Many parents find it challenging to cope with their changing role as a parent now that their child is leaving home. Keeping some points in mind can help to create a positive relationship with your young adult.
Become Your Child’s Mentor
Even though your parenting days are over, your child still needs you to help finetune their problem-solving skills. While they will resist you rushing in to solve problems for them like when they were in elementary school, you still have a mentoring role to play. Asking guiding questions is often a great technique that leads young adults to arrive at the correct answers for them. Be careful not to force your child down a path that is not right for them.
Watch for Mental Health Disorders
Mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety, often become more apparent when children start college. About 42% of students report feeling so depressed at some point during their college career that they find it difficult to cope. Young adults going to trade school or straight into the workforce often fear that they have let those closest to them down. Watch for disinterest in activities, lack of communication and reports of persistent pain that does not seem to have a cause. When you spot these signs, be sure to talk to them. Offer to go with them to counseling appointments or to help them set up these appointments.
While we all wish we got everything right the first time, that will not happen. Therefore, when your young person makes mistakes, show them you still love them. A quick thinking of you text can be helpful. Especially if your child is living away from home for the first time, send care packages often. If the young person went to college, ensure that you prioritize getting to parent’s day. One thing you should not do is pay a surprise visit because you may be interrupting their plans. If the child is staying local, consider asking them over for a home-cooked meal or one at their favorite restaurant.
Your role as a parent is changing, but your job is not done. If you or your young person is struggling, we are here to help. Reach out to us today to set up an appointment.