When it comes to your children you may not want to face it, but they do grow up. The fact of life is that, no matter how much you’d like them to stay young and tiny forever, there will come a day when they’ll not only be big enough to be able to move out, but they’ll want to move out too. College is the first opportunity for many young people to be able to get away from the family home, which is why you should seek all the help you possibly can when it comes to this milestone in your child's life so that you can make it as easy for both them, and you, as possible.
First of all, you have to remember that everything you feel about the move: the excitement for their future mixed with the sadness of everything they’re leaving behind — they will be feeling it all, only ten times worse than you. For every time they say things like ‘I’m nearly 18, just leave me alone’ or ‘I deserve some independence’, they will ask for your help or guidance. Because of this, you must be able to take whatever they throw at you with a pinch of salt; this means to be able to handle the cries for independence, as well being able to remain as there for them as possible. After years of dealing with the teen mood swings, I'm sure you can face just a few more. You should also reaffirm to them just how important these next few years are to them — both in the sense of being important in setting up the rest of their lives and in the sense that they need to create memories that they will retain for a lifetime.
As well as dealing with them in an emotional way, you also have to make practical plans for them, because they’re probably not going to want to do this themselves. You should discuss the financial budgets imposed on them, as well as who is going to pay for what. For instance, you may agree to pay for books and other supplies they’ll need academically at college, and you may tell them to fend for themselves when it comes to buying snacks and other, more fun, things. You should also inform them as much as you can about technology driven payment, i.e. the use of debit and credit cards.
You should also lend a hand when it comes to their big move. This could be anything from driving them to their destination; giving them advice on what to, and what not to, pack; or making sure that they are covered financially to get there on time and in one piece. If your child insists on taking much more than just a few items of clothing because they are moving into housing that offers more space than a dorm room does, consider getting the movers in. They will take the stress away of having to hire and drive a vehicle you may have no previous experience driving, such as a van or a lorry. You will also be able to have a peace of mind in knowing that all of their worlds possessions will make it to where they need to go.
So, there you have it. Your children (yes, they will always be your children), may be flying the nest, but that’s not to say that they still don’t need as much help from you as they did when they were babies. And it’s also not to say that they won’t be back upon occasion because they will!