With many sons and daughters getting their exam results soon and the possibility of them heading off to university, you may be starting to think ahead to the moment your child will leave home. But don’t worry, we’ve got all the tips you may need to help cope with the sad but exciting change.
Prepare for the day they leave
If you’re expecting your child to be leaving within the next few months, take the time now to check they know the basic essentials for looking after themselves. This means you’ll be less worried about them when they go, and you can rest assured they can survive on their own! Make sure they know how to use the washing machine, cook for themselves and budget for all their bills.
If your child springs on you at the last minute that they’re leaving, don’t panic! Be enthusiastic for them and offer support so they can be confident about going. Let them see you’re happy and excited for them and not worried as this’ll help them a lot.
Explore the ways you can keep in touch
You may feel a bit lonely when your kids are gone because they won’t be around your home anymore, so keeping in touch is vital. It’ll keep the family together and enable you to update each other with news. Maybe you could decide on a time to talk to each other once a week?
There are loads of ways to stay in contact with each other using your smartphone. You could do a regular video chat over Skype or Facebook Messenger. Or you could simply share messages and photos using WhatsApp to let them know you’re thinking of them.
As time goes on and your son or daughter begins to settle you’ll probably start to hear from them less, which is only natural. When this starts to happen, it may be better to just text or email, which are ideal when you’re both busy.
Many parents will be occupied with work when their child leaves home but if you still find yourself sitting around with not much to do, then start thinking of other ways to fill your time.
Take up a new hobby or interest. Now is the time to try something you’ve always been interested in but never had the time to do. You could start anything from regularly going swimming to learning a new language. You could even restart an old hobby that you had to give up because of the kids all those years ago!
You could also consider volunteering, possibly at a charity shop. Doing something positive with your free time could be very rewarding.
Make dates with friends that you never used to have the time to see. You may know people in the same situation as you so you could suggest starting a fun new hobby together.
Remember there will be lots of other parents feeling the same way as you, so talk to people around you! Friends and family in the same position will help you shake the blues.
Think of the positives
Look on the brighter side of things and focus on the positives that will come from your children leaving home.
For one, the fridge may not need refilling as often. This means fewer trips to the shop for you and less cooking required.
There will hopefully be less washing and ironing to do with fewer people around as well. You could even get the kids to practise doing their own laundry when they do come home, which will work out perfectly for you.
You might start to notice lower prices on your water, phone and electricity bills. Money saved could be put to many other uses- maybe even a holiday for you!
Focus on the others
If you still have younger children living at home, focus more of your attention on them as you’ll now have more time to spend with them. Don’t forget they’ll be leaving home soon enough too so enjoy them now!
You never know how long it may take to adjust to your child leaving home but by letting go, keeping busy and knowing they’ll be back for Christmas, you’ll be able to carry on.
On the plus side, at least you’ll have some peace and quiet during term time!