Congratulations! You packed up your teen, the car, and made it through Registration Day. We know, you may have some questions about the best way to stay in touch with one another.
We Understand, We’re Parents Too.
We expect you may have questions as she starts her new life as a boarding student because you want to be sure to stay connected as a family. Here are sure-fire tips to follow that are shown to work.
FIGURE OUT YOUR COMMUNICATION PLAN, NOW
Is it an Instagram post to start the day? Will you start every morning off with a joke or funny cartoon, send a text after practice, and FaceTime on Sunday mornings? Let your teen set some of the ground rules. Together, decide which platforms you’ll use to stay in touch (phone, text, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, etc.) and how often you expect to hear from him. Depending on your teen, you may want to consider a Communications Contract to set up clear expectations.
Yes, our kids do want to hear from us – but on their terms so don’t expect her to reply instantaneously. Remember, she may not have access to messages until after classes end for the day.
No really, we mean it.
Which leads us to our next tip…
You know the joke, our kids walk around with mobile phones but nobody makes calls and it’s true. Explore the internet beyond Facebook. Get really comfortable with texting (but not while you drive). Send a picture of the dog looking goofy. But here’s the thing, don’t stalk your child. Don’t comment on her posts, instead, be sure your communication is through private contact.
Share funny news, but nothing too funny, or she may feel left out. What she’s doing is big and important and she needs to focus her energy on her school work. After all, that’s why she’s here.
We know you have a ton of questions you want to ask her but try to ask one question a day and phrase it as “Tell me about….” to encourage her to open up. But again, she’s focussed on mastering AP Calculus or learning her lines for the fall musical (or both!). As hard as it is, don’t send her on a guilt-trip for a return text. She’ll soon model your texts and send you funny pictures, share your favorite inside joke, or tell you about the Biology lab she aced today.
Who doesn’t love a package from home? Fill it with favorite snacks, a book, fuzzy socks, or a new refillable water bottle. Make sure to follow the school rules for what’s allowed in the dorm rooms.
JOIN THE PARENTS ASSOCIATION
By joining the email list or the Facebook Group, you can find out about volunteer opportunities. Volunteer possibilities may be in person, such as Admission Open House days while others are off-site opportunities. The Parents Association is a great way to stay connected with parents and faculty while allowing your teen personal space.
MIX IT UP
Mix up with alternating a visit home with your visiting campus outside of Parents Weekend or game days. A great resource for thing to do in the area is our Insider’s Guide.