Taking Care of Yourself

Return to Parents

  • Your feelings about the separation may be different than your spouse's but both of you are experiencing a major life change.
  • Share your feelings with other experienced parents, partners, friends...anyone who will listen.
  • Take up a new hobby... take a vacation after your student leaves home...read a book...get physical...do something for you!
  • Anticipate what separation from your student will be like BEFORE that day.

Be Prepared

  • Say good-bye before you even get to the dorm so the moment doesn't seem rushed and you can say what you want to say.
  • Brace yourself for the changing of majors...the average is 3 - just so you know!
  • Be prepared to hate seeing your student's room so clean.

Knowledge is Empowering

  • Introduce yourself to residence hall advisors, hall directors, anyone wearing an EKU nametag that has contact with your student.
  • Be aware of campus resources (health, counseling, religious, academic) so you can recommend one to your student if needed.
  • Read the student handbook so you know university policies and resources.
  • Know a roommate's/friend's name and the names of their parents.
  • Join the EKU Family Network.

Stay Connected: For You and for Your Student

  • Communicate: Discuss ahead of time how you will communicate regularly with your student (e-mail, phone, letters, etc.).
  • Get e-mail and learn how to use it.
  • Find your best calling night, usually Sunday, and ask how often - call without an agenda sometimes.
  • Send great gossipy letters to your student about high school news, sports, and hometown trivia.
  • Consider buying your student a cell phone.
  • Send family pictures, videotapes, audiotapes, funny cards, or clippings from your hometown newspaper.
  • Making and sending care packages that are really personal can be so much fun - like playing Santa (and often leads to a social gathering in your student's room).
  • Don't be shy in communicating how much you miss your son or daughter but do refrain from emotionally unloading.
  • Go to Family Weekend if at all possible. (Or - Decide with your student whether to attend parent's weekend. Lack of interest may be interpreted as lack of caring.)
  • Discuss good times for school visits...homecoming, basketball games, etc... and plan them.

Celebrate and Remember this Milestone: For Everyone

  • Identify a ritual/ceremony that celebrates this rite of passage for your student and your family. An intimate visit to a favorite family vacation spot, a family party, or even a large neighborhood block party are some examples.
  • Save the e-mails and bind them for that graduation party.
  • Take lots of pictures...of their roommates...friends...packing...etc.
  • Write a letter before they go off to school about how you feel about them, their leaving, their accomplishments, them growing up.
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