Q: Our working adult child and his kid live with us. How do we tell him he needs to move out without feeling guilty for kicking out the grandchild, too?
A: Consider your motives. If you are focusing on yourself, you are on solid ground. You may be tired of sharing the car, or you may want the spare bedroom back. You may want to leave parenthood behind. If so, your motives are solid.
If you are focusing more on trying to force your son to grow up, then you are on shakier ground. These are lessons that you should have started long ago. If this is the case, seek more self-knowledge before acting.
Once you have your motives straight you can proceed with grace. Don’t lecture your son about what he “should” do. Show him that you believe in his ability to take care of himself and his child.
You don’t mention the age of your grandchild, so it’s hard to say what impact this will have there. If the child is not old enough to comprehend what’s happening and why, that’s a conversation you might need to have down the road.
DEBBIE PINCUS WARD, parenting coach
A: I suggest a positive, five-point discussion with your son.
• Begin by acknowledging the value of this experience, and explain how you are grateful for the time you’ve had together.
• Take full responsibility for initiating this change in living arrangements. Explain that it is intended to free up more of your time and energy.
• Agree on a schedule for your son to make new housing arrangements.
• Be clear that living separately does not mean that you no longer love him or your grandchild.
• Affirm that you still want to be part of their lives. Spell out what terms work for you, and listen to what terms might work for them. Obviously, this transition will take some joint working out.
CARL PICKHARDT, author of “Boomerang Kids”