What to Do When Your Child Goes to University
Waving goodbye to your child as she heads off to university can be an emotional time.
12:45 01 December 2017
Despite that you’ve been preparing her for independence and further education her entire life, it can be hard to let go and adjust to your new life when the time eventually comes around.
You have likely devoted 18-20 years of your life to parenting your children, so it is entirely reasonable to feel bereaved by their departure and even struggle to cope. It’s common during this time to experience loss and aimlessness, so here are three top tips to help you navigate this all-important milestone.
Communicate Your Feelings
When you know your child is about to leave home for good, it’s normal to try to suppress your feelings of sadness, but this isn’t healthy for either of you in the long run. Instead of ignoring your negative emotions, explain to your child that you’re happy she is starting her life and taking positive steps for her future, but that you’re sad she is leaving.
By being honest, you are encouraging her to do the same. She is bound to be feeling uncertain and scared about venturing out on her own but hopefully, she won’t feel she has to put on a brave face in front of you during less positive moments.
Make the “Room Decision” Together
One of the hardest questions you will ask yourself as a parent is what to do with your children’s bedrooms when they leave home. On the one hand, you may want to preserve your child's room so she has the familiar security blanket of home to come back to, but on the other hand, you don’t want this space to be empty for most of the year.
Sit down with your child and try to come up with a compromise. You may decide that she will need somewhere to sleep when she comes back for the holidays, but that her bedroom doesn’t need to stay a shrine to her childhood. Offer to decorate it to her taste, and put some of her items in storage, keeping just a few precious items on display for when she returns. You can find domestic solutions online for storage Leicester and other parts of the UK.
Keep in Touch
While you should allow your child to discover her independence, you also want her to know that your role as her parent hasn’t changed, and there you’re always there if she needs you. One of the great things about modern technology is that it brings people closer together, so try to utilise apps like WhatsApp and Skype to stay close to your child, even though there’s physical distance between you.
Familiarise yourself with the latest technology, and you will be able to keep in touch with your child more easily. She might not want to spend every night on the phone with you, but she may be more inclined to send you regular WhatsApp messages telling you she is OK.
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