Not so fast, is the advice of Carl Pickhardt. Newly minted adult children can be unmoored by no longer having their bedroom to come home to. Writing in Psychology Today, he says that at this major jumping off place (leaving home to live independently), "it’s emotionally important to know that one has a family belonging place to return to, whether to visit for pleasure or for an emergency stay when there may be a need to boomerang home for a while."
Our recent grads may be adults, but he suggests that it's best not to think of this first foray into independence as a final “departure.” They are at the beginning of a “transition into more independence,” Pickhardt writes, adding these points:
*For many young people, it takes some measure of courage to move out and on into a new and different residence. To help make this move feel safe, parents can act to make membership in family remain secure.
*Parents often underestimate the difficulty of the last leg of growing up.... The demands for adequate self-care, the risky temptations offered by unsettled peers, the hardship of maintaining self-discipline, the increased availability of recreational drugs, the uncertainty of direction in life, and the widening scope of personal responsibility, these all conspire to make this final adolescent passage challenging indeed.
*Unless parents have pressing practical needs to the contrary, I suggest not immediately repurposing the bedroom of an adolescent who is off at college, or otherwise starting to live away from home. Better, I believe, to keep that space as is for a few years, and for the young person to know that her or his family place is being securely held.