*This is a contributed post* As a parent, you’re probably pretty prepared for your child’s life to be filled with amazing milestone after amazing milestone. However, there’s no doubt that there’s any single milestone more significant than when your child goes off to university. After all, that’s not only the moment where they probably move out on their own for the first time, but it’s also the moment when they officially become adults living their own lives on their own terms. Of course, you’re still their parent so it’s hardly a shock that you’re going to want to make sure that you’re there for them and to support them the best you can. However, supporting your child through this transition can be a real challenge but it’s so different from anything else that you and your child have been through before. With that in mind, here are some ways to be there for your child when they head off to university.
Help them be prepared
One of the scariest things for both you and your child when they go to university is that they’re entering into a world that is completely new and foreign to them. Because of that, you need to be sure that you put as much effort as possible into helping them to prepare for it. A lot of the time this simply comes down to being willing to be honest with them and talk to them about the kinds of things that they’re going to come up against. This includes everything from the kinds of academic challenges that university involves to the new kinds of things that they’ll discover as a part of the typical university social and nightlife. Being able to let them know some of the things that they can expect so that they’re not totally surprised by it is a fantastic way to help them feel less nervous and more prepared.
Help them deal with the practical stuff
There’s a good chance that your child is going to be focusing on many of the emotional things that come with making the transition to university. From the upheaval of their home life to the switch to being treated like an adult can leave them feeling pretty flustered and afraid. However, there are so many practical things involved in going to university that they may well need a little bit of help from you to navigate them. This involves everything from making sure that they get their applications in on time to looking for a student accommodation studio flat. Being able to help them by taking on some of the practical stuff that they don’t yet feel fully ready for is a fantastic way to support them and make the transition as easy as possible.
Give them space
One of the hardest things for you may well be the fact that this is the most time you’ve spent away from your child since the moment they were born. However, it’s important to remember that this new level of independence is something that your child not only wants but that they need. You may well be tempted to call up your child at every opportunity but if you do they could end up feeling smothered, or worse, that you’re trying to take away some of their independence. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your child is just to step back and let them live their life.
Let them know you’re there
Of course, you don’t want to step back so far. The reality is that your child is still going to need to you. This is a whole new world they’re stepping into and they may well need some guidance from time to time. One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that your child knows that you’re only ever a phone call away.
The truth is that you’re likely to find yourself kind of unsure of how to handle this entire situation. After all, there’s a good chance that you’ve never really been through this kind of thing before. However, you need to remember that, however, difficult and scary this might be for you, it could well end up being a whole lot more difficult and scary for your child. They might be incredibly excited about getting to head off on their brand new adventure, but they’re probably also pretty scared at the prospect of it as well. It’s okay to be honest with your child and actually talk about these kinds of things with them. At least that way you’re both going to be able to remember that you’re not quite so alone.
*This is a contributed post*