How to Cope When Your Child Leaves Home
At some point or another, your child is going to move out of the house. Whether they are heading off to college or starting just the journey of living on their own, you will soon find a quiet home. While moving out not only puts a physical distance between parent and child, it also puts an emotional distance between them as well. There are some things you can do to help both of you cope when your child leaves home.
Stop Planning Your Child’s Life– It has probably become a habit that you plan your child’s daily activities. This includes things like music lessons, sports activities and school schedules. However, when your child moves out, it is now their responsibility to plan their own life. You, as a parent, can encourage them to create lists to help make the moving transition much smoother. This includes a list for things they will need for their dorm room or apartment and what important days they will need to remember. Ensure that they know you are there for them if they need help.
Do Not Label Your Child– This is especially true when your child is off to college. Parents put pressure on their child to be something in life like a doctor or a lawyer. Parents need to give their child space so they can develop their own future goals. Even if they make a career choice that you are happy with, it is their choice and their passion, not yours.
Ensure They Keep in Touch– Be sure that your child knows that you will miss them when they leave and it is important they keep in touch with you. Whether you suggest they call you once or twice a week let them know that they can also call you anytime they need you. You can also suggest that they use other forms of communication if they want like emails and text messages. You want to be the shoulder to cry on but you don’t want to solve all of their problems. They need to handle their own problems and you should be their support.
Talk About Money and Finances– You will need to go over the money situation with your child. They need to know what their personal budget is and what your expectations are regarding spending and resources. Teach them that they need to stay within the budget they have. Part of them growing up is taking care of their own money and learning how to budget.
Allow Yourself Time to Adjust– You need to give yourself time to adjust when your child leaves home. Parents spend so much time taking care of their children, it may feel weird at first and it may feel strange in the beginning. Once they leave home this is the time for you to focus on yourself. Before they even leave the house, think about things you want to do like redo the deck area, catch up on your favorite books or learn how to play golf or tennis.