A gap year is an exciting way for your son or daughter to gain some life experience before they get settled into further education, but for you as a parent it can be a prospect filled with dread and worry. Amongst your worries could be legitimate concerns such as how they will finance their trip and how they will stay safe while out in the big wide world. However, it is important to put your worries and concerns into perspective and rather than trying to prevent them from taking the trip of a lifetime, work with them to make sure you are both prepared.
A great way to alleviate the stress and worry of your son or daughter leaving the nest is to get involved in the preparation of their trip. There are lots of ways you can get involved as you will have lots of experience from your own life and can advise them on things such as managing money, bank accounts and help them find money making strategies while they are travelling. By spending time working on the preparation for the trip together with your children, you can help calm any fears either of you both have about it.
Keep In Touch
One of the biggest concerns for both you as a parent and your children is making sure you stay in contact after they have left and are out there seeing the world. Make strict arrangements to call each other and stick to them. It is also a good idea to make sure they give you the hostel and other accommodation contact details. Balance is the key though as you want to keep things levelled with regards to showing parental care and love and just letting them get on with it.
Allowing the Independence to Get On With It
It’s instinctive for parents to worry about their children, particularly when it comes to the idea of them travelling the world on their own. Although as parents it is generally accepted that you know best because you have life experience, you should also accept that your child probably knows when they are ready to take on the challenge of this kind of trip. Even if you feel as if they are a little too naïve or immature for experiencing life in the big bad real world, this might be the best reason why you should just let them get on with it because it could help them to grow and develop from a teenager into a mature and sensible adult.
If you let them have this chance to go on a gap year and you play your part as the concerned parent to help them arrange it so that they can have as safe a time as possible, they will thank you for it later. They will also come back with a whole host of life-affirming and life-changing experiences and stories that they will want to share with you. Gap year programs are one way to make sure they have a financially secure and safe time out there, such as Real Gap.