The transition for young people from being teenagers to young adults is an exciting and scary time. Young people begin to develop a sense of self and yearn for independence. This quest for independence often leads a young person to seek a living situation independent from their loved ones.

As a parent or a guardian, how can you assist your young adult in this transition to independence? The following “helpful hints” can help you and your young adult find a starting point, and chisel away at the anxiety that can come at this exciting and scary time.

Start with the basics. What kind of a budget do you have? To do this, figure out the biggest expense first — rent! To do this, take your monthly earnings (add up all of your income for 4 weeks) and take 30% of that (multiply by .30, ex. $800 x .30 = $240 per month).

Consider finding a roommate; this will cut overall expenses in half and reduce feeling lonely.

Location, location, location! Choose a place close to family, school, work, bus line, grocery store, laundromat, etc.

Assist your youth in opening a checking/savings account & teach them how to use it (balancing a checkbook, making deposits, etc.).

Go grocery shopping with your teen and teach him or her how to buy nutritious food on a budget.

Demonstrate how to do laundry and general house cleaning (include a lesson on changing their bed sheets regularly).

Make sure that they have all of the safety basics including:

  • fire extinguisher
  • smoke/carbon monoxide detector
  • cooking supplies (baking sheets, pots & pans, measuring cups, cutting board, sharp knives, silverware, dishes, glasses)
  • cleaning supplies (multi-purpose cleaners are great!)
  • vacuum cleaner
  • towels, sheets and blankets

Most importantly, keep supporting your young person through this transition. Your patience and encouragement makes a difference.