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How Parents can stay connected with their college kids

How Parents can stay connected with their college kids

It’s a bittersweet moment when kids grow up and leave their homes for college. On one hand, it is one of the rites of passage in today’s world. A college education is essential for young Americans to build a better life for themselves. America has some of the best educational and research institutes in the world. So there’s definitely intense pride when a young member of any family gets accepted into a great university.

On the other hand, there is a feeling of uncertainty in the air. College freshmen are often worried about being outside their homes and away from their parent’s protection. Parents have to watch the kids they gave birth to and nurtured to adulthood finally leave the nest. As I said, it’s a bittersweet moment. Many parents worry this will mean a weaker connection with their kids. Especially for kids who want to study out-of-state. After all, the distance will put a damper on emotional exchanges.

Staying in Touch With Your College Kids

College students often have very different ideas about communication than their parents. The means of staying in touch over extended periods have evolved over the years. The first thing you need to understand, as a parent, is that this is a different time from when you were in college. The internet has become more accessible and affordable, as you already know with your Cox internet deals. Much has changed, and you will have to learn how to adapt to that. Here are 3 tips that can help you stay connected to your college kids:

Tips for Parents:

  1. Improve Your Understanding of Modern Technology
  2. Understand Changing Priorities
  3. Mix Your Communication Up  

Let’s take a closer look at these tips below and how they can help keep the family together over long distances.

#1: Improve Your Understanding of Modern Technology

Most parents are not very tech-savvy, not even by a long shot. Smartphones, wireless devices, social media, etc. can all be very confusing for a parent. But if you want to stay in touch with your kids, you are going to have to make an effort to learn. The better you know your way around technology, the more likely you are to be better at communicating with your children. You may not know how to wave on Facebook or what a Tweet is, but you can easily learn. Put some effort into becoming more tech-savvy so that you can learn about popular communication channels and how to use them.

#2: Understand Changing Priorities

As a parent, during the years your kid is at college, you will see their priorities change. Sometimes, they change almost every semester. As your child’s priorities change, so will the communication you have with them. There is no other solution but to understand and accept your college kids’ broadening horizons. To make sure you keep communications open, be receptive to their changing needs and support them.

#3: Mix Your Communication Up

You want to vary how you communicate with your kids enough so that it is always a pleasant experience. This means mixing it up with different channels. You may want to send a care package, then a postcard, then some extra cash, or even food. Mail is always a happy occurrence for college students of all ages. You should also mix up modern communication methods like calls, texts, and instant messages. If you can do so without too much trouble, plan a surprise visit.

As a parent, most of the time you’ll have to take the lead in communicating. But that doesn’t mean your kids don’t have to put in any effort.

Tips for Kids:

Because communication is always a two-way street, so some effort has to come from your kids as well. Therefore, help them to learn how to:

  1. Be Inclusive
  2. Find Their Comfort Zone
  3. Make Time

#1: Be Inclusive

Families don’t just include your immediate family. College kids need to be inclusive towards people they know from before college. Try your best to occasionally reach out to old friends, cousins, relatives, and grandparents. Of course, parents more likely to be included anyway, but kids shouldn’t miss out on other sources of nostalgia.

#2: Find Your Comfort Zone

There’s really no set pattern for college kids to communicate with their parents back home. But it is important that you don’t feel guilty about not reaching out enough. As a college kid, you’re bound to have a busy academic and social life. Just make sure you’re communicating with your parents enough for it to be meaningful and pleasant. There are many different ways to keep in touch, all you have to do is find the one that suits you best.

#3: Make Time

Yes, college life will be a busy but enjoyable part of your life. You will see new places, meet new people, go to parties, and all the other usual shenanigans. But throughout all of this, don’t forget you still need to make time for your parents. Even if it is only a five-minute phone call you remembered in between commercials on your Cox TV packages. Remember, your parents love you unconditionally and will cherish the opportunity to hear from you. Don’t deny them this pleasure, make time for them, and involve them in your life.

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