You spend years bringing up children knowing one day they’ll be leaving home. Some can’t wait, while others might be more reluctant. However they feel about it, they’re likely to have some concerns; after all, it’s a major life change. Here are six common fears and how you can help your child face them.
Missing Family and Friends It can be hard waking up in a new place without familiar faces, and while there may riot be a queue for the bathroom, there won’t be the same early-morning banter either. Neither is it as easy to drop in on friends or make a spontaneous decision to go out together. Regular contact through telephone, text or video link, and setting reunion dates will help your child keep in touch with the people they’ve left behind. This is particularly important in the early days.
Being Lonely It’s often difficult to make a whole new set of friends. In an environment like university, where everyone is in a similar position, it can be as simple as linking up with people who share interests. It’s slightly more difficult where everyone already has established groups of friends, and this is where it pays to look at how to find people to connect with. Clubs and societies are good sources of new contacts. The best tactic is to make first contact and start conversations with different people; a friendly conversation in passing can often lead to a more lasting relationship. It’s worth remembering it only takes one (friend to stop someone feeling lonely, and one friend often leads to another.
Looking After Themselves A parent can do their child a great service by making sure they know how to cook, clean and do the laundry. Don’t forget some skills such as cooking should extend beyond basic food preparation into areas such as hygiene and safe food storage.
Coping With Emergencies The ones who cope best with emergencies are those who’ve thought about what to do before the problem arises. Thinking about fire escape routes, how to deal with gas leaks or what to do if the washing machine floods — having checklists and practice runs if necessary, means more immediate, effective action and less panicking. A first-aid course could also prove useful in case of any injuries.
Maintaining a Home It’s important your child knows how to carry out basic maintenance, such as changing light bulbs safely, replacing tap washers or putting up shelves, and you can give them practice before they move out. They need to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities if they’re moving into rented property, including any restrictions on work they can do, for example drilling holes in walls, and any expectations such as regular redecorating. And yeah, the most improtant thing while moving is that you rent the best fragile movers.
Managing Money This is an often neglected area and a surprising number of teenagers leave home without understanding basic concepts such as credit cards and loans, interest payments and the penalties of defaulting, especially when it comes to payday loans. Teaching them to set a realistic budget is vital. You can give them some practice on your grocery budget, so they can learn to better manage their money. It’s helpful to get them into the habit of saving; rainy days seem to come more often when you’ve your own home to manage.
A child leaving home is a big event, and while it’s inevitable, it can be an emotional time. Its good to know it can be made a little easier with some forethought, and you can take solace in the thought you’ve helped them grow and develop into independent adults