Five steps to help parents cope with next university term

The second term of university is about to begin, and parents of these young adults may start to have some mixed feelings about their children going back to university and leaving home yet again. For a lot of parents in this position, this could be a difficult time. 

Here are five tips that can provide a practical way of dealing with this transition:

1. Acceptance

You have dealt with the hardest separation from them when they left in the summer for the first time.  Accept that it is the best for both of you. Your children leaving the nest for a while will give them good experience of what life is about when they come out of their comfort zone. Accept it is important and necessary for them.

2. Acknowledge

Acknowledge that they have survived the first, and the hardest term. A lot of them have gotten used to, and have overcome the idea of living away from home. A lot of them have managed to find their feet, but a lot are still trying to adjust to the new environment, and in either case, they have survived. Acknowledge that they are now growing up and are learning to be independent.

3. Step back

They may need some space and a chance to manage their affairs without a lot of pressure or input from their parents. They are starting to adjust to the new environment and culture, and being away from home. If you have been through this experience yourself, you may remember how this feels and the benefits of it. Let them gain this vital experience on their own.

4. Be Patient

Remember that they have a lot to adapt to, a) moving away from home, b) leaving the comfort of home and being looked after, c) a new environment, d) trying to fit in and make new friends, and e) an education culture shock. They may have been excited in the beginning, and some may start to feel slightly homesick. If you remain patient, calm, and relaxed, they will feel as though they can trust you if they need help and guidance. They will be more likely to talk to you about what is going on, when they are upset, confused, or are having any difficulties.

5. Support them

They need your continuous support and guidance. They need to know that you are there for them when they need you. Putting a lot of pressure on them will push them away from coming to you and they may suffer in silence. Stay connected in the background but let them experience their newfound independence.  
Parting from our young adults is never easy but accepting and acknowledging the fact that they are growing up and trying to be independent is important to their growth and confidence. So, taking a step back, being patient and supporting is very empowering them to find themselves. At the same time taking care of yourself is vital during this transition.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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