There comes a time in your family’s life when your child or children will eventually leave home. Maybe they are off to college or exploring opportunities abroad. Either way, it’s never an easy time for a parent. The physical separation that comes with them leaving is a daunting thing to think about. And often, it can lead to emotional separation. It is so important that you and your family prepare properly in order to minimize the looming sense of loss that comes with their departure. Your relationship with them will surely change but it does not have to be for the worse. By implementing a few key preparation strategies for when they leave, you and your children can maintain a strong and healthy relationship.
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In this article, we will share a few ways that you can prepare for your child or children’s inevitable move away from home.
Empower Your Child
As much as you may want to, its time to stop taking charge of their life. They are old enough now to make their own decisions and you need to let them do so. This doesn’t mean removing yourself from the equation. Rather, guide them through the moving process. Teach them the importance of making lists, jotting down important dates, and searching via the right platforms. For example, encourage them to highlight their registration dates. Show them the best property websites or encourage them to share dormitory social media pages with you. Motivate them to create lists of what they will need for their room. Inspire them to do their own planning and let them know that you are always on call for assistance.
Provide Advice Not Pressure
So, your child has gone and done their research. They have an idea of where they want to stay and what they are going to need. This is not always going to align with your own ideas of their wants and needs. This can lead to conflict, especially if you start to put pressure on them. Sure, not all college dormitories are created equally. See this list, for example. But, you should be willing to hear what they have to say. Listen to their reasoning and have a mature discussion about the pros and cons. Offer any sound advice you have from your college days rather than merely outing any of their suggestions. Show them that they are heard.
While they won’t be living at home, they will always be your babies. However, don’t treat them like babies. Don’t pester them and call them at random times of the day. And, do not call them every single day. Before they leave, work with them to establish a few communication methods. Maybe they are happy with a Sunday evening supper catch up or maybe they would prefer a weekly call. Be willing to be flexible with your communication times. They may be attending an event or important meeting at the usual contact period. Let them know that you are there for them if they need, however, don’t go running at the first sign of homesickness. Give them time to work through their problems and lend an ear instead of fixing. For more information on how best to communicate with your kids, click here.
College is as expensive as it is fun. In saying so, it is essential that you set some ground rules for finances. Especially if your child does not have a part-time job. Come to a realistic allowance by discussing expenses with them. Inform them that you will not offer any leeway on said allowance. When the money runs out, it runs out until their next allowance. This will teach them responsibility. With regards to unexpected schooling costs, tell them to let you know as soon as they know instead of bailing them out.
All the tips and tricks in the world cannot properly prepare you for when your child or children leave home. However, these few strategies can make the process a little easier. So, if your kid/s are getting ready to go, then implement a few of these techniques to make the move a success!