Seeing your kids fly the nest can bring up mixed emotions. On the one hand you’re thrilled that they are off to explore the world and have once in a lifetime experiences which they will remember forever; on the other, you can’t help but worry about how they will cope when faced with the challenges that crop up when travelling in a strange countries for the first time.
Our handy guide is here to help parents with all the dilemmas that the “empty nest” years throw up for moms and dads. Hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading it, you’ll feel completely ready to cope with anything that comes your – and their – way.
DON’T BE TOO CLINGY
We understand the temptation to keep checking up on your globetrotting children. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch, but don’t fall into the trap of ringing or emailing them whenever you feel a twinge of concern.
Set yourself targets: for example, you might agree with your children to speak twice a week by phone whilst they are away. This allows them to have as much fun exploring new places without having to spend hours talking to mom and dad.
Sticking to the schedule is great, but dropping them the occasional surprise text or email can really perk up their day. It doesn’t have to be anything earth-shaking, but showing that little bit of initiative will let them know that you’re always thinking of them.
DON’T FRET OVER MISSED CALLS
Missed calls are a fact of life. Whether it’s them or you who were too busy to pick up, don’t worry about it! Next time you speak to them, make a joke about how you were too engrossed in Wii Fit to notice the phone ringing. That will break the ice and relieve any tension you are feeling.
GET VIDEO CHAT
Talking face-to-face with your kids who are half a world away is now easier than putting your jeans on. Install some video chat software on your computer, and you could be nattering merrily to Josh in a Thailand coffee shop sooner than you think!
SEND MONEY SAFELY
Teenagers and money are worst enemies. Sooner or later, your kids are going to come up short and will need a helping hand. Talk to your bank about the best options, and don’t fall into the trap of using online sites which charge extortionate fees.
KEEP YOURSELF BUSY
If you’re fretting about how they are getting on, or calling them every day for updates, keep yourself busy to take your mind off things. Whether that’s yoga or salsa, painting or hiking, throw yourself into a hobby and let the endorphins do the rest!
REMEMBER YOUR OTHER KIDS
Sometimes your other children might feel jealous that their big brother or sister is off on an adventure. Make sure you aren’t giving too much attention to your gap year explorer. Fun family days out are a great way to let the kids know that mom and dad haven’t forgotten them in all the excitement.
AND FINALLY…PLAN A HOMECOMING PARTY
This is where your imagination can really run wild. Throwing a homecoming party for your intrepid traveller is a fantastic way to toast their life changing trip. Stock up on their favourite food and drink, get the giant ‘Welcome Home’ banner fixed up outside your house, and then let your hair down!
We hope you have found this guide useful. Hopefully, you can’t wait for your children to leave the “nest” and go on that special adventure called “life”!
This has been a guest post by James Archer on behalf of Agent Find.