Parent Blog: Jennie – Ongoing Support
Jennie has two sons, the eldest is currently at Loughborough University, studying a sports coaching degree and the youngest son is working through his GCSEs.
You are now at the stage where your son/daughter has started their course.
I get asked this question all the time, ‘How can I support my child when they are not at home?’ My answer is you are the best judge. You know your own son/daughter and whether they are very independent or they will miss home and friends. So, my advice will always be let them know you are there for them no matter what the problem is. You are there to listen and guide them as always even when they are living somewhere else. Tell them you will let them grow and make mistakes, but if they are finding things difficult there is no shame in admitting it, there are always other options if they find living away from home too much to handle. I do always advise that you ask them to give it a good shot first before they give up as sometimes it can be just simple adjustments they need to make to help them with this big transition in their lives and yours.
In my case my son loved being away from home, but found that the course he was on wasn’t what he expected and was more science based, which he found was not for him. My advice is make sure they ask for help, don’t let them leave it and fall behind. Hopefully, you have done more research than we did when my son went and the advice you have had when you have been to different universities/colleges has been both informative and beneficial to the crucial decisions your son/daughter has made. Remember if you have a computer or phone your son/daughter can communicate with you no matter where they are in the world. I found facetime a very useful tool to contact my son who thought he did not need to contact me and did not have to tell me what was going on in his life. He thought that running out of money was all I needed to know! Try visiting them and tell them you want to take them out for a meal if you are really concerned if you find face to face is better for you.
Allow visits home where possible if they feel homesick and remind them they have holidays to come and see you also. Sometimes when you have a child that thinks things will go away if they don’t tell you can be very frustrating for you as a parent. By reminding them you care and want to help no matter how old they get. Even when really all you want to do is stick your fingers in your ears because you don’t want to hear it, please remind them that nothing in life stays the same and university/college does not last forever. They can make this one of the best experiences in their lives if they approach it in the right way.
At the same time if they really cannot do it and it is making them miserable .If they are not ready to fly the nest then do not force them as there are always other options for example:-
- Colleges/Universities near to home
- On line courses
A good education always equals a better chance in getting a good career and more opportunities.so, as always I wish you all the very best and I hope my advice has been of some use to you.