Keeping in Touch After the Nest Empties


Keeping in Touch After the Nest Empties

Guest article | 26 June 2013


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.

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