Your son or daughter is getting ready to spread their wings and leave the nest for quite a bit of time now. You are proud of them, but also worried about them and knowing that you are going to miss having them around the home. This is perfectly acceptable, as they are probably very excited about school but also a little scared to leave the comfort and safety of living with the “‘rents”. It is a great thing for both of you that staying connected with your aspiring scholar is easy to do in this day in age.
Here are just a few ways to stay connected that both of you will enjoy.
You will probably want to call your son or daughter after you drive a few miles away from their dorm after you help them move in. The goodbye that you say after helping them move in is probably one of the hardest you will have to say, but hang on. Give them a call the next evening, ask them if they got everything set up okay as well as what kind of fun adventures they have had since they have been there. They will be excited to be there, but equally excited to tell you all about their dorm room and how much fun they are having. They have seen how proud you are of them, and they will want to tell you all about things to make you proud.
Call them often in the evenings. They generally like hearing from you and hearing your voice while they take breaks from studying. Tell them about what has been happening at home and ask them about what they have been doing. Find out how they like their roommate, their dorm, and their professor. Listen to them telling you all about the exciting places they have found in town.
Remember not to call too often though. Hearing from home is nice, but getting a call from mommy every time they are on a date with their new sweetheart is just plain embarrassing.
Parents coming to visit is a fun experience for most students. They like seeing their parents, and they also enjoy showing them around town. Their pocketbooks may also be feeling a little thin, so taking them out to a restaurant in their new town and hearing all about their adventures is a great way to really get connected to their new life.
Birthday visits are an awesome time for students. They have been getting a birthday cake and presents from mom and dad for 18 years, so do not stop now. Rent a hotel room, come down, take them to dinner, then come back to the room for cake, presents, and family time. You can also offer your son or daughter the chance to invite their roommate or new best friend to dinner with you. This will help you learn more about their life and be more connected to their world. I fondly remember the time my parents took me to Fitzwilly’s Bar and Grill for an early birthday lunch, and the fun of ordering milk to go with German chocolate cake at a bar.
Football games can be fun to attend with your student. Send them a check and have them get you tickets in their section. Go to the game ready to sing the school songs and cheer for the team. Your student will probably be very excited that mom and dad are ready to help the team get the big win with them.
Students love getting mail in the form of care packages. If you are anything like my parents then they probably miss the Sunday nights when mom pulled some warm, gooey cookies out of the oven. It may be a regular part of your weekly routine. Help them not miss this so much by mailing them a big package of cookies, chips, and their favorite snacks from home. They will give you a call and tell you how much they loved them and how everyone on their dorm floor now thinks that you are the best baker since Betty Crocker. They may need some extra cash, so mail them a check for a little spending money if you can. They will thank you endlessly.
These are some great ways to stay connected to your son or daughter after they leave for school in August. Try them out and you will likely find that you are not only staying connected but are also falling in love with their school and college town.