weThrive Parent Resource: Managing Homesickness

This week’s weThrive Parent Wellbeing Resource covers strategies to cope with homesickness. 

While it mainly targets parents of boarders and has been placed on the Boarding Families Portal page, the advice offered by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is useful for many instances where homesickness may be experienced.  

Homesickness may also now be occurring with more regularity since the long periods of lockdown, as children are more used to spending time with parents and family. Helping your child cope with homesickness starts with acknowledging how they feel and supporting them as they learn new strategies. 

Although all transitions are tricky, they are also an invitation to grow. It is important to recognise that homesickness is a very human emotion. Children will experience varying degrees of homesickness, no matter what their age and it can occur during sleepovers, school camps, becoming a boarder, moving to a new city or country or even on holidays with the family. Often it can be triggered by a smell or a familiar image.  

As your child adjusts, it will be important to validate their concerns by telling them that whatever they might be feeling is okay. Teaching them to recognise when they need support and who to get it from will be a positive step towards their independence. Parents are encouraged to do this in partnership with the School in the case of camps or boarding.  

Parents cannot solve all problems from afar, so it is important to empower your child to solve their own problems and build resilience. 

The Managing Homesickness Special Report offers several strategies on how best to support a child experiencing homesickness. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.  

I encourage parents to explore other advice relating to a range of topics on our weThrive Parent Wellbeing Resource platform, located here. 

Ms Merran O'Connor, Deputy Principal - Student Wellbeing