Thursday, 21 September 2017
PUG is here again - Parental University Grief
It is that time of year again when many households up and down the land are filled with the excitement and anticipation of a son or daughter leaving home and going to university for the first time. Often however, the emotional impact of the new life and new term is most keenly felt by those left at home - by mother and father (and brother or sister). We often underestimate the impact of a son or daughter leaving home for the first time. There can be real sadness and a real sense of loss. I have a name for it: PUG - Parental University Grief. It took me by surprise. No-one told me about it. I was not prepared for its impact. Psychologists tell us that a child leaving home has 29 life-change units (out of a maximum 100 for death of a spouse). So don't be surprised if a wave of sadness comes crashing in on you - quite normal for a loving parent (or a first-time student); be aware of friends too who might be reeling from PUG and don't know how to express it.