Summer vacation is about to start and many high school graduates will be on their way to college in the fall. As parents, you want to help get your teen ready for living on their own. A common mistake in this process is assuming that your teen has it all figured out. If they’re responsible at home and make good grades then you assume that they’ll be fine. And more than likely they will be, but remember that living on their own, even with a roommate, is a big adjustment – a big change. And with change comes discomfort.
You may want to indulge your kids this summer because you know you won’t see them as much once they’re at college. So you might want to dote on them by doing their laundry or paying for their extras, for example. I say stop. Instead you should be giving them more responsibility because you want them to live successfully on their own. They gotta survive without you.
Many teens might feel lonely when they’re away from you or at college where they don’t know anyone. It’s a big change – an emotional one. Just because your teen might talks big game about “I can’t wait to get out of this house and be on my own.” "I can do whatever I want." For some teens, it might be how they feel in the moment, but actually being on their own is a whole different story. So talk to them about how to deal with loneliness. Tell them that’s it’s natural to feel this way. And brainstorm what they can do when they’re feeling lonely. Call, text, Facetime you. Make plans to see each other during the semester.
Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.