Your child will probably experience some form of homesickness during their first year at college. This is both totally normal and is a natural response to what is a big change in their life.
After the first few years, majority students usually overcome their homesickness. However, some continue to suffer in silence. This is obviously counter-productive and helps neither the student or the parent.
As a parent, you need to understand that there will be a chance that you will have to help alleviate your child’s homesickness. This article will provide you with some helpful tips on how to help your child.
Primarily, you should encourage your child to fully commit to college life by joining societies, clubs and events. This will allow them a healthy distraction from wallowing in their homesickness, and will give them the chance to make new friends. This will help create the beginnings of an independent life away from their rose tinted view of home. By encouraging your child to throw his or herself headfirst into college life, you’re effectively giving them a helpful nudge in the right way. This will stop them from yearning to be home.
Additionally, you need to reassure your child with regular contact. Make sure to call, skype, facetime and text them often. Some might think this not a good way to help your child, but homesickness often accompanies isolation. By keeping in contact it will ensure that your child is not alone and that you are there for them.
If your child is experiencing acute homesickness, regular trips home can help reinforce that their homesickness is something that they will eventually overcome. Highlight how it actually has nothing to do with home, but instead the ‘thought ’ of home.
Another way in which you may help alleviate your child’s homesickness, is by furnishing their room with familiar things to give them a sense that they have a bit of home at school. This can be anything ranging from photos of loved ones to a favorite blanket. In fact, there are many companies who can create custom made bedding and other soft furnishings. It can include your child’s favorite photographs.
In the end, you could alleviate your child’s homesickness by baking and sending them their favorite cake, biscuits or pastries. By sending them regular food parcels, or really bundles of toiletries, you won’t just be giving your child much-needed supplies. However you’ll also be conveying a message they’re not forgotten and that you’re thinking as much of these as they are of you.