mom’s Cuban black beans that housed 3 generations was a win. My friends would comment that they could never live with their parents again. They thought I was crazy. Free rent. A laundry machine. Home-cooked meals. A house as warm as melted butter. Maybe they should rethink their definition of crazy.

Harvey’s answer was 24 years old, which would put my sister 2 years over his mark and me 5 years over. Looking back, and having my own kids now, I could say with confidence that I don’t understand the rush with having kids leave the nest (assuming they’re not leeching off of you). I wasn’t worried about where I was going to go next or pressuring myself to have it all figured out by 24. I knew (and still do) that I always have a place to call home. And I want the same for my kids – to know they can always come home again.

What are your thoughts? What age did you move out? Do you have kids? At what age do you think they should move out?

P.S. Nothing says grown up like a big girl bed.

(Photos by Sydney Treasures Photography)


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