When your child moves from home or leaves for college, it can be a difficult process for both of you. Parents tend to think the child is going to enjoy all of their freedom, but the fact is (all parties involved are affected and will experience some sort of loss).
Here is some advice for parents to make the transition a little easier. It’s important for the parents to remember, your child will always need you; although you are not playing the detail by detail role with the child (who is now an adult). You are still their parent. Allow them to make their own decisions and fulfill their needs as a parent in a different role in their life.
Quit Trying to Plan your child’s future:
Since they were young, you were planning everything from meals, to laundry, to playdates, etc. Now it is time to let your young adult start planning for what they want to do. Encourage them to make a list of what they will need, and remember important dates (note you can still give them reminders), and suggest what they will need for their new apartment. It is important you let them do the planning and that you are there for advice if needed. You are more of a support structure than a hands on planner at this point.
Give advice without pushing:
As a parent we have a set way on what we want our child (young adult). Now is the time to sit back and respect their wishes. If you strongly disagree, let them know, but do allow them to make their own decisions. You can give them your reasoning, and hopefully they will take the best route, but you do have to let them make the decision (or it will be an up hill battle).
Communication is key:
Make sure to let your child know you will miss them, and it’s ok to contact them often. Make sure to let them know you are there if they need to talk, that there is an open door policy and if there is any trouble they can call you anytime. Make sure they have a form of communication whether it is a phone, phone card, internet, so they are able to contact you for emergency. Also it’s a good idea to not run to every bit of trouble your child is in (unless obviously emergency), let them sort some things out for themselves too, it’s what makes them stronger.
Make sure to go over the financial situation with your young adult especially if you are supporting them. Make sure they know if they are on a budget, and what spending resources are available. Also, if more money is needed, they need to let you know ahead of time, and that they do not expect you to come up with cash all the time in last-minute situations. It might be a good idea to give them a budget with their own account, and let them be responsible to learn how to manage their cash flow.
Take time for yourself:
After your young adult moves out, take some time for yourself. You may feel a little lost, or empty around the house, but now is a time to focus on yourself. It might even be a good idea to make a list of what you want to do, and start tackling the list. Now it is time for you to have your life back.
Take time for your marriage:
Now that your young one is on their own, it’s important that you and your partner spend more time together, and plan dates, vacations, etc; this is your time to keep growing.
As explained, the separation part of a child moving away from home is not easy, but if you plan accordingly and let them be an adult, you will find the line of communication is easier, and it will help keep a strong relationship with you and your son/daughter.