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How do I prepare my child when he/she has to leave home?

Time went so fast – you blinked and now your baby is 18, ready to leave the nest. This should be the time when parents talk with their children about the realities they will be confronted with when they leave home.

What can parents do?

  • Enhance their problem-solving skills. It is important that they know how to solve their own problems. You will probably not be near them to solve their problems for them. Talk to our child about the process of problem-solving. Teach them to see the problem, find potential solutions, review the pros and cons and then pick a solution.
  • Boost their confidence to stand their ground. Teach your child to say “no”.  The world is full of peer pressure and with you not there, they will have to stand up for themselves. Teenagers do not always understand the consequences of their actions. Teach them that they do not have to feel obligated or pressured to fit in with the crowd.
  • Help them to focus on their emotional and physical wellbeing. Your child must understand the importance of staying healthy, eating nutritious food and exercising. Let them focus on making friends and find their own social identity. A healthy body will host a healthy mind and assist in managing stress.

As tough as this can be, try to provide your child the wings they need to develop. Trust that you have provided them with strong roots. Social workers at Free State Care in Action will be able to assist parents during this process.  Parents can attend parental guidance programs to prepare them for this process. Teenagers can attend life skill programs and independent living programs to teach them resilience. Social workers will also be able to assist with counselling parents and children who may find this process difficult. Contact Free State Care in Action at 051-4446143 to refer you to your nearest social worker.