The need for independence is fundamentally human, but no matter how psychologically prepared you are for the day when your child announces that they’re moving out, it’s always going to be a bit of a shock. As well as your emotional feelings to deal with, there are also a number of practical actions that you can take that will make the transition easier for all of you. Providing advice and practicality is the best way to support your child when they’re ready to embark on their new journey, and although it might not feel like it at first, there are some exciting times in the future.
Offer to help with the move, but don’t force it
You’ve spent so long raising them and seeing to their every need that it can be quite terrifying to realise that they no longer need you for every little thing. It’s important to remember that even though they are no longer going to be under your roof, they are still going to be in your life. It is therefore of paramount importance that you are there to provide advice, help and even financial assistance if that’s an option. More importantly, you need to be able to recognise when your help is not needed. Their relocation is a frightening process for everyone involved, and you can make the transition less problematic by minimising your intrusions.
What to do with your grown-up child’s treasured possessions
Empty nest syndrome is a concern, and you’re going to have to find ways to help you deal with that. If your child has simply moved to university and is expected back in a few months, then your issues are lessened. However, if they have moved out permanently, then you need to work out what to do with their space. A wasted bedroom full of teen posters and outdated clothes is only going to give you new reasons to miss your child. Or perhaps they have a lot of trinkets and keepsakes that they can’t take with them, or some furniture that may be useful later on. If you want to reclaim your space, you don’t want to upset your child by getting rid of everything. Instead of facing that, consider putting your kid’s possessions into storage. Use a professional firm, and your son or daughter’s childhood memories are going to be safe and secure, and it will cost a lot less than you think.
Check they have all the ‘essentials’ for living alone
If they’re going to be living on their own for the first time, then have a little look at their list of essential items. They might think that having an extra-long extension lead is the limit of their requirements, but you will most likely know better. Give them some final lessons on how to use the washing machine or make that perfect bacon sandwich, and you won’t go far wrong. Anybody planning to be independent has their own vision of what that will entail, and for first-timers, the priorities are probably going to be a little less than practical. If it comes down to it, prepare a gift box that contains cleaning products and a serviceable first aid kit.
No matter how you deal with the notion of your child moving away from you, the best way to manage is to do what you’ve always done. Be there for when they need you, don’t force your opinions on them and be proud that you’ve raised someone brave enough to face the modern world on their own terms.