The day has come, for one of many possible reasons, that your teen is leaving home. You’ve raised them and cared for them for so many years that this moment can bring a flood of different emotions. As you support your teen, it’s also important to address the way you’re feeling and find healthy ways to cope. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you go through this process.
Understand the Reason They’re Leaving
When your teen is moving out, it can be difficult to cope. But fully understanding and accepting the reason why it’s happening can help you work towards moving on. There are many reasons why your teen might leave. They could be traveling abroad, going away to school, choosing to move in with a significant other, starting a job out of town or simply addressing a need for independence. Even if there’s conflict in your relationship, these reasons aren’t personal. They are just a part of your teen’s process of growing up.
Be Involved in Their Departure
Change can be particularly difficult if we aren’t a part of the transition. In other words, try to make an effort to be involved in your teen’s departure as much as possible. Help them as they search for new apartments or purchase furniture and be there on moving day to lend a hand. This will help you feel more connected to the process and experience less of a shock of them being gone.
Keep Communication Open
As much as possible and as both your and your teen’s schedule permits, try to keep connection and communication open. Thanks to technology, there are so many ways this can happen between text messages, video chatting, long distance phone calls online and social media. This will help you to feel more integrated in their life, even if from a distance. Try to establish a regular point of connection with your teen whether it’s every day, once a week or even once a month. Don’t be too forceful, but remain open and available. It’s quite likely your teen is nervous too and will want your continued advice as they enter this new phase of life.
Find a New Routine
Of course with change comes gaps and changes in routine. The best way that you can cope with this new living arrangement is to establish a new sense of “normal”. Things might not look too different for you if you still have younger children living at home, but be careful not to dwell on the gaps in time that are present since your teen has left. This is your opportunity to take some time for yourself, try a new hobby, focus on your partner or spend time with friends.
Coping With Unplanned Departures
Of course, if your teen’s departure is sudden, abrupt, inexplicable or stems a place of conflict, this process can be even more difficult. Try to keep these tips in mind and apply them as much as possible. At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to address your own feelings of sadness, fear or anger and seek professional assistance if needed. While your role as a parent may change during this transition, know that that connection is still there and is incredibly valuable.
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