Striking the balance between giving them their independence, whilst at the same time letting them know that you are there for support at any time, is easier said than done.
So put on a brave face and:
Do make it easy for your child to go. Don’t make them feel guilty. You may not feel like celebrating (or maybe you do!) Either way a celebratory farewell meal is a good move.
Do hide your anxiety, as they will be quite nervous themselves without you adding to it.
Do not be upset if all you get is a brief call home, with a quick “must go” goodbye. Remember how you felt when you left home? Did you really give much of a backward glance?
Do avoid the urge to call several times a day. If they are home sick this can make it worse, and you will both end up being dependent on the calls – or your child will resent you calling which is even worse. Limit calls to twice a week, as they know they can always call you for support if they need it, and let them know you don’t expect anything other than a quick “I’m fine”.
Do plan a visit if they are near enough. A month in they will be pleased to have a free meal and some goodies from home.
Do avoid making everything sound too good at home if they are feeling homesick.
Do think twice before getting a new pet which could hinder your new found freedom.
Do make your initial plan of action before they leave, and start it! In particular plan some things for the first few weeks they are away.
If you feel you are not coping well – crying a lot and feeling depressed and useless, sleeping too much and finding it really hard to motivate yourself to take an interest in doing anything, or just not wanting to see friends and socialise, then do lean on your friends, visit your doctor, and look on the Emptynesters forum for some moral support.