5 Ways to Cope With Saying Goodbye

by Christine Chadwick

Separation anxiety is not a far cry from what many parents experience when a child leaves for university. It's normal to feel ill at ease about a child moving away from home, no matter how far. Learn how to cope with saying goodbye by following these 5 steps:

1. Prepare him or her for the big day

For many parents, seeing their child through the university preparation process helps. When parents feel their student has what he or she needs to succeed, whether it's a laundry basket or a part-time job, it's easier for them to relax about him or her being away from home. Go shopping with your child for dorm room essentials, and be there when they move in if at all possible.

2. Keep communicating

Thanks to texting and social media outlets, staying in touch with your child is far easier now than in the past. Technology allows for instant communication and also face-to-face interaction through mediums like FaceTime, which can take the edge off missing someone. So keep all the lines open, whether you're texting or using online platforms like Skype or Facebook to touch base.

3. Repurpose your home space

There's no need to run out and completely alter your child's bedroom, but repurposing some of his or her space to a minimal degree might help you adjust to seeing your child less often. Turning the room into a temporary guest space or storage area may help you transition the space away from being permanently theirs. Simply giving your child's bedroom a deep cleaning can make a huge difference in how positively you view the space once it's empty.

4. Keep yourself busy

It sounds cliché, but staying occupied with activities of your own while your son or daughter is away from home can help when you're missing him or her. Surround yourself with supportive friends, including others with children off at university. Having a support network and weekly social commitments can help you cope with your child being gone.

5. Look to your other children

Focus your energies on other children living at home. With each child that goes away to university, you may find it easier to cope with saying goodbye. If you don't have other children, consider other ways to be nurturing, whether through walking dogs at your local shelter or supporting a child in need overseas.

Find your own coping mechanisms for this new transition. When you next see your child, you'll have so many new things to share with each other.