The time has finally come, the bags are packed and your child is ready to jet off on their latest adventure. Although this might seem like a big change for you it is also a big challenge for your child as they experience new places, people, and way of living.
We interviewed an interns parent to get an insight into how they feel about their child living and working abroad. We felt that this would be valuable information to any future parents of children wishing to travel.
At first, like any parent, I felt hesitant on the idea of her traveling to a new country where she knew few people. Knowing that she was excited to gain experience in a different countries culture reassured me. This opportunity would allow her to, develop new skills and learn a new language.
Yes, it was hard leaving her at the airport, but I knew that she was going to have an amazing year. She is young and should travel now while she can, make memories, new friends and to enjoy herself. Although it is difficult at times, I encourage all my children to travel and see the world. Travel encourages people to push their limits and step outside their comfort zone.
With how advanced technology is nowadays, I talk to her more now than I ever did. Skype, FaceTime and Facebook messenger is a free and easy method to make video calls anywhere around the globe. Try not to be in contact with them every day, give them their space to enjoy their own time away and to make the most out of their journey. They won’t always want their embarrassing parent ringing, checking up on their every move.
Yes, it does get easier. There are a lot more opportunities abroad. Knowing that she is happy and content makes it much easier. Just like anything in life, you adjust to change. Traveling is something that I wish I had done myself, so I want her to make the most out of the opportunity that she faces seeing the world while she can. Home will always be home, they will return for home cooked meals and getting their clothes washed for them… Enjoy the break while you can!
My main worry was, ‘What if she came into harm?’. She has settled in well and has become very independent to take care of herself and to grow as a person. This is something that will stand to her in the future. There is many services and support available so there is nothing that we need to worry about. If worst came to worst, we could travel to her if she was ever in trouble.
Don’t doubt your child’s ability to be independent and to have a good time. Make sure that you’re not constantly telling them that you miss them as this could trigger homesickness. Be supportive! Living in a new country can bring culture shock, homesickness, and loneliness. Listen to what your child has to say but reassure them that they have made the correct decision. Make support suggestions without persuading them to get the next flight home.
Also, make sure to take care of yourself. Being a parent is a full-time job, but it is important that you also enjoy your own life. Your child is away, potentially having the time of their lives, so why should you put yours to a halt.
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