Off to College, A New Chapter in Parenting Begins

Have you been shopping for extra long twin sheets, a bathroom caddy, shower shoes, or a mini refrigerator?  Are you visualizing your home with one empty bedroom and an empty spot at the dinner table?

If so, then it is possible that you are sending your child off to college sometime soon. This is a time of mixed emotions for the entire family. New college students may feel excitement, anxiety, and eagerness. Parents may feel excitement, anxiety and eagerness. And siblings may feel excitement, anxiety, and eagerness. Regardless of who feels what, this is certain to be a transition filled with adjustments and memories for everyone.

There are, however, things that parents can do to make the transition go smoother for themselves. Three basic tips outlined in the Huffington Post Article article 6 Tips for Adjusting to Your Child Going  to College are:

  1. Reassure your child that they will be fine on their own at college.
  2. Don’t draw out the goodbyes.
  3. Don’t hover.

Isn’t it funny that these tips are the same top three tips that are given to the parents of first-time preschoolers? The scenario is not that much different. Parent(s) and child are going through a time of separation. The feelings parent(s) and child experience going to preschool and college may not be all that different either. Excitement. Anxiety. Eagerness.

So as you begin this new chapter in parenting, take some time to reflect on what worked when you were sending your, now college student, off to preschool. Reuse the skills and tips that you know to be good for you and your child during this time of transition. And remember, you CAN do this, because you’ve done it before. Take it one day at a time and good luck!