Parents delight when their children enter the world, but worry about doing their mom and dad jobs right. Then, it’s time for your children to leave for college (or other adventures) and you have to let go a little as you help your children move on to their own lives.

  • 15 Ways to Make Your Kid's College Move Easier on You

    Parents delight when their children enter the world, but worry about doing their mom and dad jobs right. Then, it’s time for your children to leave for college (or other adventures) and you have to let go a little as you help your children move on to their own lives.
  • 1. Keep it calm and cooperative. This can be a scary time for you, but think how your college-bound child feels. Be supportive, but not pushy. And do your best to keep your emotions in check by talking with your spouse and peers.
  • 2. Let your future college student be in charge of equipping and decorating his/her own room. It’s great to offer advice (and funds, of course), but your child should be able to do his or her own thing. Planning and move-in day offer great chances to start stepping back.
  • 3. Curb worries about how your young adult will get along without you with a DIY survival gift. Pack meds and comforts you’ve given over the years when your child was sick or hurt. Examples: Cough drops, band-aids, pain relievers, antibiotics, bug spray and sunscreen in a plastic container.
  • 4. Prepare your child with a few handy skills like how to use a plunger, sort and wash laundry and change a tire. Balancing a checking account may be out, but a little budget management can’t hurt.  You’ll cut down on calls at work and on your worry.
  • 5. Make moving day easier and less expensive. Decide what’s easier to pack and carry and what’s best purchased in the college town. It’s more fun to shop for sheets and towels as soon as you see the new living quarters, but you’re just hauling more than necessary.
  • 6. Or go ahead and shop online. Register at a linen, discount or home store and shop with your teen online before the move. Pick up only what you really need when you get to the new town. Or give your college kid a gift card to spend upon arrival.
  • 7. If you’re helping your college student move, bring a few basic tools along, such as a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers and duct tape. You might have to put furniture together, and duct tape can do just about anything. Leave the roll as a dorm warming gift.
  • 8. When helping your student move out of town and onto campus, seasoned parents say to reserve a hotel room for you and family as soon as your child chooses a school. It’s a big day in college towns, and hotels can fill.
  • 9. Review the residence office paperwork with your teen. You might picture a fun, family-filled drop-off and good-bye or helping to hang a few pictures in the room. In reality, your student might have to register first or your family might have to wait in line.
  • 10. If moving off-campus, weigh shipping and moving choices. It might be easier to ship some items to the new location than to load a car, or rent a truck and haul it out there yourself, depending on distance, how much you have, and help at the other end.
  • 11. Leaving your new student will be tough, but remember all that lies ahead for both of you. And have an activity planned for the day you return home without your child. It beats spending the day in a quiet, empty house.
  • 12. Delve into work or pick up a new interest. Instead of helicopter parenting your young adult, invest energy into a project or hobby. Whether you take a part-time job to help pay college expenses or flights home for your child over the holidays or satisfying volunteer work, stay occupied.
  • 13. Talk to your relocated child before turning their bedroom into a home gym or sewing room. Have a space for them to land when they visit. That includes space for all of their stuff if they return for the summer so it’s not in your halls, garage, living room…
  • 14. Allow yourself some grief. Sure, you knew this day was coming. And it’s OK to be sad. If anybody gives you grief about your grief, remind them (and yourself) that you’re happy but you love and miss your son or daughter. Enough said.
  • 15. Most of all, it’s hard to find you’re not needed like you once were. Put that on the back burner, and praise yourself for raising a child who is learning to be independent. Also relish the first time your college student calls for advice.