When a child leaves home for the first time it can be a daunting task. During this time of COVID-19, some colleges are strictly online, while others are hybrid offering both online and in-person. My sons are experiencing both methods. Thinking about them going back to campus has caused me to reflect on a time one of my sons went off to college for the first time. The story is below.
After a visit to the college my son will attend, I relate the experience to the game show $100,000 Pyramid. You know, the show where one person gives their teammate clues to the word they want him to say.
While apartment hunting for my son, we discovered a location that was impressive. A rental agent walked us through one of the models. The décor throughout the apartment had a definite theme; the place setting on the kitchen counter had the color scheme of the faux leather sofa and throw pillows.
I checked drawers, open doors, and discovered a treasure. In the dark corner of a closet, lurking in a small space, was a broom. I snatched it from its resting place and displayed it for my son. Of course I had to ask him, “Do you know what this is and how to use it?”
My son rolled his eyes and said, “It’s a mop” sarcasm evident on his face, but I didn’t let him off that easy. I began to throw clues at him.
“It’s something used to clean dirt/dust from a floor, people use it in place of a vacuum cleaner. It’s used for one of those chores you rarely do.” This was my version of the $100,000 Pyramid.
“Your sarcasm is wasted on me. I will keep the apartment clean.”
My son understood what I was indicating to him. Yay.
Whether you’re sending your child off to camp for the summer or getting her ready for college, preparation is required. If you asked me my top three tips for preparing your child to leave home, here’s what I would say:
1. Teach them to be respectful – be mindful of those she/he has to share a space with; keep their area clean.
2. Have a cooperative spirit – be willing to help where needed (without the excessive moaning, groaning and grumbling).
3. Teach him to be resourceful – problem solving skills can come in handy when a child is away from home. Whether it is conflict resolution or knowing how to stretch a dollar, awareness in this area can go a long way.
What tips would you add for a parent preparing child to leave home?