As graduation nears this spring, many families will have a child leaving for the next phase of their lives to attend college. I can only imagine how hard it must be for younger siblings once their older brother or sister is out of the house and the thought of our first born leaving is haunting. There are ways to prepare though for the in-home dynamics that may affect your family by such life-changing events.
In just three years, our freshman boy will head off to college and we will be in this situation! As a child, I was the first to head off to college in our family and I remember how hard it was for my parents. I talked to my mom a lot on the phone but Clemson from Pittsburgh was far and I didnt see them very often. Now as an adult, I have witnessed some of my friends go through a myriad of emotions through this experience and I can only imagine my parents experience. My friends are excited for their child but at the same time cant begin to fathom what their new daily life will be like. Depression, loneliness and feelings of isolation can be common when a child moves out for college or on their own. Your baby is now an adult!
A few things to help avoid the onset of negative emotions can be to ensure there are plenty of family outings together before the child heads off for school. Make memories that everyone will remember; take a trip or do the special things that your family has always cherished together. Encourage siblings to have one on one time to strengthen their bond. Remind the kids that even though this changes the in-home dynamics it doesn’t mean they will never all see each other again ~ it just wont be as often. Parents can make a point to spend time with their other children so they don’t feel all the attention is being given to the one moving out. If necessary, seek professional help for advice on the best way to handle emotions. Make plans for family visits so everyone will be reunited. And keep your identity ~ continue to practice your passions and feel free to find new ones!
AMO is a proud writer for North Fulton Family Life publications. This article can be found in the February 2017 issue. All opinions are my own.