When that time comes in August when you drop your child off at college you don’t drive home that night and say “yes, I’m done parenting.” That first year is a learning curve for you and your child. Trust me when I say your child needs you more than ever their first year. Here are 7 ways you can stay connected to your child while they are at college.
Whenever there are dorms, apartments, and students you are bound to run into some problems. I have heard many horror stories such as roommate issues, money problems, grades, bed bugs, mold, professors not being fair, not getting the classes you need and oh so much more. Of course you will want them to try to work things out on their own if at all possible. But, there is that ever so important issue of credit that you have spent years getting just the way you want it. So you might want to make sure you check up on things through your child’s 4-6 year endeavor. Yeah I said 4-6 years. It takes the average college student 6 years to get a 4 year degree. Only 19% of students are finishing in 4 years these days. YIKES! I am proud to say my daughter made Dean’s List her first year!
Here are some ways I have found that you can use to contact your child without seeming too pushy or clingy. You want to be able to check in without them thinking you are always spying on them.
- Use facetime to check in. I used to talk to my parents every Sunday when I was in college. We had a set day to talk and kind of check in with each other. You guys can do that too if you want to have a check in day. Of course, we didn’t have facetime back then. I love being able to see each other now. It just feels more personal when you can see the person.
- Send care packages on holidays and special occasions. My daughter loves care packages. It really lets them know you care and are thinking of them. Send all their faves in different seasonal themes or color combos.
- Give their address to family members so they can write them as well. It is always fun to get cards and letters from family; especially when you’re not expecting it. You might even send a little pizza money every once in a while.
- Stay in contact through social media. My kids and I text and have Snapchat streaks going. This is an easy way to send pics and text back and forth with your kids and let them know the little day to day happenings. Plus, just to see a pic of your kid makes your heart feel all warm and fuzzy.
- Plan to attend Parent’s weekend at least the first year. Plan ahead and make hotel reservations way in advance. The school has lots of events planned and you don’t want your child to be without a parent if at all possible. It is a fun weekend and they usually have a ball game and other on campus fun for all involved.
- Plan trips to visit and for your child to come home. It is always good to have something to look forward to on the calendar. If you don’t do this the time will get away from you and your weekends will fill up with other activities.
- When you see your child, connect with them like you used to. Go shopping, have a game night, go to the movies, do facials, go to the batting cages, etc… Whatever you did before they went to college will make them feel right at home again when you get back to those same activities.
I hope these communication tips were helpful. They helped me when my daughter went to live on campus. She has an apartment now and that has a whole other set of challenges. But they will get through it just like we did. The best thing is to communicate as much as possible so you are on the same page. If you have other ways to communicate please share them below so they can help other families getting ready to go through this in August.