When your child goes to university, it's the start of a whole new life stage - for you as the parent too, not just your child. No wonder it can be a time of such mixed emotions - pride, excitement, anxiety and a large dose of 'empty nest' nerves that your baby has gone.
Here, Janet Ellis, former Blue Peter presenter and mother of pop star Sophie Ellis-Bextor talks about how parents really feel when their children fly the nest, as her youngest daughter Martha heads to university later this month.
Alongside Janet, relationship expert Christine Webber discusses how parents' long distance relationships with their children are changing, thanks to the huge variety of different media options available. Certainly beats the corridor phone card and letter writing used by parents of today's teens!
According to a new report by Endsleigh, 94 use the internet to communicate with their parents once they've left home - 36 use social media and 13 using their handsets to call home and 60 of young people use post to keep in touch with their parents. The survey also found that parents rely heavily on social media platforms like Facebook to keep tabs on their children once they've left home, with 75 of the 18-25 year olds surveyed are actually friends with their parents on Facebook and almost three quarters (72 of 18-25 year olds choosing to use self-help websites such as YouTube or VideoJug to find out how to boil an egg, work a washing machine or iron a shirt, compared to only 20 of the 18-25 years surveyed confessed to missing home when they first left, compared to 55% of the 45+ year olds who were asked the same question about when they first left home.
What's your favoured method for staying in touch with your children - text. Facebook, Skype?
Any tips to parents' anxious about children leaving home for the first time?
Read Parentdish writer Marianne Kavanagh on why she doesn't want to be her children's Facebook friend.
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