My daughter is away at college and I am always worried about her

Sending your child thousands of miles away to a new country, new college, new ways of living can be daunting for any parent. Parents raise their children having one prayer on their lips – “May my child always be safe and happy.” Children fall down and mum is there to cuddle and dad to apply the anti-septic. The first time your little baby falls of the bed, your heart breaks and you are wrecked with guilt of how you could’ve been so careless.

However old your child grows to be, he/she will always be your baby that you intrinsically want to protect. And sending your child away to college many thousands of miles away can shake you in the core. Its like the wind is being sucked out of you leaving you holding your breath, praying hard your child remains safe.

So no, it is not easy to send your child away and I don’t have anything to say to make it easy. Though I do have to say – that it can be as difficult as you make it. Given your stage you will have loads of other parents whose children are away and you need to get some inspiration from them on how they are coping, what are the ways in which they manage their worries and pain.

In this video, I share some strategies on how to cope with this stage in both your and your child’s life.

1) Keep your emotions in check! How ever old your child is, whether they are two or twenty years old they can always ‘feel into’ your emotional state however much you might try to camouflage your emotions and voice. So work on yourself to rid yourself of any emotions of stress or anxiety that might cause your child to be more stressed and worried.

2) What are you worried about? Most of the worries you have will not materialize. Speak to your friends on how they are coping with their worries – you might get some logical steps on how to handle yours. You can always book a coaching session with me if you need to learn some tools and techniques to handle your stress and anxiety and know how you can be an empowered parent.

3) Empower child with the right values, tools and techniques that they can use even when they are away from home. Parents teach their children many things throughout their lives, however when children are close by they always have the comfort of knowing that their parents are close to them. Now when your child does not have ready physical proximity to you the challenges will be different and you as a parent need to empower them so that they can deal with those hurdles without your help.

4) How much contact with your child is reasonable? How will you show your trust in your child? Thanks to advances in technology, I see a lot of parents staying in touch with their child 24/7. Some parents wake up at odd hours on a daily basis to talk to their child. Sit together as a family and decide what is the best way to stay in touch and how many times a week (besides any emergency call ofcourse). This leads to you empowering your child and teaching them to be independent and that you trust them.

5) Time to let go of the umbilical cord. Yes there will always be a portion of you that will never let go of your child. With her going to college you need to work on yourself to now let go of most of the umbilical cord for the simple reason that it will give her freedom and space to explore the world without you holding her back.

Action:
If you would like help as a mother/parent to develop skills to cope with your stress and anxiety – email sunainaathena@gmail.com to book a session.

Incase your child in college needs support to settle down, develop resilience skills and be more independent and self reliant email sunainaathena@gmail.com to find out how I help children via skype in foreign countries.