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Adjusting to your child's new life abroad

The transition to university can be a challenge for kids and parents alike. Some find it harder than others when their child heads off to university. Planning ahead can help you cope with this new stage of parenthood.

1. Stay in touch

Like most students, your child is probably pretty tech savvy and will know all the ways to keep in touch. University is not only a fun time, it can also be pretty busy. Try not to worry too much if you don't hear from them for a while. This probably means they're having a good time! Make plans to visit them or book their trip home for the next holiday so you can look forward to seeing them again soon.

2. Find new interests

You've probably been focused on your kids for a long time. Hours spent driving to activities, checking homework and watching school plays. This is a good time to start thinking about yourself and finding a new purpose. Stay engaged in your child's new life but keep busy with some new interests or skills and you'll find it easier to keep your feelings of loss at bay.

3. Rediscover relationships

Yes, the house will feel strange with one less person in it. Use this time to reconnect with friends and loved ones to talk about how you feel. You'll also have more time to focus on your partner. Don't discount your feelings – you might be happy to have the house to yourselves, or you may be missing them terribly.

4. Decorate the house

While it can be tempting to turn your child's bedroom into a study right away, hold off on this one for a bit. Changing the space too soon could make them feel displaced during an already-emotional time. When you feel it's right, discuss it together so your child feels a part of the process and understands that this will always be their home. Who knows - they might be living with you again sooner than you expected!

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