As a parent, sending your first child off to college is a momentous and bittersweet occasion. Of course, you are proud of your child for reaching this important milestone and excited for the opportunities that await them. On the other hand, you may feel a sense of loss as your child begins to embark on their own independent journey.
Embarking on the empty nest adventure can be an emotional rollercoaster for moms. It is natural to feel a mix of emotions, from excitement and pride, to fear and uncertainty. The key is to approach this transition with openness and understanding and to support your child as they navigate this new chapter in their lives.
One of the biggest challenges of sending your child off to college is adjusting to the sudden change in your daily routine. No longer will your child be there to share meals, have daily conversations, or even to help with those household chores they complained about incessantly! This can be a difficult adjustment. You’ll also encounter new parenting challenges, like helping them work out how to manage their own finances and supporting them as they learn to make both big and small decisions on their own.
As a mom, you have likely been one of their main sources of guidance for your child, but now they’ll be in a new place and making more of their own day-to-day decisions. Bottom line – you have less control and day-to-day influence. And it’s only natural that they’ll make some mistakes. It may be difficult to watch, but it is important to trust in their abilities and allow them the freedom to learn and grow on their own. All learning and growth include making mistakes. Your child will also be exposed to new ideas, experiences, and people. So as you think about all of the changes ahead, it is also important to remember that your relationship with your child will not end when they go off to college. It is a time to renegotiate the relationship, not sever ties. It is a balancing act! Stay in touch and continue to offer support and guidance as needed, but also allow them the space to grow and develop on their own.
It’s also important to be aware of the safety concerns and challenges that many moms are unaware of yet but that college kids typically encounter. My on-demand webinar, ‘College Uncovered: 10 Things Moms Need to Know about College Life’ walks you through important safety-related topics you should know. You’ll also receive the college uncovered toolkit: a booklet full of important resources, and a customizable plan for you to build specifically for your child, so that you can be prepared to help them when they need you.
Sending your child off to college is a big step for both you and your child. It can be an emotional and challenging transition, but with open communication and support, you can help your child thrive and succeed in this new chapter of their life. If I can help you or ‘big kid’, please feel free to reach out!