We’re thinking about our kids’ safety, but are they?
Start a dialogue and keep the lines of communication open. Make a plan to stay in touch with your child and stick to it. Share these tips with your kids. There’s a lot here. Maybe one at a time?! Your kids might roll their eyes, but they will hear:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Become familiar with the campus and map out safe ways to walk to and from your classes. Walk in lit areas that are frequently traveled.
- Always walk with at least one other person that you know. Groups are better but are not always practical. If you have to walk alone somewhere, make sure someone is aware of where you will be walking and when you should arrive at your destination.
Personally, I encourage my daughter to call me on her cell phone when she is walking somewhere alone. We talk until she arrives at her destination safely. Even though she is on the phone I encourage her to stay aware of her surroundings.
Laundry! That word conjures up real drudgery for some. Most of our kids probably have little or no experience with it and now that they are going off to college we better teach them fast. Take the time during the summer when laundry is probably at an all time high, with all the towels and bathing suits, to let them do a load or two before they are off on their own.
Whether to use hot or cold water, use one rinse or two and how to separate dark from light clothing. Make sure you get them a good laundry bag or basket so that they can carry their clothing and the detergent easily to the laundry room in the dorm. I suggested that my kids use the fabric softener sheets, because it seemed easier than having to add the fabric softener into the washing machine and the machines in the dorm may not have a separate receptacle for it. And now they have those pods which makes it even easier and takes the guesswork out of measuring the detergent.
As our kids head off to college, the anxiety starts to ramp up, especially for those heading off for the first time. From my experience, one of the major causes of this nervousness seems to come from living arrangements, specifically the roommate. Many of our kids are used to having their own room, so the idea of sharing a room with another person, and a bathroom with a floor of people may be unsettling. Just like learning to share toys in preschool or kindergarten was a growing experience, so is learning to share a living space with a virtual stranger. I think changing your expectations can certainly lead to a more positive outcome.