Parents' Guide to Helping Your Child through University Years; Katharine Hill, UK Director at Care for the Family and Author of Parenting Book 'If You Forget Everything Else Remember This' Helps Solve Your Parenting Problems

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 21, 2015 | Go to article overview

Parents' Guide to Helping Your Child through University Years; Katharine Hill, UK Director at Care for the Family and Author of Parenting Book 'If You Forget Everything Else Remember This' Helps Solve Your Parenting Problems


I need your advice as my child approaches the university years Q: My youngest child is heading off to university and I am going to miss them terribly. How do I approach this new chapter in my life? Katharine says: "After investing many years in bringing up children the 'empty nest' can often be a challenging time for parents, who may find themselves feeling sad that the children are no longer around, and missing the role that they had as a hands-on parent.

"However, while the empty nest can be a challenging time, it can also give you the freedom and opportunity to rediscover hobbies and interests, reconnect with your partner and/or friends and to create new and happy memories.

"Before your child leaves home make a list of things you really want to do when they go. This could be the chance to join that club you always wanted to be part of, or get more involved in other activities you didn't have time to do before. If you haven't been working and want to get a job, now is the time to think about what skills you may need and how to develop them.

"Remember that you are still a parent and that the season of the empty nest can be just as rich and fulfilling as that of a full nest, but it takes time to adjust."

Q: My son is shy and he is heading off to university in September. How can I help him without becoming a parent who fusses too much? Katharine says: "It's not uncommon for teenagers to feel shy and selfconscious. There are things you can do to help coax your son out of his shell before he heads off to university, starting by giving him a confi-dence boost. Remind him of all his good points - telling him 'You would make a great friend because you are so kind' or 'People will like you because you can make them laugh'. …

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