Taking your kid to college. Is it more of a milestone for them or you?
"Good Morning America's" Family and Life Contributor Lee Woodruff knows how hard it is to leave your child at their dorm on his first day of college life. She's working hard to avoid calling her own son every five minutes to see how he's doing. Meanwhile, she's also got some tips for other parents out there on how keep your cool when sending your kids off.
Remember your own college days. Get there first so your child can pick the best bed before the roommate gets there.
Keep the whole day short and sweet. Make a mental checklist of all the things you really want to cover and be sure to talk about them the day before you drop them off, maybe over dinner or on the drive up.
A good idea: Leave a letter with him and ask him to read it at some point over the next few days.
Your kid may be ready for you to hit the road long before you are, so don't linger. Be responsive to your kid's cues that they are ready for you to be on your way.
You may get emotional, but don't cry. In fact, bring sunglasses just in case you need to hide your teary eyes. The day isn't about your sense of loss. It's about the beginning of your kid's journey. You don't want them to feel as though they have to comfort you.
Don't expect daily phone calls. Learn how to Skype and text message since this is how this generation keeps in touch.
After you've dropped them off, you'll probably notice a few things they need that you didn't anticipate. Don't worry, anything they left behind can go into a care package. It's a treat for them as well as a nice transition for a parent, a way to ease into not caring for your kid in your home every day.
Just remember, you're not sending them away for forever. Don't think of the separation in terms of a whole school year. Think about it in terms of the number of weeks until you see him or her again – usually five or six weeks.
You'll probably see them again at parents' weekend – offer to take their new friends to dinner. It's a great way to get a glimpse into their new lives.