Off To College: A Parents Guide To Letting Go

Photos Courtesy Of Pat Boren

Courtesy of Pat Boren www.texasescapes.com

Many of you know we are a Father-Daughter business, I still remember my parents tearful goodbye when they left me in Philadelphia to head back to Connecticut. I kept it pretty together until the moment they drove away, calling them right away in tears! So with that memory and college bound students beginning to leave on their new adventures we thought we’d put together some helpful tips to handling your child leaving the nest!

After 18 years of parenting, it can be hard to let go. Any time a student leaves home to go to college, it can be a stressful situation for both parents and students. Things can be a little tense the last few weeks before heading off to college between children and their parents. The reality is that students are nervous about such a big change and change in general can be stressful on anyone! Leaving behind what is familiar and venturing into unknown territory can be frightening.

First, show them this picture currently circulating on Facebook that we found very fitting and timely:

Quote to college students

Now here’s our 3 helpful tips on some questions you may have:

  1. I’m guessing every night phone calls are out of the question! So what’s a middle ground?
    Many students withdraw a little, establishing their sense of independents so don’t be alarmed or take it personally! Some children may not call or email very often, while others may be in constant contact! If this is the case, the more reassurance you can offer and the more trust you display, the more you will encourage independence and the stronger they’ll become.
  2. What about homesickness?
    If your child hasn’t spent much time away from home and specifically, without you, it may be more difficult for them. If they’re at a college pretty close to home – encourage them to stay on campus! There is so much to do on college campus’ through Campus Activity Boards they’ll be missing out on making memories, new friends and new adventures. By getting “connected” with other students and organizations, your student will become an active member of their new community. Reassure students that their first order of business, and really their main job, is to focus on life at school, academically and socially. Send care packages – Students love those!
  3. I don’t want to be smother, but how can I make sure they’re doing okay?
    Your role has switched from a daily monitor to more of a coach. Parents often want to rush in and fix a problem but helping the student figure out how to tackle their problems instead will help them moving forward. Help them to examine the options and consequences and as much as possible, support whatever decisions THEY make. You might even share examples from your own life about how they turned out, reassuring them that theirs will too!

There will be many times you’ll want to jump in and fix problems for your child. Letting go is a challenging transition. However, the best thing you can do for each other is to reassure your child, and yourself, that you will all make it through this transitional period.

So hey, those are just OUR tips at Charter Oak Scanning. Karen Levin Coburn, an associate dean at Washington University wrote a more in depth and really fantastic article over at the Great Schools website. Really worth the read, I promise.

So how can Charter Oak Scanning help your anxiousness and sadness of not seeing them every day?! Well, funny you should ask. Why not have us recapture their old baby videos and pictures! Embarrass them over the holidays with a digital collection of videos and pictures from their baby years through their first days of school. We can even integrate their newer digital pictures of high school graduation and the parties that came after.

So let us know how we can help you walk down memory lane wile you make the transitions yourself! I hope our tips were helpful! Of course, they’re only suggestions!! You know yourself and you know your child more than anyone else so what works for some, may not work for all!

Good Luck,