How to Deal With Your Child Going Away to School

Your child has lived with you for 18 years now.  You’ve helped them through difficult decisions, been there for the highs and the lows and provided for them.  The time has now come for them to leave for college and you do not know how to deal with this.  Sound like you?

The good thing is, you are not alone.  Many parents go through this feeling of emptiness and sadness when their child leaves for college.  Read on for some tips on how to prepare deal with this new situation.


Rather than avoid thinking about your child leaving, it is best to deal with it head on.  This way, you can sit down with your child and discuss expectations so you can feel better about your child being ready when the time actually comes.  Let them know grade expectations and discuss finances.  Chances are they do not want to talk about this, but they will be thankful that it was discussed once they actually leave.  Set aside a time or plan to go out to dinner where you will focus on those important topics.

One thing to remember when preparing your child for college is that they will probably be really concerned about seeing the friends they are leaving behind.  It is a scary time where your child and many of his or her friends will be going in all different direction and they will probably want to spend most of their time together.

While they are gone

Be sure to talk to your child often while they are gone and figure out before hand if they want to set a weekly time to talk or want it to be more spontaneous.  Keep in mind that this is also likely to change as they get into school and figure out what works for them and what does not.

Remember to keep your child informed about changes at home.  The worst thing is for a child to come home for the weekend and find out something has changed.  You want your child to come to you with their problems and trust you and a great way to maintain that trust is to keep them up to date on family issues.  Another way to build trust is to be knowledgeable about the services offered at their school.  This way, when your child calls you upset about something or needing something, whether it is an illness or a failed test, you will be able to lead them in the right direction.

Leaving for college is an exciting and overwhelming time for a family.  To make the transition easiest, it is best to focus on your child and their feelings.  By being supportive and understanding, your child will likely see you as reassurance and go to you for a sense of security.  Until the time comes, enjoy the time you have with your child for the remainder of the summer and get excited about the new experiences that he or she will get in the next few years.

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Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski

Laura Szatkowski is a senior at Central Michigan University studying public relations and English. Laura enjoys being busy, juggling work and school, and has plans to one day spend her time traveling abroad. When not busy, Laura, the middle child of three girls, enjoys shopping and spending time with her friends and family.
Laura Szatkowski

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