At 16 you have the right to leave home, but most young people do not. In Oxfordshire housing is expensive and it can take time to find the right place to live.
Staying at home
There are many benefits to staying at home:
- You don't have to worry about the stress of house-hunting and moving
- You’re free to concentrate on learning or work
- You can save money for the future
But you may have less freedom to do your own thing as there will be family rules to live by.
Crucial: Most people find living at home stressful at times, especially when parents still see them as younger than they really are. It is important to focus on common ground and try to see the other person's point of view.
Keeping the peace: helping out
Staying at home doesn't mean saying no to independence. Part of growing up involves taking more responsibility. There are lots of ways young people can help the household:
- Sharing in cooking and chores
- Contributing to bills, household expenses, and paying rent
- Looking after family members
If you're not sure how you can help, ask. It's not just helping out, it's an opportunity to start practicing the life skills you’ll need to survive on your own.
Crucial: If you are spending lots of your time and effort caring for another family member, you may be a young carer.
Keeping the peace: coping with arguments
Arguments within families are normal. People have different opinions, and it's OK to disagree. But when arguments involve violence or threats, intimidation, or always putting people down, then abuse may be happening.
Talking to someone about your parent trouble can help.
‘I love living at home’
‘Every evening I have somebody to come home to. My mum makes me feel safe and loved. She helps me with anything she can. I only earn a small amount of money as I am working towards a modern apprenticeship so money’s tight. Mum doesn’t charge me too much to live at home so I help her by doing chores. It would be expensive to live alone in Oxford.’ – Chrystal, 16, Oxford