Long distance relationships: how to stay close when your children move away

Long distance relationships: how to stay close when your children move away

Don’t fret about an empty nest – here’s how to maintain a close relationship with the kids, even though you’re no longer living under the same roof.

Don’t fret about an empty nest – here’s how to maintain a close relationship with the kids, even though you’re no longer living under the same roof.

Moving out of home – it’s as big a milestone as their first word, first tooth or first day of school. They might be leaving for work or university, or to move in with friends or a partner, but whatever the reason, the impact can be huge. Finding your family home is suddenly missing a member can be difficult to deal with.

However, just because there may now be a geographical distance between you, there is absolutely no need for there to be an emotional distance as well. Follow our five tips for staying close, however far apart you may be.

1. Establish expectations

You’re used to being able to look into your child’s eyes every day, so if this goes down to a text every other day it’s going to feel like the gap between you is widening. But, equally, for your son or daughter embarking on exciting new adventures, having to text every 48 hours may feel like you’re not letting go.

Before they move, agree how and how often you will communicate, so you both know what is expected. This will help avoid resentment all round.

2. Show respect

No matter how hard it might be to believe that the baby you gave birth to is out there in the big wide world on their own, you need to accept that they are an adult in their own right. Respect the fact that they are in control of their own lives now.

Of course, you want to be involved and be there for them, but take your lead from them. Let them know you’re always there, but let them come to you rather than taking charge. You’ve done a great job of raising them, it’s time to step back and watch them flourish by putting everything you’ve already taught them into practice.

3. Share memories

Your sense of smell is key in creating and evoking memories, and you can send them off with lots of reminders of the family home packed into their case. Do their last load of laundry before they leave with Bold 3-in-1 Pods and they’ll take the fresh smell of home with them.

You’ll become their first thought every time they get dressed in the morning, because their favourite clothes will smell just like when they lived at home. Give them a pack to take with them too, and you’ll keep the feeling going for longer.

4. Create traditions

Life will be different when you’re no longer living together, but it’s never too late to create new traditions.

Your son or daughter might not be able to join the usual Saturday brunch or Sunday lunch, for example, but instead of letting this upset you and focusing on what you can’t do, create new traditions for the family.

This could be something as simple as a weekly video call, or it could be as involved as an annual family holiday. When they have kids of their own they’ll appreciate the help even more. The most important thing is to embrace change and keep evolving – together.

5. Avoid advice

Mum might know best, but advice isn’t always appreciated by kids, especially when they’re grown-up enough to have their own family – and a set of in-laws with other ideas. Instead, give guidance that will help your child work things through on their own.

Listen, ask questions that will help them think around their issue and only give direct advice if they ask for it. If you feel they're on the verge of making a massive mistake ask them if you can share your advice, as imposed advice is rarely effective, no matter how well meant it is.

How do you keep close to your kids? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Thousands of miles apart

Coco 25/04/2018

My daughter lives in Dubai with her husband & their first child is on the way She has been away for 5 years HOW WE COMMUNICATE & COPE We use a mixture of phone calls,text, Skype, Facebook,Instagram & visits. We also have a family group on WhatsApp. This is a great way of not missing out on what’s happening in everyone’s life's without it being over the top.I miss them so much & get very sad at times.I just have to remind myself what a amazing life they’re living. Miles apart but so close at ❤️

Keeping close

babyhk 23/01/2018

I find that most of the time no news is good news . I used to phone my 5 boys when they were at uni but only if I had something to tell them . Listen carefully and give advice but unless the situation is dire then point them to contacts and get an update next time . I tend not to ask too much about partners. If they do like them then they may bring them home without prompting . Mother but don't smother .Sometimes the less you say and the more they will tell.

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