title By Angela LIU (Lee Shau Kee Hall)

It is no wonder that you are unaccustomed to residential life at the beginning. After all, it may be the first time you have lived with someone other than your family members. But have you thought that not only you, but also your parents need time to get used to a house without you? Considering this changing relationship, BLOOM, a professional in family studies, suggested in 1990 that there are five stages that many parents go through when their traditional-aged students leave for college for the first time. The students may go through similar stages.

Stage 1: Ambivalence
In this stage, you suffer from the ambivalence caused by the change of environment. You need to deal with new relationships, such as that with your roommate.

Stage 2: Cognitive Separation
In this stage, you gradually realise the separation from your parental caring. You need to develop your own intellectual autonomy, both physically and emotionally, and learn how to manage your own life without their denotations.

Stage 3: Emotional Separation
This stage is the most challenging one. Most possibly it will appear in the second month of your independent life. After the excitement of living a new life, you may begin to feel uncertain and frustrated, as you hope to evaluate more of your current life, but do not know how to. Moreover, problems between your new friends and you may begin to bother you.

Stage 4: Values Clarification
In this stage, you begin to review your relationships with your parents and your friends. The independent life makes you value your family and friends more than ever before. You and your parents begin to understand each other and try to restore the relationships when there is disagreement.

Stage 5: New Relationship
When you finally come to stage 5, congratulations! After a few months’ attempts and experiences, you have brought your relationships to a new stage and can handle them properly. This experience will be your guide for integration when you change your living or working environment in the future.

The five stages above are a very accurate summary of a period from maladjustment to integration, which may have been experienced by all new residents. Bearing them in mind, you and your parents will not give up or take wrong actions when encountering difficulties which you know are inevitable. If you can face the difficulties calmly with your family, you will finally solve them and enjoy the new stage of your relationships.

Source from: http://www. oregonstate.edu/uhds/family_information/parental_adjustment.php
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