Letting a child leave home for the first time is a major life event, a milestone if you like. It is usually characterized by much fear, tears and plain gut-wrenching pain. Even with more than one child, every parent is not spared this experience when the first fledgling child leaves the home.
The best defense is offense so you need to anticipate the event and prepare very well for it. There are two sides to this separation: You and your child. Make sure to prepare for both sides.
On your part, it is best to face this possibility early on, and not deny it until it is staring you in the face. Letting go is not an easy thing but remember when you left your own home, parents and everything familiar? You survived, didn’t you? Letting go may not be easy but it is possible and worth the effort.
Even a year before your first fledgling child leaves home, discuss the matter with them. Ask about your child’s concerns, worries, and issues. Answer them as honestly, lovingly and simply as possible. Assure them that everything will be alright.
When all these are out of the way, devise a training plan for them. List down the things that they need to learn in order to survive outside your family home and get down to teaching these skills to your child. These may be things like cooking simple and nutritious meals to ironing and doing the laundry.
If you approach letting your first fledgling child go with this kind of attitude, you will be surprised to see that you will eventually warm up to the idea of seeing them set up life as a responsible adult and you having more time for those things you always wanted to do.
When the scheduled departure is just a few months away, take a trip with your child to where they want to move to familiarize you both with the area. This way, both of you will have the same recollection of the places of interest there and this will help a lot in visualizing your child living there. Knowing that there are amenities, that the place is safe or that the school is quite secure will give you more peace of mind.
Starting early on to learn to accept the move gives you enough time to focus on preparing your child as well. Emotionally, assure them that you will always be there for them and at the slightest hint of trouble, they should not hesitate to let you know. It is at this stage that you can truly present yourself to your child as a friend and confidante and their cheerleader for life.
Ironically, it is also during this time of saying goodbye to each other that parent and child will get closer because they will both realize how important the other is.
If your child is about to leave tomorrow or next week, I think this article is too late for you. Preparation for major life changes like letting your first fledgling child go does not happen in a week’s time. Give it months and years to set in, for all of you to transition into the new phase smoothly and successfully.