This experience of leaving home is important psychologically for children, now young adults, and parents alike. The experience can set the tone for the next stage of family development; adult-to-adult relationship with your child.
After managing through adolescence, parents are faced with the fact that their child is a young adult, and they will not be able to order them about for much longer. Gone are the days of parental authority. Coming to terms with this fact lies at the heart of the leaving home experience, and can impact on your son or daughters sense of adult security and your future relationship together.
Perhaps it is not so much that the parents must reassure their children that they will be all right, but that the parents must reassure themselves and not let their concerns impede the children's departure. Let them leave in peace and do not try to cram in all the lessons left untaught. Some lessons are only gained by leaving home.
For a better leaving home experience consider these suggestions:
1. Talk with your son or daughter about their feelings of leaving home. Don't push on whether they will miss you though, as this feeling might actually be your own. If it doesn't come up, then maybe the thought hasn't crossed their mind in the excitement of the experience.
2. Reminisce with them about their growing up and the pleasures you have had along the way. Marvel at their growth and accomplishments and your anticipation of future accomplishments.
3. Plan well for the departure so the actual moment isn't fraught with last minute errands or conflicts. Offer your help and be prepared to stand back or jump in - only as requested or discussed. Your hand is no longer attached to the bicycle seat and you have to let go now again.
If you follow these suggestions you may experience a smoother transition to an adult relationship with your son or daughter. This kind of experience can repair past conflicts with your child and improve the odds of having a great relationship as adults.
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