How to Stay Connected

Effective parenting skills that can help parents stay connected with their college students, can be as simple as a balanced communication from skills both sides.  That is the parent counsels, teaches, and listens and the student bound for college, gives feed back or input, and listens. Results should be that both sides feel free to have an open and uncensored interaction with mutual respect.

As children grow up some parents start to feel that they are loosing their connection as a parent and start to worry about how to stay connected as a family.  This should not be,  effective parenting skills lay the foundation for keeping an open line of communication, developing a good relationship, so that when children are young it makes that transition period from child to young adult a little easier for both the college bound student and the parent.  Good feelings should always prevail even when there are periods of disagreement. 

Life is a cycle and at a certain age in young people they want to be their own person. Effective parenting prepares them for this time.  It is never easy when the nest begins to empty, the first child to leave is usually a wake up call for most parents. You start asking yourself, where did time go, how can I cope when I can no longer see them in the home, will they be okay on their own?

This sort of anxiety is not new; but, believe it or not, somehow every thing seems to fall into place and hopefully you have taught and prepared your child with all the confidence that he or she will need to proceed into a new adventure. Life is just that, around every corner can be something new and exciting, if the foundation has been laid to withstand the storms of life or in this case college life.

Taking the time to talk to your child and letting them know how hard it is for you to see them leave will let them know you love them.  Engage your child in the process that is taking place in your life and together set some goals for keeping in touch.  Supplying them with a cell phone will give them the opportunity to call home and bring peace of mind to yourself. 

Although letter writing is almost and thing of the past, sending special cards are not.  Cards that say your are thinking of them or missing them will benefit you and bring them a welcomed warm and fuzzy feeling called love.  You may want to make up some cards and supply postage stamps so they can have an excuse to write home.   Place a  phone card in to use for emergency, a sort of life line to home.

When students pack their belongings and head out the door what better way to send them off then to have given them a gift of remembrance. A touch of home and family love, a simple sewn cloth bag made with the school colors of the college they are going to or an array of bright and whimsical colors that will catch their youthful eye.

 This bag can contain personal items, such as, toothpaste, tooth brush, body wash, lotion, shampoo, combs, razors, deodorant, or other such items that would remind them the importance of personal hygiene and help them financially. Family members could each place something into the bag that would be special and bring a grateful smile when held in the hand or to ease hunger pains. This bag can also double as a laundry bag.

Instruction for travel bag: Use denim, canvas, pillow ticking, or polyester cotton. Cut two pieces of cloth that measures 12 1/2 by 20 1/2. The bottom of the bag should be slightly rounded on the corners. Turn right sides together. Using straight stitch and a quarter inch seam allowance on your sewing machine begin down one side , across bottom, and up the other side. Finish seams with a zigzag stitch. Turn top down one inch and sew to form a casing for the draw strings. Slit sides of bag for the draw strings to slip through. Shoe laces work well for the draw string. Run one shoe lace through bag one one side and tie ends together. Repeat on other side with remaining shoe lace. The bag is completed except for placing items into it.

When all is said and done, it is love that will help you as a parent stay connected to your young adult.