Any parent would wish for their child to become a responsible and independent adult; and it is them who can support the child with confidence and motivate them to go chase their dreams. But the actual move can still be difficult to deal with for both parents and youngsters.
Sometimes, especially in the case of girls, some parents get overly cautious about allowing them to move out for study or work; and this can do more harm than good. Here are some things you can do as a parent to support your child in moving out:
Prepare them beforehand: The discussion about moving out to study can be done as children sit with you to discuss about the colleges and universities that they want to study in. At this time, explain to them what life outside may actually look like. Help them understand that it may be exciting and adventurous in the beginning to search for a house to stay in, where friends can come visiting anytime, but that there are also expenses and the challenges of handling everyday things by themselves which may be overwhelming at first. Assure them that you will be there to help.
Teach them money matters: As they start going to college, teach them to spend their pocket money responsibly as this experience can help them manage money better when they are living on their own.
Teach them skills for survival: Your child may want to live with roommates and not at the hostel. As they are growing, try to share with them cooking and cleaning tasks that will not only ease your work pressure but also make them more independent.
Discuss relationships: Talk to them about freedom and responsibility, and assure them that they can always talk about their doubts/issues safely with you over the phone. Keep the doors of communication open for your child.
It's possible that you may feel stressed and sad about the loneliness after your child leaves, so brace yourself for the event. Remind yourself that it is impossible to stop them from moving out to explore the world but you can always stay in touch with them and find out how they are doing.
This article has been written with the help of Bona Colaco, a clinical psychologist licensed in India. Her area of interest is adolescent mental health.
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