When your child finally begins his or her new life at college it is more than likely that, at some point during their first year of study, they will feel some degree of homesickness. This is both perfectly normal and is a natural reaction to what is, after all, a seismic change in their life.
While some first-year college students will eventually make their homesickness known, a vast majority will suffer in silence so as to not upset their parents. This is of course counter-productive and helps nobody involved; neither the parents or indeed the student.
As such, you as a parent should be increasingly aware of the probability that at some point you will be called upon to help alleviate your child’s homesickness when they go to college. Lucky for you however, the following article will give you some useful tips as to how to achieve this!
Firstly, you should actively encourage your child to fully commit to college life by joining as many societies, clubs and events as possible. This will allow them a healthy distraction from otherwise wallowing in their homesickness, and will give them the opportunity to make new friends and begin to build an independent life away from their rose tinted view of home. By encouraging your child to throw his or herself headfirst into college life, you are effectively giving them a helpful nudge in the right direction by not allowing them to constantly yearn for their idealised notion of home.
It is also recommended that you reassure your child with frequent phone calls, text messages and even Skype sessions. Whilst some may frown upon this as not technically ‘cutting the apron strings’ so-to-speak, it is worth highlighting that homesickness is primarily a feeling of isolation, and so in order to combat this frequent contact is undoubtedly an effective way of reassuring your child that you are there for them, that life at home has not changed and that they will be ‘alright’.
If your child is suffering from acute homesickness, regular trips home can help reinforce in their mind the fact that their homesickness is something that they will eventually overcome by highlighting how it really has nothing to do with home, but rather the ‘idea’ of home.
Another way in which you can help alleviate your child’s homesickness when they go to college, is by furnishing their room with familiar items to help give them a sense that they have taken a piece of home with them.
This could be anything ranging from photographs of loved ones to a favourite blanket. In fact, there are many companies who can create custom made bedding and other soft furnishings, like pillows for example, that can include your child’s favourite photographs or images in the design, meaning that your child can at the very least feel as close to home as possible without actually being at home at all!
Finally, you could alleviate your child’s homesickness by baking and then sending them their favourite cake, biscuits or pastries. By sending them regular food parcels, or indeed bundles of toiletries, you will not only be giving your child much-needed supplies, but you will also be conveying a message that they are not forgotten and that you are thinking as much of them as they are of you.
Sourced from: sheknows