Just because your college student has finally flown the nest doesn’t mean you have to give up on being part of their day-to-day lives.
While studying and socializing are sure to keep their schedule packed, there are plenty of ways to touch base and shower your scholar with love and support. The following list features a few clever means of keeping that all-important home-to-campus communication flowing.
- Take-out, Tech-style
Treat your bookworm to a night in and get them to swap flashcards for some face-to-face time. Call in their favorite pizza or other food delivery, set up laptops and tablets, and share a nice family dinner over a Skype video call. If you have multiple kids at different schools, try a group video call to get the whole family together – just like old times.
- The Package Deal
Care packages are classics for a reason – they will never lose their heartwarming appeal. Fill a bag or box with school supplies (think flash drives or multicolored pens), dorm-life necessities (laundry detergent and a hot plate) and sweet treats (sugar can overcome any cram session). Your student will be thrilled and you may just make an ally out of their roommate(s).
- Skype Credit = Extra Credit
Next time your kiddo has a question concerning Celsius-to-Kelvin or even what temperature to run the washing machine on) be sure they can reach you free-of-charge even if you are abroad. Load up their Skype account with credit that is sure to be there even after they’ve blown all of their mobile minutes talking to their boyfriend/girlfriend. Extra bonus: they can also call grandma and grandpa’s landline with Skype credit.
- Mobile Pep Talk
Chat on your scholar’s mobile phone and give your student a parental pep talk no matter if they’re taking a quick break from the library or on their way to a sports tryout. Whether you use IM, an audio call or a video call, a dose of on-the-go familial support will set your student right back on track.
- Parental Pen Pals
Conjure your inner poet, and handwrite a good old- fashioned letter. Yes, snail mail is slower than email, but any student fishing a genuine greeting from the back of their mailbox (rather than yet another bill or flier) is sure to feel the love. And considering that today’s college kids receive can receive a hundred emails or more per day, a real letter stands out from the crowd.
- Say “Cheese”
Often, a picture is actually worth a thousand words. Don’t just beg them to “Please send a photo.” You need to incentivize. Exchange a snapshot of the dog for a photo of their dorm room or send one of you and the cat for one of them in the quad. Drop photos right into a Skype chat to trade visuals of home life for scenic shots of campus and new friends.
- Hit Record
Between your student’s workload and what you have to do to keep up with that tuition bill, it can be hard to find a time that works for both of you for a call. If you are in the mood to chat but they are in a study group, you can always record and send a Skype video message to be sure they know you’re thinking of them.