The time comes in every parent’s life when the child leaves home for the first time – alone. This could be when a little one heads over to their friend’s house for the night, or when they head off to slumber party. It might be when your teenager goes on holiday with their friends or partner for the first time. After the first time, these events usually become more and more frequent until the child grows into an adult and moves out the house be it for a job, or because of college. What you need to do as a parent is help them – your kids – through these steps and offer your valuable advice and guidance throughout these defining life events.
It’s very rare that your kids will leave for a trip abroad without you – but sometimes they do. It might be a school trip to Europe; it might be something else, like a trip as part of a school sports team or one of many teen missionary opportunities that allow your child to complete valuable work abroad. Whatever happens – you need to ensure that you prepare them, as independent as they might feel that they are – they cannot do this alone. They might be able to in some instances, but you need to be there to help prepare, help educate and help pack – of course.
Firstly, you need to educate them a little bit. You might not have gone abroad – but if you have, you can certainly give them a bit of advice, but if you haven’t you can certainly use the power of good travel guides and the Internet to impart a bit of knowledge to help them. Teach them about the importance of timekeeping and to arrive for their trip early and allow time for a good rest and a bit of an exploration, even if it is at the airport.
Equip them with a camera if you can afford to do so. The younger the child, the better the results – this makes for funny shots and amazing memories. As well as this, give them a journal and ask them to record their experience. If you can’t be there with your child, you can certainly share in the memories and stories that they bring back with them. If you can join them on their trip, you can make some incredible family memories.
They also need to be prepared for the climate. They might head out to a skiing trip with school, which means they need to know and be ready for the biting cold of the frost and snow. If they are heading to sunnier climes, they need to ensure that they are looked after when it comes to suncare to avoid the burning rays of the sun. When it comes to packing, take a bit of control and ensure that your child has everything they need to be safe on, and to enjoy, their trip. Clothes, equipment and a little comfort item to remind them of home will do. Then, let them on their way and prepare for the tales on their return!