Thursday, August 4, 2011


School starts in just a little over a week.  5th graders heading off to middle school, 8th graders moving up into high school, and graduated Seniors moving off to college.  It's a lot for a family to take.  The emotional stress can take a toll on the relationship.

So here are a few things taken from a recent article USA Today's Family & Parenting (link to entire article is found below):

Loosen your grip. Kids will come home at Thanksgiving expecting more freedom. So lighten up now and see how it feels. The Wingates say they have dropped Sara's curfew and set fewer rules this summer. Tiffany says she is getting used to the idea that "I'm not going to know where she is or what she's doing" all the time.
But take time to get close. If there's still time, take a weekend trip with your child. Or set time aside for a trip to a ballpark, spa or somewhere else where you can have a good talk and a laugh.
Talk about talking. Discuss how and how often you will communicate after school starts. That can prevent hurt feelings and needless worry, Cohen says. Sara Wingate says she's glad her parents have agreed that she will be the first to call or text them after move-in day: "They understand that I'm not going to call every day."
Learn to text. If you somehow got through your child's high school years without learning how to send text messages, learn now. Today's college students don't use e-mail much and don't always pick up calls, but most of them read and answer texts, Cohen says.
Chill out. Campus crimes happen, but "99.9999% of students are going to be fine," Cohen says. Don't sweat mildly alarming Facebook posts from your child's future roommate, either, Rode urges. "For the most part, we encourage students to get to know their roommates, in person," before requesting any changes, she says.
But don't be cold. Some parents tune out their departing kids as a preemptive coping strategy, Cohen says. You'll know you've overdone the chilling thing when you find yourself redecorating their bedroom while they are still sleeping in it, he says.
Get your calendar for next month. Fill it. "That way you won't be sitting at home wondering what your kid is doing," Cohen says.
Master moving day. Most colleges have "a finely tuned move-in plan," Rode says. Follow it. Then leave. "If you are the only parent left, you've stayed too long," Cohen says. Depart with a smile and without tears, if you can.  (Kids bound for college; what's a parent to do?)

What are some things that you are doing to help with school transitions?  


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