Advice for new families
Helping your student
- Call without an agenda.
- Find a substitute word for homesick.
- Be available without hovering.
- Ask ahead of time what they would like from you when moving in.
- E-mail frequently.
- Brace yourself for the changing of majors.
- Choose a routine for calling.
- No "I told you so's."
- Know a roommate's/friend's name and the phone number of their parents.
- Mail your student goodies, care packages, and even information about what's going on in their hometown.
- Say, "I love you" often.
- Communicate frequently with letters and e-mail.
- Read the student handbook so you know all the services and options.
- Attend Family Day.
- Make their first birthday or holiday away from home a good one.
- Introduce yourself to residence hall advisors or housemothers who have your best interest at heart.
- Be prepared to see their room so clean.
- Continue old traditions with siblings still at home.
- Buy clear plastic containers to store their things so it doesn't look discarded, only saved.
- Get a(nother) dog if you miss your previously noisy, lively house.
- Chronicle good events; minimize bad news.
- Know your limits and what battles are truly worth it. (Most aren't.)
- Remember: hinting is always transparent.
- Don't believe all you hear.
- Call your own parents.
From Empty Nest . . . Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College by Andrea Van Steenhouse, PhD.