5 Ways to Cope When Your Child Goes Off to College

Sending your child off to college is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do.  You’re excited.  You’re nervous.  Yet at the same time, you turn into a big puddle of tears every time you think about move-in day.  The best way to cope when your child goes off to college is to focus on the positives.

Be happy for your child

This is such an exciting time for your child.  She will have some of the best times of her life in college.  It’s likely that she’ll meet some new people who will become life-long friends.  And of course, she’ll be getting an education that will enable her to enter the career of her choice.  Parenting is all about raising our children to be strong, independent adults; and we’re now at the point when they’re ready to go to college and they’re ready to enter adulthood.  Congratulations!  If you’ve come this far, you’ve done a great job as a parent!

Focus on the things you WON’T have:

As mothers, we feel like we’re constantly doing housework, cooking, shopping, and running errands for our families. After 18 long years, your job is about to get a whole lot easier.  With an empty nest, there will be less cleaning, less laundry, less shopping, and less cooking.  Focus on the positives and enjoy some time off from all the hard work you’ve done in the last eighteen years.  When an older child leaves for college, enjoy the time with your children who are still at home.  This is the time when you can have one-on-one time with no guilt.  Enjoy it!

Communicate often

Your child will probably want to talk to you more during the first few weeks of school than he did when he was home.  This is an exciting time for your child, but also a time of great change.  A call, email or text to your child will help him adjust to his surroundings, when he can hear a familiar voice from home.  Ask questions, if your child is willing to share; but more importantly, be a good listener.  Your child will have lots of new and exciting information to share with you!

Take a trip

Plan to take a vacation the week after your child leaves for college.  Take a few days (or even just a weekend) to go on a trip with your spouse or closest friends.  Getting away will take your mind off your child being gone.  It will also give you something to look forward to (instead of being depressed!) during that last week before your child leaves.

Start a support group

Contact a few of your closest friends and suggest a weekly night out with the girls.  Friends whose children are also going off to college are ideal, because you’re both going through the same emotions.  Find a day of the week that works for all of you, and be consistent about meeting.  Keep the date like it’s a doctor’s appointment, and no cancellations!  Go out for dinner, to a movie, to an art museum, or to the symphony – things you often couldn’t do when you had kids at home. The time together with friends will fill some of your “extra” time, and it will give you something to look forward to each week.

Just remember that this season of life is an adjustment period (for both you and your child), and “this too shall pass”.  Most importantly, focus on the positives and enjoy your newfound freedom!

** If your child is a Freshman this year, (or any age, really), read this and share it with them on your favorite social media “6 DON’Ts for Freshman Success (From your College Advisor)”.  ( https://mainstreammomma.com/education/college/6-donts-for-freshman-success/ )

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