Enjoy mothering while avoiding hovering.
They say, “Nature abhors a vacuum,” but that’s nothing compared to being a mom. When your children go off to college, it doesn’t matter how involved you get with preparation, financial and travel arrangements and all the moving parts of getting them safely to campus. Once they’re gone, it can be a tough time for both parties.
The distance is, of course, the problem … or should we say “was”? The modern age has turned distance into an ever-shrinking concept. Technology can provide voices and faces from around the world in moments, and the sheer speed of some modern postal options aren’t far behind.
There’s a wealth of ways to stay connected with a child while they’re out in the world studying. With a little finesse and a whole lot of care, you can be there in every important way. What’s more, you have the chance to exercise your imagination and communicate in ways you may never have tried.
There’s some short and sweet advice that will fit well into every area of life, especially when the nest is empty. Your child is off on a journey now, both literally and figuratively, so you have to give them space to travel. Now isn’t the time to over-communicate because they’re going to need all their wits about them. A host of new distractions will be competing for their attention.
Let your child have space to get to college and settle in. There’s no telling how long this will take, but it’s certain they will need all their focus to do it. This means they may not be able to answer calls or may forget to make one to you in the first place.
Don’t panic! This is a natural process, and your child will be thankful they had the space to do what they needed. When they do get in touch, don’t be anxious or annoyed. Your child will equate you feeling bad with them not communicating as you want them to. This will only add pressure when they’re already dealing with a lot.
Let them get in touch when their new schedule allows and make full use of the electronic options at your fingertips.
The Megabyte Mom
Parents are rightly concerned with how much time their kids spend glued to their various digital devices. It’s never out of their hands, away from their ear or not vibrating in their pocket. The good news is that those factors can become a big relief while your child is on campus.
The number of young people aged 18-29 in possession of a cell phone of some kind is 100%, and that little device is always with them. Their cell phone is designed to take in lots of texts, photos, and calls. You won’t be bothering them if you send them a text every day or a photo of anything fun or interesting from back home.
Unlike the past where kids would have to schedule phone time with a parent, you can reach them anywhere, anytime. There’s always the comfort of knowing that even if they don’t answer immediately, you can leave a message.
Video calling is also an excellent way to interact in real-time with your kids. It doesn’t have to last long, and, again, you can see each other anywhere – as long as it’s not when driving! Don’t forget social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media makes it even easier to make that immediate connection with your children.
The Human Touch
The immediacy of technology is wonderful, but there’s something about a written letter that will always make it superior. What is that “something”? It’s the human touch. Your child will be able to hold something you’ve held, see the uniqueness of your handwriting, and be able to hold the letter to their heart.
A hand-written letter is a part of you and a tangible link to home. It’s a deeper form of communication that frees a parent from the clipped text-speak of a quick email or social media post. Your self-expression will be unabbreviated, and so will the happiness of your child as they read it through.
Hand-writing letters can also improve your health. If being apart is making you and your child sad, picking up that pen can boost your mood back into the positive. Psychological research in human development and family studies has shown the link between the written expression of gratitude and important matters, and the resulting improvement in our emotional state.
Remember, the longer the letter, the better! If you feel there isn’t much to tell this time around, then you could include a photograph, a greeting card or better yet, a present of some kind.
Which leads us to our next suggestion.
The Sweet Truth
Nothing is trivial when you’re a parent. A mother may be concerned that she’s overly fussy with her child who, in turn, may be annoyed by the fussing. She can, however, count on one ever-reliable truth: kids love presents. Everyone does, and something else we all love is something sweet from time to time.
It may be your child’s birthday. Maybe it’s a notable calendar day. Being in college by itself generates plenty of cause for celebration (moving in, good results in class, graduation, and so forth). The best reason, of course, is just because you care.
Crafted with attention and love, a gourmet cake shipped to their door will remind your child that you’re thinking of them in the same way. It’s always a joy to receive a surprise package in the mail. It makes us feel special. When the contents are every bit as sweet and unique as the sender, it’s simply something extra-special.
As one of our customers put it, “This was my daughter’s first birthday away from home, I wanted to make is special. Our daughter said the cake was perfect.”
As successful parents, we see the best of us in our children. By association, any gift we give reflects the same. Granting our children the benefit of a college education is a wonderful thing. So is the fine art of attentive and considerate parenting. This involves many gifts. The gift of time, of space, and always keeping our place in their hearts warm.
At We Take The Cake, we understand the personal touch. For over twenty years, we’ve continued to craft each cake by hand using only the finest ingredients. If you’d like to know everything we can offer, drop by and get in touch!