How to help a child deal with homesickness

Going away to college is a big time for many young high school graduates all over the world, a time when they leave home for the first time to pursue their dreams out in the world. They’ll be meeting lots of new people, learning exciting new things, and most likely pulling at least a few all nighters. As exciting and fun as college can be, however, it’s not always smiles from start to finish. Many students get severe pangs of homesickness in their first years at college, and they’ll be looking to you for help. So what can you do to help your children ease their homesick feelings?

One of the most difficult things for new college students to adjust to is the idea of being away from the people they know. Because many students go off to college without any companions, they begin to feel lonely when they can’t see familiar faces whenever they like. If your kids are going to college somewhat locally, in their home state or a neighboring area, try to make frequent visits to campus. It helps to have friends and family around during periods of adjustment. Your kids will appreciate the thought and enjoy seeing their loved ones.

When you don’t have time to make the trek up to campus, which can be quite difficult if you’re situated far away from your kids’ schools, you can try to find alternative ways to stay in touch. One of the best and most popular ways to make contact these days is through Voice over Internet Protocol platforms like Skype and Google Talk. Using these services, you can make free or low cost video calls to your kids any time they’re available. There will be no worries about racking up ludicrous phone bills while Skyping, and you’ll be able to talk to each other almost face-to-face.

Sometimes the best way to alleviate feelings of homesickness for the kids in college is the old fashioned way–pick up a pen, buy a stamp, and write a letter. Something about receiving a letter in the mail brings up feelings of tender nostalgia in even the most jaded of hearts. A hand-written letter is somehow still much more personal and significant than an email, text, or online message, due in large part to the actual trouble that has to be undertaken to write and mail a letter. The process is troublesome by our standards of convenience anyway. Write your kids a letter from time to time. They’re sure to appreciate it, and they may even write back.

In the end, the only cure for homesickness is time. It’s more than natural to feel a sense of doubt or loneliness when breaking away from familiar surroundings. Your kids are feeling homesick because they miss the comforts of the life they once had, but the only way to make progress in life is to move forward. Whether it’s the best therapy degree programs or pre-law study, they’ll need to make changes to get ahead. This is something they should understand, and you can help to teach them. Progress comes from change, and it may not be easy but it will be worth it.


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