Dear Barb—Putting away Childish Things

Dear Barb:

I am twenty-seven years old and live with my parents.  I have my degree and am working full time.  I was living away from home while I attended university, but moved back when I graduated.  I planned to move out when I got a full time job, but I love it at home.  My parents are easy going and not intrusive at all.  They never question where I’m going or what I’m doing.  I am saving lots of money and my mom does everything for me.  Unfortunately I guess my parents don’t feel the same.  They think I should move out.  I was surprised when they suggested it was time for me to move out.  I am their only child and I have always got along really well with my parents.  Why would they want me to move out? Confused, in Niagara.    

Hey Confused:

Yep, twenty-seven years old is time to leave home.  Your parents probably have things they want to do with their life.  Perhaps they want to sell their home and travel, or renovate, which may require changing your room into a den or guest bedroom.  Whatever their reasons, they feel it is time for you to move on with your life.  I think the issue here is why don’t you want to move out.  What is preventing you from taking the step that most adults eventually take? You said you have lived away from home while attending school, so it can’t be a fear of being on your own.  Perhaps you don’t want to undertake the responsibility of paying your own rent, buying your own groceries, doing your own laundry, all the things that adults do.  You need to spend some time asking yourself these questions and find out how to resolve them so you can take the next step in your life.  It’s time to allow your parents the freedom to do whatever they want with their home and their time, and be thankful for all they have done for you.  Thanks for your question.

Dear Barb:

I have one sister who is one year older than me.  We never got along very well.  As I get older I want to have a better relationship with my sister, but I don’t know how to get past this sibling rivalry we’ve always had.  I’m not even sure how it all started.  Do you have any suggestions on how my sister and I can move past this childish behaviour? Thanks, Rebecca.

Hi Rebecca:

Great question.  Sibling rivalry is often initiated by parents, although they don’t realize it at the time.  Many siblings grow up and become best friends, but sometime the wounds from childhood are difficult to heal.  It is possible for you and your sister to move past this “childish behaviour” and become good friends.  As always, communication is where change begins.  Talk to your sister and tell her that you want to heal your relationship.  If you are open about your feelings, most likely your sister will do the same.  If you and your sister have been competing, that needs to stop immediately.  Your family members should be part of your support system, not your competition.  Accept the fact that you and your sister are different people and have different strengths and weaknesses.  Don’t expect her to think and act like you, she is an individual.  You may not like the things she does, but those characteristics make her who she is.  Always choose to ignore petty differences, rather than make a big deal of out of them.  These are qualities that can be applied to other relationships in your life as well.  Don’t spend a lifetime angry about something that really doesn’t mean much in the whole scheme of life.  Good luck to you and your sister.

Email your questions to  Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed.  This column is for entertainment only.  The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.