Leaving the Nest: Helping Your Child
Here are some important topics you must consider as a parent/guardian that you may not know how to deal with. Whether it's how often you should communicate with them to worrying about their security, this article will give you an insight into how to handle the stresses you may come across. It is important to note there is no one size fits all, even between your children.
This is absolutely the key to sending them off successfully both for you and your teen. Discuss with them how often they wish to be contacted when they are away and when you can visit and remind them to contact their younger siblings - it’s tough on them.
What is a fair expectation? Once a day (probably not), once a week on a certain day that works for you all? Occasional texts? Everyone is different - let’s face it genders are different - but you need to agree in advance what is expected - but be reasonable. They’ll have a lot going on in their lives so every day might not be possible.
If you need to get a message to them urgently that you know they’ll see what platform should it be on: Text, WhatsApp, Snapchat, E-mail?
Striking a balance between being supportive if they need a bit of help (especially if they are neuro-diverse or get sick whilst they’re there) and letting them have some autonomy.
Different colleges have different policies.
In the UK parents generally don’t have access to them. In the USA, you might need to ask your student to let you have permission to see grades - or you might just trust in them to work hard, play hard to discover that life is a balance. Have the conversation before the argument though.
Most students will be living in cities or towns they are unfamiliar with and so suggest that always go out in groups or set up a ‘buddy system’ where they look out for each other.
Cybersecurity: While you are having all those discussions about not walking alone at night you also need to talk about protecting their identity. It is not sensible to share passwords for social media accounts, mobile phones, laptops and student ID numbers. Additionally, banking information, credit cards, and money should always be kept secure.
Consider an app such as Life360 (with your child's agreement!) so that you can sleep at night!
Teens often have little idea of how to budget or manage money. Their costs will vary depending on where they are studying and whether living in self-catering or catered accommodation but one thing for sure is they almost always overspend in that first term!
Decide if you intend to assist with finances or expect them to find a part-time job?
Help them plan a weekly/monthly/termly budget so they get some idea of costs. Also, discuss vacation work and internships and how applying early helps secure the best roles.
Some useful information from different bodies: