Got the tissues handy? You're going to need them if you are taking a child to college for the first time. It's as stressful as that trip home from the hospital when they were born. Where did the years go?
Don't expect any picture-perfect moments. DO expect melt downs and short tempers.
Here's a how to survive:
- Keep calm! If you are nervous, your child will be nervous too.
- Leave the younger siblings at home and focus on your college-bound child.
- Consider pre-ordering what you need at from a store like Bed, Bath and Beyond (don't forget those coupons!) so you can pick it up when you arrive-everything from plastic storage bins to an extra-thick mattress pad for that extra-long twin dorm bed to extra-long sheets for the dorm beds- at a store near your home or online. Then all you need to do is pick up and pay for the order when you arrive at the college destination.
- Offer support but no opinions as you set up dorm rooms (loft or don't loft the bed?). Make runs to Target, the grocery store and local thrift shops. Parents are not allowed to complain about the money being spent, the time racing from store to store or your child's attitude. Try not to get into silly arguments.
- This is not the time for parents-whether divorced or together-to argue among themselves. This is about your child.
- Keep smiling as you wend your way through sessions, receptions and picnics for parents, as well as the new freshmen, with advice on everything from not texting in class to "parenting from a distance," a lot different than when I went to college. A lot different, it seems, then when we took our first child to college.
- Be prepared with a tool kit, duct tape, first aid kit and sewing kit.
- Don't be insulted if your child prefers to have dinner with her new roommates rather than with you. Don't expect a lot of quality time.
- Be ready to back off and leave if they give you the signals they don't want you there anymore.
- Be prepared that your child might not cry when you leave.
- Your child might not thank you until graduation day for everything that you have done.
Do you have any other survival tips for parents of college freshman? Please share in our comment section below.