In the blink of an eye, your child will go from being a toddler to a teen. But that doesn’t mean you’ll have many years to prepare them for their first move and all the changes that come with it. As much as you might like to think about what is coming down the road a few years from now, the reality is that most parents are not prepared for their child to move away from home. The good news is that there are many things you can do now to help your child get ready for their first move. Whether your child is moving away from home for college, university, or even just a new apartment, making sure they are as prepared as possible will make life easier for everyone involved. Here are some ways you can help your child get ready for their first move:
Talk About Their Future
This may seem a little premature, but talking about your child’s future and what they would like to do with their life can help them set goals and prepare for the future. Whether they are a high school student or an older college student, it is a good idea to discuss their future. Talking about the different fields they are interested in, the places they would like to live, and the steps they need to take to get there can help a child be more prepared for their future. It is also a good idea to talk about how much money they will need for school and find out what financial assistance they are eligible for. This way, your child will know what to expect when the time comes. You can also discuss how much money they will need to live on their own or with roommates to get an idea of their expenses.
Set Clear Expectations
If you want your child to succeed after they move out, you need to set clear expectations for what they must do before they go. For example, make sure they have a plan for paying for school and the cost of living. You may even want to set up a savings account that they can use to put money towards their first few months of rent. You can also make sure they have a sound support system in place before they move out. Whether that means finding a roommate they get along with well or joining a club or organization on campus; your child needs to feel like they are part of a community. They need to feel like they have people who care and will be there for them when they need help.
Help Them Build a Network
One way to help your child build a network before they move out is to create a guest room. If your child has a friend with whom they are incredibly close, why not encourage them to invite them to live with them for a few months. Not only does this help your child practice living with someone, but it also gives them the chance to get to know someone with whom they may not have ever been close. Another way to help your child build a network is to help them network with the adults in their lives. Whether that means attending a school event, joining a club, or finding a hobby, your child needs to start meeting people who can help them further their career in the future. This can help them gain valuable connections now that they can draw on when they need help in the future. Also, let them know they can rely on you if necessary. Help them out with the move-in process; maybe show them how to hire a moving company like Allied Van Lines Canada, so they don’t feel like a fish out of water trying to take all of their things out of your house and attempting to transport it without a plan.
Photo courtesy of Unsplash
One of the most important things your child can do before they move out is to take better care of themselves. This can include getting better sleep, eating healthier, exercising regularly, and learning how to deal with stress. As a parent, you may feel like you need to step in and help your child as much as you can before they move out. However, while you want to help them as much as possible, it is also important to step back and let them learn to do things themselves. Doing so will help your child feel more confident in their ability to handle challenges and live independently.
Find the Good in Change
Sure, moving out is a significant change, but it can also be good. It can be a chance for your child to try new things they may have never tried while living at home. They can also expand their social circle and make new friends with different experiences and skill sets than they do. Moving out is a chance for your child to get a fresh start and try new things they may not have ever tried before. There are also many benefits to your child moving out that may not be immediately obvious. For example, when your child moves out, you will no longer have to worry about the cost of rent and their portion of the bills. This can help you take some financial stress off your plate.
The sooner you plan for your child’s first move, the better. You can start by having the “what if” talk with your child. This can help them think about what they need to do before moving out and help get them excited about their future. You can also start setting aside some money that you can use to help your child with the costs of moving out. Now that you know how to prepare your child for their first move, there is no reason to wait. Take these tips into consideration so that your child is as prepared as possible before they go.