Advice for Parents as the Semester Begins
by Jessy Anne Walters
Whether it’s your first child to head off to school or your youngest taking the leap, sending your student off to school is never easy. You’ve spent years guiding your child, teaching them and loving them, and now they’re on their own learning how to navigate this new time in their life. Here are a few things that might help make this hard time a little easier for all of you parents out there!
Maybe you have other kids at home to turn your attention to, after spending months getting one child ready for school, now might be a great opportunity to spend some time with the ones still at home. Or maybe all your children are off in the world, now is a great time to make a list of all the things you’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t had the time or maybe the children weren’t interested in.Take some time to think about what you want to do now and prioritize it, staying busy and having fun will keep your mind off your college student – don’t worry, they’re having fun and staying busy too!
Clean up for the memories.
Take this time to clean out some of the space your college student had been overtaking, it’s a great chance to reflect on some memories while also making room for new memories. This doesn’t mean packing up their room and building your in-home gym, although that is an option too, it’s simply a chance to clean up some of the clutter that teenagers seem to thrive in and spend some time looking back on memories you’ve made.
Don’t worry about communication.
Your college student may have promised to call every night and text throughout the day, but chances are, they won’t be able to keep that promise. But don’t read too much into this and don’t worry too much about tracking them down. Your college student is going to be busy, whether they’re freshmen or seniors, their schedules are going to keep them running, especially for the first few weeks. It might be hard, but in the end, waiting for them to reach out to you might prove to be worth it. It’ll give them a chance to miss you just as much as you miss them and they’ll have more to talk about and share. So try not to text or call too much, they’ll reach out to you and the wait will be worth it!
Pray for your student.
You’ve prayed about your child going off to college long before you loaded up the new bedding and school supplies, so don’t stop now. When you feel your missing your student or are worried about how he or she is doing, take a moment, take a deep breath and pray for them in their new environment. Jeremiah 29:12 (NIV) reminds us that God is always listening: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Praying will remind you that God is in control over all situations, including those your child may be facing today, even if he or she is far away. Lifting up your children to God in prayer will calm and focus you and is sure to help both you and your student.
Plan a visit.
Even if you live 10 minutes down the road or 10 hours away, planning a visit with your student will give you both something to look forward to. Don’t plan it too close to the beginning of the semester, though. Instead, give your student a chance to get settled in, meet new people and navigate their new schedule. Planning a visit down the road will help you look forward to seeing all that they’ve been up to and might help you miss them a little less!
Sending your child off to school is never easy, but these five hints might help you miss them just a little less!