How to Cope when Kids Fly the Coop
Off-to-College Tips for Empty Nesters By Virginia Pillsbury
For Your Kid
Keep Communication Open: Encourage your college student to set goals and handle decisions – but remind them that you are there if needed.
Stay in Touch Some: Check in via phone, email or text. Sometimes a simple “I love you,” via text can help during those hectic first days on a college campus. But set a healthy balance. Have a regular time to talk during the week and make sure that your student knows how to reach you in an emergency.
Keep Your Student in the Loop: Let them know what is going on at home so your student doesn’t feel out of the home loop.
Keep their bedroom theirs, if possible: If you can, let your college student keep his or her room as it was at home. Makes coming back home much more welcoming!
Options are Important: As much you might want your child home on the weekends or for holidays, your child may have opportunities to visit or travel during those times. Try to have open discussions about this.
Be Available: To listen and give advice when asked for.
Send Love from Home: Send a greeting card or care package.
When you visit them on campus: Always offer to take your student out to a meal – and always suggest that they bring their roommate or other friend.
The Role of the RA: Encourage your student to get to know his or her Resident Assistant. They are on campus in the residence halls to form a sense of community and be a source of support. They have been trained to help in any emergency or just to be a friend. They are a great resource.
Special Needs Students? Talk with your student’s school and set up whatever kind of emergency plan or special assistance plan that you need to have in place.
For Yourself and Your Spouse
Plan date nights with your spouse, or weekly evenings out with a friend.
Join the YMCA and take classes there.
Travel even if it is just a weekend trip two hours away. Use your new freedom to expand your horizons.
Get a pet.
Make your bucket list and start doing it!
Kick start your culinary style: The Empty Nest Cookbook: Recipes, Menus, Revelations, By Joy Smith, Cumberland House Publishing.