It is a tough time for any parent, but it’s one of those rites of passage which we all must go through. When it comes time for your child to go to university, it is likely that you will experience a flood of strong emotions. For the majority of parents, this will be their first experience of their child being away from home for an extended period of time. In many ways, this is one of the great benefits of the university experience. Often, it provides both parent and child with a practice opportunity. It is a chance to gain some idea of what it will be like when they move out for good. And that, in most cases, is only a few years away. The best way to approach the situation is to be as helpful as possible. Continue providing the same loving support you have always provided, and things will be much easier for both of you. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the main ways in which you can help your child as they go off to university.
Often, there is a lot of administrative paperwork to be done before they actually go to university. This is one easy way to help your child out which will save them a lot of hassle and headaches. If they are like most people of their age, they will need some help. This is the first time they will have experienced a certain degree of responsibility about their living arrangements. While it is not healthy to do it all yourself – they need to learn – a little helping hand can make all the difference.
The actual moving process itself is often fraught with difficulties. Most parents tend to help their kids when they are carrying out the actual move. It helps in a number of ways, not least because it means you get to stay involved in the process. Again, keep a little distance, but do offer help. You could help them decide what they need to take and what to leave behind. You could organise a Uni Baggage service if they feel that they have too many belongings to take. Whatever you do, make sure that you leave all final decisions up to them. This is important for their psychological growth as they enter adulthood.
If your child is like most, this is probably their first experience of real financial independence. We can all remember that moment, and it can be quite a frightening thought at first. Working out how to best approach this can be difficult for any parent. It is hard to know what the right level is. My advice would be to offer some help to get things going at first, but leave them to it. Of course, you should make it clear that you are always there if they need any help or assistance. But ultimately the two of you should use this as an opportunity for them to practice financial independence. This is one of life’s most important lessons, so it is well worth creating a little distance to achieve that.