It is that time of the year when most young adults are leaving home for college, for internships or new jobs in another city. So what do I advise my young child leaving home who is grown up and ready to take on the world.
Most times as Indian mothers we love to take care of our kids eating habits, make sure we cook food according to their liking and cajole them with fruits and milk when they are busy studying or working late nights. When the child is on her own she may neglect her health unknowingly. So my job as a mother is to remind her to eat fruits, milk and egg on a daily basis. Only when the child is healthy physically can she focus on her studies or her job. It is also a good idea to train the child in some basic cooking techniques like cooking maggi, dal, boiling egg, rice, making pancakes etc. so that in worst case scenario the child can take care of her food.
Of course we know that no kid wants to DO drugs deliberately but they are at that stage of their lives where the role of friends and peers is of utmost importance. Also sometimes kids wants to experiment without knowing the harm that might be caused by drugs. Drugs and alcohol may also provide a temporary relief from the stress of higher studies or from the loneliness of staying away from home and before the child knows it he or she may get hooked onto it. Of course it’s difficult to monitor my child long distance if she wants to experiment but I can continue telling her and sensitize her about the harmful effects of substance abuse, show films, whatsapp newspaper clippings, etc.
When the child starts living on her own, she is meant to handle her own money for the first time. All this while we parents have been taking care of their needs and wants. Of course we as parents are still paying their hostel fees and their other boarding, lodging expense but then there is the problem of pocket money–how much is enough.
When my daughter went to her hostel for the first time we set aside a budget for her pocket money, however she kept on asking for more money every month so after a few months when she came home for her holidays we sat together and fixed up a budget by consensus. The decision was also to insist that she sticks to it for few months. We of course gave the flexibility that if required we can revisit the budget again in a few months.
So a couple of phone calls every week is mandatory. Sometimes the child might be busy and not take our calls but trust me it matters to them that we are thinking about them at all times. We keep the channel of communication open so that if ever needed the child feels free to call us up at any time, with any issue.
I also need to remember to maintain a calm voice when talking to the child on phone. And all conversations does not have to be about studies and job, sometimes talking about the neighbours’ dogs and informing her about the maid’s children also is a great stress reliever, it keeps the children connected to their home even when they are hundreds and thousands of miles away.
So these are the things to be advised to them when child leaving home for college, for internships or new jobs in another city.
I am a mother of a college going young girl . I love reading, travelling and exploring new places. I suppose all my years as an educator working with teenagers and young adults, I have been fortunate to have gotten an insight into the workings of a child’s mind. I would like to believe that I can also empathise with a teenager more so because I am still one at heart