College Drop-off Tips for the Concerned Parent


So it’s happening. After almost two decades, your kid is finally moving on to college. While helping them stock up on supplies and driving them a few miles away sounds easy enough, it’s not always that simple—and depending on a lot of factors, it can even be quite the emotionally charged ordeal. 


To help you get through dropping your kid off at college, here’s some well-meaning advice you can follow. 


Be present on the days coming up to the big move. This doesn’t mean hovering over them while they’re busy preparing for the things they will need once they move out, but it’s important that they know you’re just there for them in such a time in their livesNo matter how independent you’ve raised them, this will still probably be the first time they’ll actually be living apart from you—which means a lot of preparation not just for the material things they will need but also emotionally speaking. At least make sure they’re not at a complete loss at what they will need to have or how they should gear up for life as an undergraduate, and that they know that you’re just present for them when they need you. 


Be prepared for a long drive. Especially if your kid is going to a university in a different state, just be ready for a long drive. This means everything from keeping your ride in good condition, to researching about the best roadside restaurants to eat at and hotels to spend the night (for both your safety and comfort), to just spending some quality time with them. Some would be more comfortable not talking about being apart until the moment that they arrive at the college dorm, so be prepared to share some new stories—and hear some as wellon the road. You might even get to know one another more than you thought you already did. 


Take advantage of 21st-century technology. Your kid won’t be in the next room anymore to tell you what they think of your outfit or to teach you how to set up that social media account. Before they leave, make sure they’ve already walked you through using FaceTime or Skype for when you get the blues and suddenly miss your baby—but this won’t happen unless you give them your guarantee that you wouldn’t be calling them 17 times a day just because you miss having them around, which goes without saying that you shouldn’t do. 


Let them do their thing. But of course, most importantly, give them the trust that they need to help them stand on their own feet. College is an inevitable part of their lives, and this is something they’d have to go through one way or another. It wouldn’t help to insist on spoiling them all the way; they’ll just end up unhealthily relying on your help when technically, they’re already adults in their own right. Just give them the support that they need, but make sure they’re still the ones steering the wheel in their own lives. 


So don’t be afraid to say goodbye to your kid, and let them say hello to this next exciting step in their young lives. 

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