Leaving home is a big transition for both parents and the young adult leaving, but can be especially so for parents, whose child is leaving the nest.
A young adult may leave the home for a number of reasons. They may:
- Feel it’s the right time to leave home
- Want to live together with a girlfriend/boyfriend or friends
- Want to gain independence
- Need to move closer to work or study
- Feel they would be happier living away from home
- Be asked to leave by the parents
What does this mean for you as a parent?
Depending on the circumstances as to why your child is leaving home, you may react in a number of ways.
- Have feelings of loss and sadness and you may miss their company
- Be concerned for their safety
- Be confused as to why they want to leave
- Worry about their financial situation
- Be concerned about who your young adult will be living with (if not living alone)
- Disagree with their choices
- Worry about the emotional challenge this life-transition may have on your young adult
- Worry about the health of your young adult
It’s a difficult time transition as the family home becomes one member less. It may feel empty for a while and adjusting to this change can take time.
What you can do as a parent?
It may be difficult to let go of your young adult, but it’s important that you let them experience their independence and respect their wishes.
To help create a smooth transition:
- Don’t try to stop your child from leaving
- Try to understand each other before your young adult leaves, so that you can have a good relationship with him/her in the future
- Try to let them have their independence, but also let them know that you are there if they need support.
- Show your young adult that you have concerns but that you support them in their decisions
- Keep their room the way it is for a while – they may become upset if their space is taken too soon
- Remember to look after your physical and emotional health during this transition
- Let him/her know that he still has a place in your home and that they are welcome to visit freely
- Keep communication with your young adult honest and open
- Try to arrange frequent visits with your young adult that are friendly and caring
Try to reassure yourself that this is their decision and they will gain valuable life experiences. Remember that this is an exciting and challenging time for them and it’s important that you play a positive part in this transition, for both your sakes. Have faith in your young adult.
Article By: Vision Counselling and Psychology
Web Address: www.visioncounselling.com.au
Published: 05/09/2015 “Leaving Home”, (Women’s and Children’s Health Network), Available: http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=1535#7″ (Accessed: 2014, November 20).
Image Reference: Dollar Photo Club