"One of the greatest titles in the world is parent, and one of the biggest blessings in the world is to have parents to call mom and dad." -Jim DeMint
A healthy parent's love for their child is indescribable and can only be truly felt and understood once experienced. A parent's love is generous, unhypocritical, kind, and know no boundaries despite all the troubles we put them through!
A father or a mother wants their child to succeed no matter the cost and will put their lives on hold to ensure that their offspring gets the needed training to become what they have always wanted to become. So, when mum or dad sends their kid to a further education centre, they feel immense pride knowing that they will get a good education and have endless opportunities.
Nonetheless, it's worth mentioning that although parents might feel a lot of joy helping their youngsters move towards the university stage of their lives, there isn't a lot written about how to help them cope throughout and after the process.
Since there is much more assistance and advice available for students than parents, in today's article, we have decided to focus on mom and dad's needs and help them get through the experience of sending their son or daughter off to uni!
Have a Game Plan
Instead of primarily focusing on how sad you will be and how empty the house will feel once your child has left for university, we highly recommend turning your attention towards the practical rather than focusing solely on the emotional; save your tears for later!
Rational planning is essential since so much must be done before your child leaves for college. Having a game plan that features a list will help you complete all the required tasks. The following are some ideas of what parents should have on their list to help their kids prepare for uni:
- Which universities should be visited,
- Dedicating time to visit some potential universities on weekends or holidays,
- Things that need to be purchased before moving out,
- A packing list of everything that your son or daughter might need,
- Getting the phone numbers of academic advisors, etc.
Your planning list might be a little different or more extensive than the previously mentioned one; however, by having some ideas of what needs to be prepared for, a parent can dedicate more time to being productive than overly emotional.
Also, being prepared ahead of time helps you and your child be ready for any unexpected changes.
Spend Plenty of Time With Your Child Beforehand
Rather than dwelling on the fact that your child is flying the nest and you will not spend much time together anymore, focus your thoughts and energy on doing as many things as possible with your son or daughter before leaving for uni.
During their child's last year of secondary schooling, some parents have found it beneficial to take trips during holidays with their teenagers. The special moments experienced with your children in a relaxed environment are priceless and will help both parents and kids feel more at ease to let go once uni starts.
Also, some parents have had fantastic times with their future uni students on road trips dedicated to visiting other education centres across the UK.
It's important to state that although parents want to squeeze out every little last drop of time with their kids, they must be careful not to smother them and give them enough time to spend with their friends and do activities they are passionate about. Mum and dad, you don't want your teenager to be annoyed with you when they leave for uni!
Moderation is essential, and when there is a balance between good times with both friends and family, everyone will feel better and excel.
Focus on the Positives
As a parent, it is straightforward to anticipate what could go wrong and all the bad things that could happen. However, to encourage your child to continue to make good decisions, it's essential to let go of the negative thoughts and try to make positive thinking the focal point in your mind.
Dwelling on the negatives and voicing them to your teenage son or daughter will discourage them and cause them to push away from you. So, remember to focus on the positives and be an upbuilding force at all times. The following are a few positives things to think about when your child is moving to university in the fall:
- They will meet brilliant people who will positively shape their thinking and worldview,
- They will learn beautiful things that can equip them for a promising career,
- Moving to university will be your child's first taste of independence, and they will mature considerably,
- You will enjoy a lot more 'me time' once your child has moved away,
- The distance between you and your child might create a stronger bond and a better relationship than the one had when living under the same roof,
- Your child will get a better idea of who they are at university, which is extremely important to the growth process.
In reality, there are so many more things to be optimistic about than you might have previously thought. By honing your attention on the pros of having your child move to university, you will be a more supportive parent through the good and the bad times, which brings us to our following subheading!
It's no surprise that the process of selecting a university, getting good enough grades in your last years of secondary school, and deciding what to study are stressful experiences for your son or daughter. Therefore, as a parent, the best thing that you can be is supportive.
Being supportive means you don't want to voice your anxieties but rather be ready to listen to theirs and openly discuss positive outcomes that could happen considering all the choices they might take before attending university. Respect your child's insecurities, and don't discard them; try to be as reassuring as possible.
Make your teenager feel your love and realise that you will be proud of them no matter what they decide to study or which university they choose to enrol at; this is quite difficult for many parents since it is sometimes inevitable not to let personal opinions shine through.
By knowing that they have supportive parents guiding their decision, teenage children are more likely to choose that they feel comfortable with and stick with.
Also, it's worth stating that being supportive extends through all phases of the university experience: when picking a school, moving to the new university, getting used to uni life, and the years that follow. Finally, let your child know that, as a parent, you are only a phone call away and that you are available 24/7 to help them.
Keeping in touch with your child once they are at uni helps both parents and students to strengthen their relationship together. Remember that being supportive doesn't mean meddling in their personal life and being overbearing; beware, you don't become a monster mum or dad!
Stay Busy Once They've Left
In many cases, parents find themselves bored and without purpose; this is especially true if they have moved out of the house. Known as empty nest syndrome, parents, especially mothers, struggle to deal with the fact that their children have moved on and feelings of grief set in. Is there a solution?
While feelings of sadness and depression are completely normal for parents with adult children who have moved to university, they can be combated by staying busy and finding purpose in something else.
Many psychologists and experts recommend that after mothers and fathers have sufficiently grieved, they should find a hobby that is productive and healthy. Taking classes to hone a new skill or hobby by no means signifies that you are trying to replace your child. Instead, it is a wholesome outlet that aids both mothers and fathers to enjoy life and fill their newly liberated schedule with positive activities.
Hobbies are a great way to de-stress and after your child has moved to university is the perfect time to pick something up that you've always wanted to learn or do.
In conclusion, if you're a parent with a student ready to leave and move to university, we remarkably suggest heeding the five great tips in today's article to stay on top of things and ensure that the moving process is a smashing success!
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