Children Who Emigrate: What You Didn't Know About Your Kid
When a child leaves home it is probably one of the most saddening experiences every parent goes through during their lives. Years of research have been dedicated to the effects that permanent separation from your grown up child has on the parent’s emotional and mental state. However, not enough insight has been given into the effect it has on the child that leaves.
After your child moves to another city or even a country, your family is never the same. But so is your kid.
Here are some of the things that happen in your kid’s mind and heart that you probably didn’t know about.
1. They often wonder if they did the right thing moving away.
Your kid has made a decision to live away, and maybe this decision was even supported by you. You both know that it’s probably in their best interest if they follow their dreams and take the necessary steps towards their realisation. However, the more time they spend away, the more attention they start paying to the word ‘probably’. They often sit alone in their room thinking ‘What if this was a mistake?’, ‘What if it’s not worth is?’. We all grow up with the common knowledge that family is the most important thing in our lives, and just like you, your kid often wonders if they have actually sacrificed their family for the sake of a good job and a more comfortable life. These thoughts never fully go away.
2. They consider giving up and dream about going back home every time it gets too hard.
It is sweet how even a grown up child will always perceive home as the safest, warmest place on Earth. But you have no idea how hard it is for your kid to keep it together when things get rough, and how difficult it is for someone to convince themselves to keep fighting ‘cause it’s all for the best. Back home, his/her family (you) have each other. You have your family and your friends to comfort you and give you courage to keep going. Your kid wants the same. Please give them the support and motivation they need, even if all you want is for them to come back home.
3. They see YOU in everyone’s parents.
We are all different, that’s for sure. So is every parent, and every family. That doesn’t stop your kid from seeing you everywhere. When missing home, when missing your family, it is very easy for someone’s parent to remind them of you. Simple things as visiting their friend’s house while their mother is cooking or asking them if they have some laundry, even saying how awful they look in these clothes and that it’s time for them to clean their room as it looks like Jurassic Park, can make your kid’s throat tighten. And despite the common belief, it is not because your kid misses being cooked for, or misses you doing their laundry for them (but, yes, that too). It is because every little thing you ever did that showed love and care, is what they really miss. They miss you.
4. They often argue with their friends if they’re complaining from their parents.
Yes! You might not believe it, but it’s true! She was the girl that used to complain about you to everyone including you. You were always wrong and you were ‘ruining her life’. Well, not anymore! Now she is ready to argue with her friends when they say even one bad word for their parents. They probably often hear her say: ‘You don’t appreciate your parents at all. All they ever do is think of you! No one ever in this world is going to think about you the way they do! One day you will lose them and regret it all.’ Yes. She said that... And every time someone complains ‘Oh, i have to go to my parents this Sunday for diner, how i wish i could just skip!’, your kid probably just wants to smash them in the head, hide them in the closet and go instead of them! And she probably says ‘Aww’ every time her friend receives a text ‘Get home soon’. Because since she left home, she finally started to understand and appreciate you. Or if she did before, she does now even more.
5. They are THE MOST EXCITED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD when expecting your visit.
You think you’re excited to visit your baby. Well, you have no idea what happens in this baby’s head and heart when expecting you to visit them. They probably seem perfectly calm to you, and you might even think they barely care. But that’s definitely not the case. Your kid probably has planned every single day of your visit… He/She probably goes to bed every night and imagines the things you’re going to do, the places you will visit, and even the conversations you will have. Your kid probably awaits the moment you will enter the door of their home and worries if you’re going to like it. He/She probably can’t wait to show you ‘The Workplace’ and to see how proud you are. They have probably spent hours shopping, days cleaning, and weeks planning, so everything is perfect for you. And if you think they’re not that bothered by your visit, just try to see the small things that show how much actually they have prepared for you.
6. They truly hurt when you leave.
You were here with them for a week, maybe two. And for a week or two, they had their family again. Then you go back home. To their home. Taking the family away with you. And they stay. After they sent you off to the airport/bus station, they probably went back to their flat and looked around thinking how this place looks so much emptier and darker than it looked even before you came…
7. They suffer more when they can’t make it home for Christmas.
Christmas is a family holiday...And no matter how much you miss them there, do not forget that your kid’s family is not there. While there is one empty seat on your table, there’s only one seat taken on theirs. You spend the holiday with the rest of your family, and they get to spend it with someone else’s, in the best case scenario.
8. Your HEALTH becomes the most important thing for them.
Your kid no longer cares that much about the attention you give them, or how you spend your free time, whether you have cooked, cleaned or not. You have always been scared for them, but now they started being scared FOR YOU! They think about the stairs you need to climb to get home, or the fact that you walk alone from work. They are worried about your headaches or about you working extra hours. They DON’T trust anyone around you and they want to know where you are, how you will get home and whether you eat healthy. The sooner you realise that, the better…
9. They LIVE with the statement ‘You don’t know if you will get the chance to see your loved ones again’.
Yes. Everyone know this. And people keep saying it all the time. But how many people REALLY KNOW IT. Well your kid probably does. And he/she is scared. Every day. Seriously! You call them, but they miss the call, and later forget to call you back. Next thing you know they wake up in the morning thinking ‘ What if something has happened?!’ and call you straight away. They are too far away and if something happens, they will probably be the last ones to know. They realise that and it freaks them out! SO please, next time he/she misses your call- leave a text saying that everything is okay.
10. Just like you, they will probably never be completely happy without you.
No matter where they are, no matter how great their life is, and no matter if they have achieved everything they wanted and live in a dream...They will not be completely happy. Because you are not there.
Maybe home is nothing but two arms holding you tight when you're at your worst.— Yara Bashraheel
Our family are the only people who love us unconditionally. Just because.
And once we leave this family, we spend our whole lives learning that LOVE is deserved. At the same time, we all have bad habits that we can't deny and very unpleasant traits, that make us ‘unlovable’... But to our family these don’t matter. And this is why there is no place like home.
© 2018 Denitsa Georgieva