How To Help Parents Cope When You Get An Apartment

By Julia Dunn on December 21, 2015

When parents hear their kids announce that they want to move into their first apartment, a number of questions and concerns come up: “Where? With whom? By yourself? Do you have enough money? Is that a good idea at this time? Why don’t you just stay in the residence halls where an RA can look after you? What can I do to be involved in the moving process?”

Image Via Flickr

It can be difficult for parents to process the transition when their kids make the switch from college dorm life to independent apartment life. Parents do want their children to learn “how to adult,” but fear can easily take over at first when thinking of the details associated with renting or subletting an apartment.

Here are three ways parents can cope with your moving into an apartment.

1. Share the details of your move with your parents so they’re in the loop.*

If your parents are welcomed figures in your life and they’re struggling with your choice to move into an apartment, let them in on the process.

If you need help figuring out rent, roommates, leases, neighborhoods, furniture, adjusting to independent living, or something else, let your parents contribute. They will feel great for being allowed to help with your move, and you will feel less stressed about moving yourself (it is a lot of work).

*Note: You do not need to involve your parents in your moving process if your parents are detrimental to your success. Parents are not always healthy figures in their kids’ lives, and it is up to you how much or how little you share with them once you are an adult yourself.

If you can fare well on your own and your parents are actually toxic for your well-being, make this transition on your own and encourage yourself to seek outside resources like school counselors or friends to ease into your new lifestyle.

Many students feel an obligation to communicate with their biological family throughout their lives, and this is encouraged if your family treats you well — but friend-families are just as valid as a blood-related family, if not more so, and your friends can support you as you move into an apartment as well.

2. Video chat.

After you’re moved in, your parents will probably want to check on you repeatedly each week (or even each day) to see how you’re doing. If you are so inclined, video chat with your parents at a set time each week/day and let them know how things are going in the apartment.

Seeing you in your new place will ease parental worries about how you are doing on your own, and the more they see you thriving, the less concerned they will be. If you want, you can even invite your parents over for dinner a few weekends after you’re settled into your apartment, which will help your parents feel like they’ve still got a concrete connection to you even though you’re living on your own.

Visiting you in your apartment will bring your apartment into your parents’ reality and reiterate your command of the situation.

3. Let them know you’ve got it under control.

To help your parents cope with you getting your own apartment, reassure them that you’ve got the little details figured out.

The main matters to worry about when securing an apartment are finances and logistics, and showing your parents that these are taken care of will relieve a lot of anxiety they may have about you getting everything together.

Your parents might give you a list of reasons to stay in on-campus housing (there are a million perks to on-campus housing); if this is the case, explain to your parents that you’re going to have to live on your own someday and you might as well learn how to do so while you’re still in college.

Image Via Flickr

Getting used to managing an apartment in conjunction with your academic career is great life experience that instills a sense of personal agency within yourself, as well as awareness of real-life consequences that come with certain actions. It may be rough getting used to cooking your own food, cleaning your apartment, finding furniture, and navigating landlord interactions, but learning these things before you’re truly let loose in the post-graduation world will benefit you.

Ultimately, the choice to move into an apartment when you’re ready to do so is your choice — not your parent’s. It isn’t even necessarily your job to make them okay with it.

The point of moving into an apartment (either from university dorms or from your parents’ house) is to increase your independence and responsibility, and young adults can handle it with the proper planning.

Caring parents should remember one thing from this article: help your young adults without judging, advise without overstepping, and support without discouraging.

Your kids will learn how to handle their apartment one way or another, and the best thing you can do to facilitate their transition is to make yourself available to them as a resource and never get in the way of your kids’ goals.

College students have more support now than ever before, with tons of resources available on campus and off for new/first-time student renters; there are plenty of articles, videos, and workshops young adults have access to that can greatly simplify what students need to know about getting an apartment.

Parents, embrace your young adult’s new step of independence — everything will be just fine.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
A writer, editor and educator based in Northern California.

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