YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Moving out for the first time and heading off to college is an exciting time, but for many parents the process can be very emotional and create separation anxiety.
Psychologists say parents should take heart that their feelings of sadness will pass and often times coming up with a plan of contact with their children will help ease everyone into the transition of living apart.
Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Scott Bea says while it is tempting to call your child every day or several times a day, that is not the best thing to do. It may be difficult to hold back, Bea says, because once some kids are out of the house, they may not stay in contact as much as parents would like. But now is the time for parents to learn some detachment skills and let their children learn to be individuals.
“The distress is real common. It is going to pass. We getter better at anything we practice, so if we practice being apart from one another, without trying to solve that too much in the early going, we are going to get used to it,” Bea said. “Maybe make some contact with other people who have been in similar circumstances so they can normalize some of the sentiments you are experiencing, some of the feelings that your kids may be expressing.”
Bea also suggests having a game plan with your child before they leave. Decide how often you’ll contact each other and how reach one another in case of an emergency.