Summer’s nearly over. August has arrived, and it’s time to send the freshmen off to their first year of college. How did time move so fast? If your new student will live at home, live with a three hour time difference ahead or your state, or go overseas, here are 10 practical tips for coping with college bound kids.
1. Be confident in your college choice.
Your family will have researched thoroughly and chosen a college wisely with or without school college councilors advice. You will have taken financial requisites, lodging, class choice and location into consideration. You may have chosen the school with the intention of your child transferring in the future. Your confidence in the college will reassure your child.
2. Quick Farewells
When it’s time to say a final farewell know that your child is now ready to get on with the next stage; college and they are excited. Feed that excitement. Don’t hang about, a lovely hug and a quick farewell works well. Then leave the room. Try your best to not cry in front of your child! Your positivity will reassure your child
3. Establish Communication Protocol
Don’t let your kids get teased by being the helicopter parents. Manage expectations and agree how often to call each other. Don’t call them all the time. Give them space. If your child calls to ask how to use the washing machine, or any other “How to…?” make an excuse and get off the phone quick without providing the answer. This is their challenge that they can easily fix, grow up, gain confidence and move forward. Sure call them an hour later to check they worked it out, but they really don’t need your help to work out that one!
4. Care packages
Once in a while these are a dream. Weekly with supplies is over kill and leaves your child open to being teased. Encourage them to be independent and learn how to look after themselves.
5. Dining Package
Together get the class schedule before you commit to a dining package. Classes are at all times of the day; and you don’t want to be buying dinner if they are always in class then or buy breakfast if they never make it – suggest they keep a box of cereal in their room. Teach them a few healthy inexpensive meals to prepare, for one or more!
6. Reiterate Family Values
Be confident in the values your family, and schools have instilled in your child. If you think they need a reminder, find an appropriate moment to remind them of the dangers of unprotected sex, drugs and alcohol. Remind them of your family expectations and keep communication open and supportive.
7. Understanding the Parent Visit
There is a reason these are six weeks or so after first day of school. Some children will be home sick, and the time away from you gives them time to adjust. Time to understand that they can cope with out you and to build new friendships. Yes it can be painful to be separated. Keep yourself child centric and work on what’s best for them. Going to college is about being becoming independent. Help them with this journey.
8. Book Ahead
Save your self some $ by booking travel well ahead for family visits. The first holiday is going to be Thanksgiving. It gives you something to look forward to. It gives your student something to look forward to too.
9. Empty Nesters
Go on a holiday immediately as a couple, or with a friend. Reconnect with your partner. Adjust to the new status quo and distract yourself.
10. Full Nesters
Celebrate the kids left at home. Let them enjoy their moment in the spotlight!
Adjust to the new status quo. And distract yourself.
Having your child "leave the nest" is never easy, but if you use the ideas above it will be manageable and allow him or her to find his own way and help you to cope with their growth as well.