3 Tips for Parents When Your Child Goes to College

Parents seeing their children off to school for the first time is both a joyful and sad experience. But this time doesn’t have to be sad or upsetting when parents take the time to prepare themselves for what’s going to happen when their children leave home.

Helping your child get ready for school also helps you avoid some of the more unpleasant aspects that you might experience when your child leaves. Try engaging in some of the following tips to lessen the pain of separation and support your child on their first experience outside of the home.

Helping Them Get Ready

The day of their departure to college comes all too fast. And while those soon-to-be-adults want to experience as much as they can during their first summer out of high school, they still need to prepare for college. You can help with the transition by taking the time to make a checklist with them, finding out what’s important for them to bring, determining what the school allows kids to bring, and putting it all together. Helping them pack everything in boxes also helps to lessen the stress for parents as it turns the concept into reality. 

Make Sure Paperwork is In Order

Even though the age of the internet has reduced the number of paper forms needed, there are times when physical copies are necessary. Sit down with your child and go through the information that the college provides for freshmen. That paperwork contains instructions, checklists, and a map of the campus. This is to make it easier for a first-time student to navigate the campus, find their classes, and have their papers ready for checking into dorms and the cafeteria. 

Put everything together in a manner that makes sense for your child. That way, they can easily find the paperwork they need, when they need it, and you won’t have to deal with a stressed-out child the first day on campus. This step also avoids problems in the first weeks while your child settles in and falls into their new routines. If your child runs into an issue, they can quickly find the relevant paperwork and produce it to take care of the problem.

Take it Easy on Yourself

Chances are good you’re going to worry a lot about what your child is experiencing at college. It’s a normal reaction to have, but you can’t let it overwhelm you. Take a deep breath, find something to do, and work on shifting your focus off your child. College is a relatively safe place for young adults, and the odds that anything bad will happen to them are slim. Give yourself and your child some space so that the two of you can make the necessary adjustments. 

It’s never going to be possible to prevent the ache that comes with seeing a child off to college. But it is possible to alleviate some of that stress by taking action before the day of departure.