- Family and Parenting»
Leaving Home for the First Time / Child vs. Parent Perspectives - - Young People on Their Own
There comes a point in every child’s life where he or she must leave the nest. This experience can be one of excitement and fear for both the child and the parents alike. There are both positive and negative effects of a child leaving home for the first time, but ultimately it is an occurrence that everyone must deal with in their lifetime at some point or another.
Leaving home for the first time is very important life experience. The child leaving home will be both excited and afraid, even if they claim otherwise. The usual excitement would stem from the child ready to be on his or her own. Living on their own, without parental authority, is a new idea to them. Hopefully, up until this point, the parents have done a good job of raising their child so that he/she can function in society in a safe, productive, and morally righteous manner. Leaving home for the first time comes with a few benefits for the child. These benefits include, but are not limited to: meeting new people, freedom to make choices about one’s own life, no curfew, ability to choose one’s own path- whether it be in the workplace or in a college environment. Although the excitement of leaving home for the first time is unlike anything else, it also brings with it more responsibilities.
Children who have very nurturing parents will have a harder time leaving home than children whose parents are more indifferent towards their child’s life. Some children will be very afraid to leave home, and may even delay the option until a much later point in their life. Usually, in America, children leave home about the time when they are first going off to college. Going to college for the first time, and living in a dorm, is a stepping stone on the path to actually living on your own in the real world. Eventually, the child may decide to rent an apartment near campus for the latter years of their college experience. This is the reality of leaving home. Young adults will have many new responsibilities to deal with than they ever imagined possible. Some of these new responsibilities include, but are not limited to: finding a job, doing own laundry, learning how to clean their home, buying groceries, and paying rent. Finding a job can be a very difficult task for a young adult, but it is necessary for being able to have financial freedom. No job or means of earning money makes it difficult for a young adult to pay his or her living expenses. The cost of paying rent, utilities, and buying food add up. Without a job, none of this would be possible, unless the parents of the child support him/her financially.
Young adults aren’t the only one’s nervous about moving out for the first time. Their parents are nervous and fearful themselves. Of course, it is expected that a mother and father would be worried for their child venturing off to live on their own for the first time. The parents are still the parents, and it is important for them to maintain that type of relationship with their child, even if it must be through infrequent meetings or phone calls. If the young adult has siblings, it is also important for the parents to show those younger siblings that they are making an effort to stay in touch with whoever left home. Parents must remember that these younger siblings will in fact be leaving home themselves at some point. Just as the person leaving home is going through major changes, the parents will go through changes as well. Some changes that a parent might go through include: the absence of a good night kiss, groceries lasting longer, and a lower food/utility bill. Above all, it is important that parents remain parents to their children, even if they have decided to venture out on their own. Young adults need to be re-assured that they are still loved, and that the parents haven’t forgotten about them. They must know that they are always welcome home.
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