With the start of the university term fast approaching we are sure you will be apprehensive as you get ready to pack your offspring up and send them off for their next big adventure. To ensure you avoid the tears and tantrums (yours not theirs) read our top tips below.
- Get organised – Remember when you moved into your first flat or home? No, us neither! But we do remember there being a lot of stuff to buy. Pots, pans, cutlery, kitchen utensils. You will need to buy it all. You don’t want a call from them to find out they are in A&E from trying to open a tin of beans with a knife! Lots of shops have deals on at this time of year for the essentials, so make a list and get shopping!
- Pack wisely – If they’re moving into halls then their new space will likely be pretty small. They don’t really need 24 different pairs of shoes-especially when they’re tripping over them on a daily basis! Help them realise what they will need and they can always fetch more on their next trip home; don’t forget extra underwear and socks. It will be weeks before they figure out where the washing machine is, let alone how to use it!
- Plan a stress free journey – Whatever mode of transport you will be taking to drop them off make sure you have a timetable with plenty of stops built in. Your emotions will be high and the stress of traffic or missing connections is the last thing you need. Try to stay happy and relaxed during this process (even if all you want to do is sob!). If you’re stressed and upset it will only make it more difficult for them.
- Strike the right balance – No-one wants to become the dreaded “helicopter parent” that hangs around a bit too long when dropping them off in their new home. Give yourself a set time that you want to leave by and stick to it! Take advantage of their new home town or city and make some plans to see the sights or do some shopping. Maybe even plan to stay overnight nearby, leaving them to enjoy their freedom. Then make a plan to meet up for a teary goodbye over breakfast the next day.
- Technology is your friend – being able to skype or facetime each other will help you ensure that they’re doing well and are happy in their new environment. But don’t be upset if occasionally all you get is a 5 word text from them. They will be busy (hopefully) with Uni work and socialising and all that matters is that you know they are in one piece and enjoying themselves.
- They won’t be gone for long – The first year isn’t really a whole year. Likelihood is that your child will want to come home for the odd weekend here or there and Christmas is only a few short months away. Look forward to these visits and the time will fly by. But be prepared for the suitcase of washing you’ll receive when they arrive.
- Look on the bright side – you’ll quickly get used to having your house to yourself and enjoy being able to make spontaneous decisions about weekends away and other plans. Your hungry teenager will be emptying their own fridge and having the time of their lives. It’s time for you to relax and have a well-earned rest!