Parents’ top worries about kids starting university – including their health
Thousands of parents are fretting about their children moving out or heading to university – because they believe their youngsters feel “invincible”. A poll of 2,000 parents, of children who have recently been to university, are currently studying, or are planning to in the near future, found that while 56 percent feel excited for their offspring as they fly the nest, 41 percent are anxious.
And 64 percent of those who have a child that has already left home admitted they have even lost sleep worrying about them – with over half (53 percent) putting these worries down to a fear that their son or daughter feels nothing bad will ever happen to them.
The research, commissioned by Bupa to support the launch of its new Family+ insurance proposition, built around savings on health insurance for families, also revealed parents’ top fears for their child as they embark on life away from the family home.
These include their mental health (43 percent), their financial situation (44 percent), and whether they will be lonely (43 percent).
Meanwhile, others worry who they will be spending time with (31 percent), whether they’ll know how to look after themselves (32 percent), and what they’ll do when they feel unwell (23 percent).
Dr Naveen Puri, spokesman for Bupa Family+, which has launched an online guide to help those embarking on this new life stage, said: “All parents worry about their children, whatever their age.
“But it can be especially difficult when they move out for the first time and become more independent – and you are no longer nearby to help them.
“As a child, and even a young adult, when you are unwell or have a health issue, your parents are often your first port of call, or even the ones spotting something is wrong in the first place.
“They are usually the ones pointing you in the right direction, sorting appointments, and arranging medication you might need.
“We know moving out or going to university is both an exciting and daunting time for all the family, and we hope our new Family+ cover, which also insures older children, will help provide peace of mind to parents and their children alike.”
The study also found that ahead of them moving out, 63 percent of parents will teach their youngsters how to manage their finances, while 59 percent give tips on how to cook healthy meals.
Others show their child how to use a washing machine (56 percent), how to drink responsibly (40 percent), and how to deal with mental health concerns (43 percent).
However, if their child was feeling unwell, 55 percent reckon they would still be the first port of call for help or advice, despite no longer living under the same roof.
Just 13 percent think a local doctor would be the person their son or daughter turned to, while 12 percent reckon they would head online for advice.
More than one in ten (12 percent) even think their youngster would head home to be looked after until they were well again – although seven percent worry they would simply hope they recover, without seeking advice or medical attention.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed girls are considered more likely to take care of their physical (43 percent) and mental (41 percent) health than boys (13 percent and 11 percent).
Dr Naveen Puri, GP and spokesman for Bupa Family+, where insuring the older child up to the age of 20 results in free cover for any younger children, said: “Our health is so important, and it can be worrying for parents that their child may be unwell when they aren’t there to help.
“Making sure they have the knowledge about what to do in different health situations is a great way of not only ensuring they can look after themselves, but also allows you to relax a little, knowing they have the tools they need.”
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