You’ve reached a point in your life as a parent, when you know it’s time to let go. You’ve put your heart and soul into raising your child, which at times has been difficult, but though persistence and a lot of love, you’ve created a young, confident and talented individual who’s on the right path to leading a happy and fulfilling life. Yes, you’ve had to deal with their tantrums, their sulking, and all the trouble that came with the job of parenting, but you don’t care, because it was all worth it.
It’s time to leave the nest
Whether your child is off travelling, moving out, or moving away, it’s always a difficult thought to get your head around. But the reality is here, right in front of you, with their bags packed, and their nerves and excitement all rolled into one, beaming of their face, ready to go.
You’re happy for them and you just want to make sure they’re safe and going to be okay, but it’s all part of growing up, yes they’re going to make some mistakes (big ones), but it’s at those beautiful moments when you’ll become closer, and become more then just a parent and child; you’ll become friends, the best of friends and there is nothing that can take that away from you.
At Choc affair we are as family orientated as you can get, and as you might of guessed we as individuals have experienced these situations first hand, and we’ve got a few pearls of wisdom for any parent who’s child is about to leave the family home.
If your child is off travelling:
Make sure they’ve thoroughly checked their documents before they leave (you don’t need any panicking phone calls, which could of been avoidable). Personally check their passport is definitely in date!
Write your phone number down on some of their travelling possessions; notebook, their phone, even sneak a bit of paper with it on into their wash bag, you’ll be surprised how much stuff they’ll loose!
Don’t video chat, just call. As lovely as it is to see your child’s face while they are away, it’s only when you see their face and experience the long wifi connection delays through video chat, that the reality that they are thousands of miles away really sets in. Nobody wants their parents crying whilst they’re in an internet cafe in Cambodia! You can keep up to date with their travels though socail media and emails, letting them do their own thing. Let them call you, and hear about it all when they get back.
If your child is moving out:
Give them advice on paying bills, rent and budgeting their money, (you’ll realise how little they know by that blank expression they give you when you’re showing them how a cheque book works).
Make them a hamper with all the little bits people forget about in the excitement of living in their own place; toilet roll, iron, cleaning products and instant noodles (perfect for when they have no money due to over spending).
Be prepared for the multiple phone calls on “how does this work?”; washing machine, iron and you’ve guessed it, even a cooker!
If your child is moving away to university or another country:
Make sure they pack all their essentials, as the last thing you need is them begging you to post their straighteners or favourite shirt.
Take them on their first food shop, and if that’s not possible write them a food shopping list, at least you’ll know they’re eating properly for the first week of living there.
Pack them a family photo. It’s always nice to have a physical photo or two of your family and their fondest memories.
With all of the excitement and emotions flying around the place, at some point your child might become home sick, and it’s at this moment you’ve got to be strong and remind them why they are there in the first place. They’ll eventually get over it, and stay on the path that they’ve worked so hard to get on, and one day they’ll thank you for those encouraging words, as without those words, they’d of never made it that far.
You’ve done your bit and it’s time to leave them to it. Try and leave them with something, if it’s a jar of their favourite hot chocolate, sweets or even if it’s a chocolate bar, give it to them at the airport before they leave, take it to them as a house warming gift, or just sneak a chocolate bar into their one of their boxes before they leave with a simple note, “I love you… call me if you need me”. And when they see it, they’ll count their lucky stars that they’ve got you for a parent.