Family Life

Should I text him first or wait for him to text me? How do I face her empty room? Can we still have the same curfew during college breaks as in high school? Will our family relationships change? Are we ready for an empty nest?

Having a child in college is an ever-changing journey for you and your entire family. Family Life offers practical tips and enriching insights that will ease your concerns and help you see the joy and humor in these years. To connect with other parents and pose your own Family Life questions, please join our Facebook group.

Home Before You Know It!

As Thanksgiving or winter break approaches, you may start dreaming of cozy evenings playing family board games, a fire crackling in the fireplace. Maybe everyone is squeezed on the couch watching a movie and sharing a bucket of popcorn. While I’m sure there are families for whom these visions will come true, for most of us things may turn out a little differently and it can help to be prepared. The first day or two back, your exhausted college student will burrow into their clean, comfy bed and slumber like a baby. Go ahead — peek in on them and...

As a freshman parent, I wish I’d known…

Our Top 10 FAQs are only the tip of the college parenting iceberg. Here are more reflections from experienced college parents. “That it’s okay not to hear very often from your student. I would run into friends who could tell me what their son or daughter had for breakfast. I knew I was taking a healthy approach to parenting a college student, but always had those moments of self-doubt.” “That missing his hometown girlfriend would be such a big factor in my son’s adjustment.” “That many first-years come home for Thanksgiving thinking they want to transfer. It can take a semester or...

To Text or Not to Text?

One of the hardest things about sending our children off to college is the loss of daily contact. If you and your student text or talk every day, you may not need to read any further. For the rest of us, it’s normal sometimes to be anxious, sad or frustrated by the silence that can stretch between us. “The hardest part of Dylan’s first year was not knowing what he was up to,” Eileen remembered. “What did he have for dinner? What are his friends like?” If she made a mistake initially, it was trying to check in with him all...

Life After Move-In Day

Or, "Where did I put the Kleenex?!" If you’re reading this, you survived (or are surviving) move-in day with your new college student. We hope these tips and suggestions from parents who traveled this road before you ease your journey. If you’re still on campus… Remember with all move-in activities to let your student lead the way. Ask your student what you can do to help unpack. They may be happy to have you make the bed, but don’t insist on this, or anything. It’s their space. However, do take a photo or two of your student in their room or in front...

Tips for a Great Campus Visit

There’s nothing like the energy of a college town. You may not get to campus often, and then only for a weekend. How can you make the most of your time — with and without your student? Get on your student’s calendar Discuss in advance what meals you’ll share, and if you’ll go to any athletic events, performances, etc. When will you have down time together? When will you be on your own? Be prepared for your student to say, “But I’m so busy.” They will still need to study and may have meetings, rehearsals, etc. Pack walking shoes Invite your student to...