Fledgling’s Time

26 Feb

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image18434403Dear LetterBalm: I’m 20 years old and thinking seriously about moving into my own place. I have a good full-time job as a transportation inspector for a cargo airline, and I’m taking courses to earn my B.S. I’m financially ready to be on my own, but I currently live with my parents, and they’re very protective. When my older brother moved out two years ago, they made his life miserable, even as they wanted to be helpful. They insisted on choosing his apartment, furnishing it and “popping in” unannounced. My brother finally had to change the locks, which caused a lot of friction. I don’t want the same thing to happen to me. What can I tell them to make them back off and still keep on good terms with them?

–Ready to Fly

Congratulations on developing a good work ethic at a young age; Ms. L.B. is confident you’ll do well in life. But the first thing in leaving the nest is separating from your folks, as you well know. You need to have everything ready before you approach your parents, including a signed apartment lease, an account with your local utility, and a move-in date. You also need to reassure your parents that you don’t require anything from them, even if it means you sleep on a mattress on the floor, watch Netflix on your phone and eat off your only plate, as you slowly buy furniture and other amenities. Your goal is to show your self-reliance, while remaining respectful of their concern for you. And, under no circumstances do you give them keys to your place. (Tell your super, too, not to let any visitors in when you aren’t home.) When you’re ready, stay calm and brace for pushback. Say this:

Mom and Dad, I have exciting news. Mom, you’re finally going to have that sewing room you’ve been wanting because I’m moving. I’ve rented an apartment. This is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, and now it’s happening. My job has helped me become self-reliant – which you’ve remarked upon – and now I can really be responsible for my own future. I’m having a bed and a sofa delivered to the new place next week, and I’ll be getting furniture and other stuff slowly as I can afford it. I know you may want to help, but this is something I want to do for myself.  I’m moving in next week, but I’ll be inviting you to dinner as soon as I’m completely settled. The apartment is small, but it’s clean and safe, and I know you’ll like it. 

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