1 Be smart about packing.
Look at your child’s housing packet to learn about the university’s fire codes. They may prohibit hot pots, coffee makers* with exposed heating elements, and toasters. Some may also restrict string lights and extension cords. Why bring stuff that is prohibited only to have to haul it home?
*Many DO allow Keurig-type coffee makers, which do not have exposed heating elements.
2 Stay organized so you don’t stress!
Moving a child to college is fun and exciting, and also stressful. There’s paperwork to fill out, packing to be done, and emotions to consider. Try not to let the process overwhelm you. Encourage your student to make a to-do list to manage the details so you can all focus on the opportunities that lie ahead.
3 Leave a note.
Saying goodbye is difficult. As parents, we want to impart wisdom and leave them with special words of support. The problem is that many of us can clam up when we’re feeling emotional. I highly recommend writing a note ahead of time that you can leave behind on your child’s pillow.
Even if you feel confident in being able to express your message verbally, there’s still a benefit to leaving a note. Your child can read and reread it whenever he or she needs to feel your loving support. It’ll be an instant “hug” from home.
**If you’re looking for some sweet cards designed especially for parents to send their college students, check out Bruno Press and their “Launch with Love” 6-card set.
4 When it is time to go…go.
It may sound harsh, but leaving is inevitable. Prolonging it helps nobody. As parents, we want to cling. We need them more than they need us on move-in day. Your child will be okay. Once you’ve said your good-byes, go home.
5 Remember you are NOT obsolete.
It’s both thrilling and terrifying to watch your child transition into adulthood. Sometimes we can begin to feel obsolete. Your child will still need you to mentor and guide, to model emotionally healthy behavior. You’re still a soft place to land, an anchor, and a sounding board when situations come up that they’re not ready handle. Be there. Listen. Your job as a parent is not over, it is just evolving.
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