I’m in the process of doing something I never thought I’d do. Letting one of my children move out before they reach 18.
My oldest is 16. He’ll be 17 in 4 months. He came to me a few weeks ago and informed me he wanted to be emancipated. Partially because he’s dealing with normal teenage issues, partially because he can’t get along with his siblings, partially because he feels he’s grown.
Now, he could emancipate himself, but I don’t want him to do that. If he did that and couldn’t make it, there are a lot less options when he’s an adult for us to help him out. Emancipation basically makes him just that, an adult before his time. No way.
So, we came to an agreement. He’s moving in with family, as a ‘renter’. He’s still under his father’s and my guardianship, but will live in another place. Stipulations are in place. He must continue school and keep his grades up. He must continue working and keep his bills paid (phone, gas in car, car insurance, etc). We (his father and I) will help with food and he will do chores to help cover utilities. He will be required to pay a small rent amount, so as to start getting the feel of paying bills.
His plan is to be on his own by graduation. We will see. A lot of this he came up with on his own. And that is the main reason we are agreeing to this. He calmly explained his plan. How he would take care of bills. How he will make a budget and stick to it. And how he will continue to excel in school and his bowling.
It’s still going to be a big adjustment and I’m still going to wonder if we did the right thing. He’s bound and determined to prove to us he can do this, so why not let him try? At least, with him not being emancipated, he can still remain a ‘kid’ while trying to be an ‘adult’.