Sending your child away to college is a life-changing moment. It is heartbreaking and exciting all at once, and everything is suddenly completely different for both you and for them. It is likely that even the most level-headed and confident of kids will find that they are feeling homesick from time to time, and they may well call you to let you know. Here are several ways that you can help your child when that call comes.
Stay At Home
It’s natural to think that the right answer is to jump into your car or book a flight so that you can be with your child when they are feeling homesick. However, this can be a bad idea. When you leave again, it could make them feel even worse, not to mention the guilt that you will be feeling for not being able to help as much as you had hoped.
It’s far better to speak to them regularly on the phone, or perhaps through video calling, and let them settle into the new environment without you being there. This is their chance to grow up and become responsible, and if they are alone, they can do this much more easily.
Send A Care Package
Sending a care package in lieu of going to campus yourself can be an ideal way to quell the pangs of homesickness. If you’re ordering something from a larger retailer, you may be able to order online and pick up in store through BOPIS retail. Ideas for inclusion in a care package could be:
- Homemade food such as lasagna, cakes, and cookies
- Bags of popcorn
- Coupons for groceries
Try to include items that can be shared around, as this will help your child to break the ice and get talking to the people living nearby or even sharing a room with them.
Of course, there will be a part of you that likes (to some extent) the idea that your child is missing you and their home, but this is not a time to be selfish, and you need to allow that child to do their own thing. If they can make friends, they will feel a lot less lonely. Every time you speak to them, remind them that they should be talking to as many people as possible. Keeping to themselves won’t help them to feel better, and they should try new activities when they can.
Reduce The Amount You Get In Touch
At first you will probably be calling or texting every day, perhaps multiple times a day. As time goes on, reduce the number of times that you get in touch. This will help you both to get used to the fact that your child is no longer living at home.
It can be a difficult urge to resist, but if you wait until there is some important news, or you have something to say, then it will all be a lot easier for everyone.