Six ways to stay close when your children leave home

Six ways to stay close when your children leave home

Yes it’s the end of an era, but your children moving out can sometimes bring you closer than ever. Here’s how…

Yes it’s the end of an era, but your children moving out can sometimes bring you closer than ever. Here’s how…

Busy lives (on all sides) makes finding meaningful ways to stay in touch once your children leave home all the more important.

It’s easy for the days and weeks to fly by before you catch up on the latest news in each other’s lives, but there are easy ways to share a little closeness every day.

1. Use technology

Set up a family group on your smartphone using messaging services like WhatsApp. It’ll mean you can send little missives that let your children know you’re thinking of them without being too intrusive or demanding.

A funny road sign, a note to tell them how the weather is where you are – it all helps to keep you feeling close to one another.

2. See their faces every day

Get mugs or mouse mats printed up with a family photo and every sip of coffee or mouse click will bring a hint of happiness to your day.

It’s also fun to create photo books or albums online that you can all access and add to as frequently as you like.

3. Ditch the routine

When you don’t see your children every day, it’s important to put all other distractions aside and make the time you do spend together special.

If it’s a meal at home, add candles or fresh flowers to the table. Why not plan a cultural trip to a museum or gallery? Or book everyone into a meal at a ‘family favourite’ restaurant? Suggest a picnic to which everyone brings one dish and include games to play after.

Try to get out of your normal routine together, and revel in time spent with the most important people in your life.

4. Keep up family traditions (but remember to be flexible)

Suggest (but don’t insist) you keep up family traditions such as Sunday lunches or Christmas get-togethers – but be flexible in your approach. Your son or daughter may have a partner and their family to consider, or you may have to go to them rather than hosting everyone in the family home as you’ve always done.

When you do get together, don’t overlook the unique opportunities you might have to reconnect one-on-one – preparing the meal, laying the table, clearing up afterwards.

And after the meal, Fairy Platinum is there to help you with the hard work, since it cuts through grease three times faster than other formulas.

5. Call or FaceTime regularly

There’s nothing wrong with a good old chat every couple of weeks (or even days…). Make it a regular event (every other Monday, for instance) that gets written on the calendar, and fret no more that a month will go by before you call your children.

Even as little as 10 minutes regularly keeps you all caught up and means plans to see each other don’t fall by the wayside.

6. Be the group organiser

Speaking of plans, volunteer to be the one who gets everyone organised.

Whether your children are studying or are juggling a career and young family, the chances are they’re pretty time-poor. Even more so if they are new parents.

By making get-togethers easy, accessible and not-too-frequent, they’ll surprise you with 100% attendance every time, despite what is going on in their lives.

How do you stay in touch with your children now they’ve left home? We’d love to hear your suggestions – please share them below.

For more advice, check out our article on Life in an empty nest.

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I was happy and proud

babyhk 10/09/2017

As a parent I wanted my grown up kids to be independent. I was proud when each one left home .Jobs , juggling and standing on their own 2 feet and I feel I have more than achieved my role .No news is good news .We know where each other are and if they don't get in touch for a week or two then I know via one of my other children that they are o.k .I know with mine that when they do ring we will chat for ages then meet for a meal or have a good moan on Whats App or Skype.

Do Not

OnlyMe1 05/09/2017

cling on! I have two girls, raised as a single parent and yes, of course it hurt when my eldest moved out but I didn't make a huge fuss. Let them spread their wings, don't fuss, don't make a point of seeing them every day or Facetiming them etc, let them decide how things will go. If you're close, well then they'll come home to see you when they need to. I went home for Sunday dinner every week, so did my daughter and now her, my son-in-law and grandson come. You have to let them go!

Flown the nest

Laurens26 05/09/2017

My daughter left home six months ago at the age of 27 and I felt like my right arm had been cut off it was an awful feeling of empty nest syndrome,fortunately she didn't move far and on a few occasions she came straight to our house forgetting she'd moved out. We speak every day and call in to see each other and I'm lucky as I get on really well with her partner.

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