Leaving home

ParentLine volunteer Helen on why out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind when it comes to children.

When it comes to bringing up children, it’s fair to say that there is an endless stream of milestones to meet and potential concerns. As parents we seem to spend a huge amount of our time worrying about each step that our child will take, both the literal first steps, and then the figurative ones as they test the boundaries and grow as individuals. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride for any family with lots of highs and lows along the way – and we can be left at the end of it wondering how on earth any of us survived!

But what happens when the next step is a really big one and your child decides to leave home and move out independently into the world? This might be through higher education, a job offer in another part of the country, or maybe they just want to travel overseas for a while and experience more of the world.

Whatever the reason, the concerns you have as a parent don’t suddenly stop. It’s not a question of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. In fact, it might even be harder because – without the daily contact – it can be difficult to check out how your child is doing, particularly if that child is craving independence and only communicates monosyllabically by text once in a blue moon!

Are they eating properly? Have they made new friends? Are they keeping themselves safe? Can they cope with all the challenges ahead of them? As parents, these concerns are all real, and knowing how to address them can be as challenging as actually watching the child go in the first place.

But that’s what ParentLine is for: to listen to those worries and concerns, to talk them through and to offer support. At ParentLine we don’t claim to be able to provide the answer to every question but we can offer you the emotional support that you might need right now. And we have the resources to point you in the direction of more specialised support if necessary.

Hopefully, by giving you the space and time to explore your concerns, this will leave you in a better place to support your child, if and when they need it.

Get in touch

Call: 08000 28 22 33, text: 07860 022844

Web-chat at: www.parentlinescotland.org.uk