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Keeping in Touch After the Nest Empties

Guest article | 26 June 2013

Communicating across the miles - stock photo

A study by the Australian Council for Educational Research found that

today's youth are leaving home at older ages

A study by the Australian Council for Educational Research found that today's youth are leaving home at older ages. Due to factors such as a shaky job market, some children remain with their parents well into their late twenties and beyond.

This can lead to one of two things: when the children finally do leave, parents may find themselves rejoicing at their reclamation of privacy. Or, parents may find that the longer kids stay, the harder it is to say goodbye.

Whether your children leave home at age 18 or 38, keeping in touch is essential to maintaining a family bond. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to keep tabs on your child, while still allowing them to grow independently.

Send Cards and Packages

Cards and packages are a very personalized way to show you care. Packages filled with things like cookies, detergent, and socks, in particular, are likely to be quite appreciated by a child first starting out on their own. While sending something through the post may work for you, don't expect it in return: younger generations are more likely to communicate through technological means.

Rely on Email

Email is one of the greatest inventions for keeping in touch. The reason for this is simple: it's laden with convenience. Many people prefer to communicate by email rather than phone calls because emails can be composed, sent, and read at any time. Thus, if your child finds themselves up in the middle of the night, they will probably be more likely to return an email or Facebook message than they would a phone call.

Try the Text

According to online surveys conducted by a students, there were two preferred methods of communication: face to face, and text messaging. When your child is away from home, face to face isn't always possible, so try the next best option. People often have a preference for text messages because they are quick, they are easy, and, like email, they don't require any act of immediacy.

Set a Schedule

Sometimes, communicating through the written word isn't enough: you may want to actually see or hear for yourself that your child is alive and well. For this reason, scheduling a phone date or a Skype date on a weekly, or bi-weekly, basis is a simple way to keep abreast of any developments in your child's life. To assure that the date is kept, you may want to schedule these during downtimes: it's probably best to avoid weekends and Friday or Saturday nights.

Don't Go Overboard

A recent report showed that 43 percent of parents admit to checking their child's Facebook page on a daily basis. While this may be appropriate for children who are underage, if they are adults this is a bit of overkill. Checking social media with such frequency can lead to putting far too much credence in Facebook statuses—statuses that are sometimes posted in jest, to exaggerate, or to get a rise out of another person.

No matter how old they get, it can be difficult when children flee the nest. Staying in touch is expected, but too much communication can be a hindrance. Remember, you need to give them space in order for them to learn and grow.

Disclaimer: The views of authors on our website are not necessarily representative of those views of our website. Articles contain only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of Please read the complete Disclaimer here

What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the


are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.


plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a


or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

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