My 19-year-old nephew left his home in Israel and moved in with me and my family on what was supposed to be a temporary stay. We told him that he was welcome in our home until he got on his feet – which we thought would take only a few weeks. That was 6 months ago! This might not seem like a long time to some, but we have 6 kids at home, and he is not getting along very well with the younger ones. To put it mildly, he has overstayed his welcome. Every now and then he says he is going to move out – but at the last minute something always happens – like no money for food or clothing which my husband and I offer to pay. How can I get him to move out (sending him back to his family in Israel is not an option)? He is putting a lot of stress on our family.
No Longer Welcome
Dear Unwilling Host and Hostess,
Getting rid of an unwanted house guest is not easy. But as I have always proposed in this column, the direct approach is usually the best. I will likely, therefore, not be telling you anything you didn’t already know. So here goes:
Joe, you are family and we love you. But as you might have noticed, we have tried several times to assist you to get on your own two feet, but something has always come up.
So, let’s make a list. What are the things you need to be in place so that you can either find your own apartment, move into the dorm where you are schooling or find another friend or relative to take you in. We are setting an end date of 30 days from now to get this done.
Let’s call your parents to let them know what we are planning. Perhaps they have some suggestions as to where or to whom you could go.
If he accepts, fine. Develop the list and make sure it is realistic and doable. If he balks but consents grudgingly, add the following:
In the meantime, we need you to start contributing $X per week to the house for meals and upkeep. In addition, this is the list of chores we need you to take care of everyday. Also, there is a curfew we need you to follow starting tonight.
(You might want to add a few particulars of your own).
If he absolutely objects, and there is no “special” reason why you must remain the watchful guardians for him, you have no choice but to call his parents, give them a deadline and change the door locks.