When your child goes to university, it can be a strange time for everyone involved. If you are anything like most families, then it is likely that both parent and child will suffer emotionally. One of the best ways to combat this is to do everything you can to provide support for your child.
This support comes in various guises. First of all, you have the obvious emotional element. Parents normally know instinctively how to offer emotional support to their children. This is a great time in your child’s life to practice that parental skill, but it is not just about the emotional side of things. You will also make the process much easier on both of you if you are able to provide support related to the everyday side of things.
It goes without saying that money is important. For most children, this is the first time in their life that they are independent in this way. This is something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it is a valuable experience which everybody needs to go through, but on the other, it can cause an untold amount of stress for your child, and as any parent knows, that stress soon finds its way to you! Stress the importance of being financially sensible to your child. Offer a little support if they find they need it, but don’t let them rely on you to keep going. This is an important lesson that everyone needs to learn.
Getting to the university in one piece is the main worry for most parents. You should take some time to stress to your child that they need to take care. Of course, there is nothing wrong with you taking them yourself. Drive them and their Uni Baggage to the university, unpack if they are happy for you to help. This can be a great final bonding session.
This is something which you don’t often hear people talking about, but we must not forget the importance of the psychological side of things. When your child goes out in to the world, you want them to feel capable of taking on anything. It is important to get them to a point of psychological security. To achieve that, talk with them about what their goals are, both short term and long term. Are they looking for a certain career? If so, what steps should they take towards achieving that dream?
This is one of the kindest things you can ever do as a parent. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to help your child ‘find’ themselves. With a little patience and some care, you will soon find that your little one is no longer so little. There is no better feeling in the world.