Your once-baby has just received their matric results and, much to your relief and delight, they have passed. Now, it’s time for the next step. They are off to university or college and for many parents, this means that their kids are moving out.
At least for a few weeks at a time. How are you getting them ready for this big move out of the house and into a space of their own? We have some tips for you.
Ensure that their next space is move-in ready
If you have access to their room or shared house ahead of time, go have a look at the state of it. Is it move-in ready? Does it need a bit of a dust or a clean? You could do the cleaning yourself or you could hire services such as SweepSouth. By giving the place a good clean ahead of time, you ensure that your offspring has a literal clean slate from which to start. While you’re at it, equip them with cleaning products that they can use to keep the space clean and show them how to book cleaning services such as SweepSouth. Exam time won’t allow much room for cleaning, so the outside help will be appreciated.
2. Let them take a piece of home with them
You might think that your child is going to be reveling in the freedom that comes with moving out from under your roof (and we guess they are), but they will also be homesick. Allow them to take something that reminds them of home that they can keep in their new space. It could be their favourite pan, a blanket that they’re attached to, a family photo or even a mirror. Of course, they can’t take the family car (unless you’re ok with that), so draw the line at silly requests.
3. Teach them some life skills
Does your child know how to do their own laundry? Cook a decent meal? Even change a tyre? These life skills are good to know when you’re moving out on your own. You never know when they will need it. Take a day or two before they leave to teach them some of these. And go through what it means to budget their money as well. They will need it if they need to stretch their money every month.
4. Take them shopping for groceries
Whether your child is moving into res or into a shared house with cooking facilities, they will need to stock up on essentials. Take your child grocery shopping and buy them their first stash of items. This could be bread, milk, coffee, tea, canned foods, fresh fruits and vegetables if they have a fridge, and snacks, of course. If they haven’t been helping with the shopping until now, they will have no idea what to shop for.
5. Allow them to fly
It’s very tempting to want to check in on your child every second of the day once they’ve moved out. Are they ok? Are they eating enough? Are they warm? So many things to worry about. But at this phase in their life, it’s important to remember that while they are still your child, they are adults. They will want their freedom and they will need the space to grow. Remind them that you are there for them and that they can reach out to you whenever they need you. And then limit your check-ins as much as possible. Don’t go entirely quiet, of course. Maybe agree on how often you’re “allowed” to check in without it feeling overbearing.