Tuesday 4 October 2022

Looking After Your Family When they Fly the Nest

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

Having your child begin the next chapter of their life by going to University or College is a significant life change for everyone in the family. Although they have left the nest, they will always be your child, and you will want to look after them. There's lots of preparation for sending them to college/university, but how do you take care of them once they have gone?  

Learn About the Student Support Services   

Moving away from home for the first time, beginning independent study and having to start from scratch making new friends can all be very stressful and demanding experiences. There will be struggles, and as a parent, your first instinct is to give them a cuddle and sort out the problem. This can be hard when they are potentially hundreds of miles away.  


But you can research the support available to them there and be ready to offer solutions. Every university or college will have a dedicated student support service. Reading up on what they can do and the policies they have in place is a great way to look after your child and something you can do online. This includes student mental health support, academic support, and knowing where to call for a doctor's appointment. 

Send them Care Boxes   

Another way to still look after them is by sending a care box in the post. This is a great way to look after them from a distance, and even if they are not too far from home, it's an excellent way to take care of your child whilst still giving them independence.  


It's entirely up to you what you include in the care package. Still, items you know they are likely not thinking about or not a priority on a student budget are great—for example, spices and seasonings, vitamins, nice toiletries and materials for their hobbies and interests. Of course, always include a card or a little note from home as well. 


Prepare for Summer Storage 

It's great if you can drive and pick your child up for the summer holidays, but all their stuff might not comfortably fit in the car with them! Therefore even if you are close by, storing belongings for a couple of months could be the best solution.  


Sorting out storage can be one of the most stressful tasks for a student, especially as many need to be thinking about moving out for the summer break during a busy exam period. However, you can help them by looking at the available student storage options and finding the one that best fits their needs.  

Recognise what has Changed when they Return  

Depending on their accommodation type, your child may have been living away from home, entirely independently for the year. 


Don't expect them to be on the same schedule as they were. Give them options to cook for themselves if they wish (although they may be craving some of mum's home cooking as well) and give them more independence outside the house.   


Give them space by leaving the house; just because your baby has come home does not mean they need you every waking minute. Taking some space and continuing your life as usual benefits both of you and will make the transition far easier when they leave again.  


Final Thoughts   

Going to University or College is a big life change for your child and you. The best way to support them through this big step is by keeping the channels of communication open and being there when they need you.

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