Tips for Sending Your Kid to College
College marks a huge milestone in a child’s life. It may be the first time he or she will live away from home. Dropping off your child at college may be an experience loaded with emotions, so here are a few tips for a easier transition.
Accept that the Parent-Child Dynamic Has Changed
Your child is always your child and will need you as much as ever. However, parents need to realize that their role has transitioned from “supervisor” to “mentor.”
Make the Move Simple
Do not bring the moving van. Not only will it embarrass your child, but dorm rooms just aren’t that large. Bring what’s appropriate.
Consider pre-ordering essentials for pick-up at a location by the school. This will save room whether your trip is by car or plane.
Don’t Leave “The Talk” to the Drop-off
While college represents a gateway to many delightful experiences, parents will want to have a thoughtful conversation about safety, responsible behavior, finances, and expectations about staying in touch.
Do not leave it for the drop-off. It is sure to ruin the moment and may rush a conversation that deserves more time and mutual dialogue.
Time to Learn Financial Responsibility
Your child will need spending money. You may want to provide a debit card attached to an account that has a set amount for the full semester, or one that’s refreshed with monthly deposits. College is a perfect time to learn budgeting.
Take the Lead from Your Child
Let your child have the option to make decisions about what to bring. However important you think a dust skirt for the bed is, try to avoid fights. Let your child make a mistake. It’s the best way to learn.
Your child will likely send signals when it’s time for you to go. Listen to them. It’s time for him or her to begin bonding with new roommates. Expect that final “goodbye dinner” to be canceled since your child may prefer an impromptu dinner with the new roommate.
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