It's that time of year again, Graduation! High school seniors all over America are ecstatic! They've done the work, received their acceptance letters and chosen a college. For the first time in their lives, many will be leaving home and living out on their own.
Parents, on the other hand, are wondering how they are going to cope when their college-bound son or daughter leaves for school. They are worried about their child being out in the "big bad" world.
Well, since you've got to let your children grow up sometime, might as well make the best of it. But, what can you do to make the move as exciting and enjoyable for you as it is for your child? Here are some things that may help you cope with the change.
Ways to Cope When Your Child Leaves for College
Make the Transition as Smooth as Possible
Take a Tour of the College
During the summer, take a few days or a week off and take a trip to the college with you child. Take a tour, many colleges offer them. If possible, meet with college staff and get all your questions about the college and safety issues answered. Get the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the people your child will most likely be in contact with on a day to day basis.
Help Your Child Pack
Go shopping with your child and help them purchase the things they will need. Then, help them pack. Make it a time to remember, talk about events that were important in your child's life. Talk about their college expectations and give them your best advice. Find a moment when you can slip a card or letter in their luggage. Your little note will give your child something to read when they are feeling homesick.
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Move-In Day: Help them Move-in and Stay an Extra Day or Two
Help your son or daughter move into their dorm or apartment. Meet the roommates and their families. If they don't have any plans that evening, take them out to dinner.
Stay a day or two at a local hotel and get acquainted with the town. Visit the college and your child often during this time and continue to get to know as many people as you can. Have a brief visit with your child's counselor and dorm personnel; let them know that you will be checking in on your child.
Stay in Touch
Become text savvy and communicate with your child as often as you can, but try not to overburden them with too many texts or calls. Become a Facebook friend with your child (but save the personal stuff for the phone).
Become Friends with Other Parents
Get to know other parents in your same situation and talk about what you are going through. Try to get-together with them once in a while and share experiences and advice.
Smooth is Good
Make this transition time as smooth and positive as possible. Do you remember how exciting it was when you went off to college? Now think about your parents; I bet you appreciate them a little more right now!