By Helena Rogers
1. Stay in Touch
Our daughter left for college in the fall of 2008 to a university that was further away than I would have liked. However, at some point we as parents, especially Moms, have to learn to let our children spread their wings.
I didn’t think about it much as we prepared for her to leave for college, because there was so much to do. It finally hit me when we got back home from taking her and I walked by her room to see it empty of her stuff, her clothes, her shoes, her books; but even more important, it was empty of her presence.
Thank goodness for cellphones and Skype. At first I would talk to her a few times each day and it was wonderful to hear her voice and to realize that she was doing okay. After a month or so, I told my husband, okay I’ve had fun talking to my daughter, but now I need to see her face. So he hooked up a webcam and installed Skype for me. Yes, my daughter is no longer a toddler, preteen or a tween, but I still need to be able to be in touch with her.
2. Stay Involved
At this point and time in my daughter’s life and in your son or daughter’s life, they have to be able to make some decisions on their own. While they believe that they can do it all themselves, as a Mom, I know that I still need to know what is going on in her life…on a high level. I don’t need to know every detail of my daughters day, but there are things that I still need to know, there are decisions that I still need to be involved in.
Being involved in some of her decision making will help us all out in the end. I need to be involved when she decides how many classes she will take in a given semester, where she will live during the school year, whether she will attend summer school in another state. All of these decisions can have financial ramifications, so yes, I need to be involved.
3. Stay in Their Corner
As a Mom, my children know that I will always “go to bat” for them when it is necessary, but they also know that I will always be honest with them and let them know when they have done something that isn’t quite “right”. The important thing is that they know that I will always be a source of encouragement for them.
If my daughter calls and is having some type of issues with a professor, a roommate or some other college situation, I have to be available to be a listening ear. Our children need to know that there is always someone pulling for them, always someone who will be around for them no matter what.
Yes, the infant that we brought home from the hospital all those years ago is now an 18, 19, or even 20 year old college students. While they think that they are “grown”, can make all of the decisions for themselves, we as Moms know that that is not exactly true. It is up to us to realize that it is still time to stay…. In touch, involved and in their corner.
About the Guest Blogger
Helena Rogers is the proud parent of a fantastic college student and co-owner of College Tidbits. She also operates www.AMothersWit.com - Newsletters just for Moms and www.the-Savvy-Woman.com – Resource Directory for Women.
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Guide to Parenting College Students: 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Sent My Son to College
5 Tips for Parenting a College Student
How to Keep in Touch with Children Away at College
Parenting Your College Student (PDF from the Arizona State University Parents Association)
Recommended Websites for Parents
College Parent Central
Parents and Colleges
College Tips for Parents