Waving your child off to the excitement of a new life can make you sad to think you won’t speak to them so much. Or you may be relieved, in which case – no worries! And if your child takes the initiative and contacts you that’s great.
On the other hand:
- Do you have an 'out of sight out of mind' child?
- Do you hover too close?
- Are you worried you won’t get a return call?
Here are some tips, as the basis on which you communicate now will last long after university:
- Try to set a weekly routine for a chat, but don’t be upset if you get a “cant talk now” or “can’t talk for long” response. If they are busy that’s fine, but at least you spoke. And in between times if they seem settled no news is usually good news. From experience, they will call if they need something!
- If it is not important or you just want to say hi, send a text, and you may even get a quick response. 87% of students surveyed preferred a text. Don’t call too often – or text
- Emails get read but sometimes not responded to for a while. And if you give chapter and verse on life at home don’t feel peeved if they make no reference to your news – they are immersed in their own world.
- If they don’t return your calls or emails threaten a visit – It is guaranteed to get a response!
- A Sunday lunch a month into the term is a good idea & there are always things they forgot.
- Send a card, as students love getting real mail
- Send a “package of love” – more a girly thing –a voucher for a haircut for example, or some food, but boys too will appreciate food, nice shower gel and shampoo (and even deodorant may be a good idea – you know your child!) Or send cookies - see postedpresents or biscuiteers
- If sending something practical put a treat in too
- And finally:
- Make homecomings an event – home cooked food, favourite treats and a quick turn round laundry service will work wonders
- be prepared for mess everywhere when you visit them, like the typical student living room below!