Tips & Tricks

Learn new new tips, tricks, and shortcuts for making your Skype experience even better

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Use Skype to parent your college student from afar

Being a parent is a life-long job. No matter whether our kids are toddlers or college students, we still have plenty of sage advice to offer.

And college-aged kids – whether they’re freshmen moving into the dorms or seniors plotting their next steps – can still benefit from parental guidance. They won’t necessarily admit to wanting help, but here are some ideas of how to use Skype to get them the answers they need (even to the questions they’re not asking):

Buy this, not that

While your teen has been requesting potato chips and frozen pizzas for years, it’s likely that they don’t have a lot of experience shopping for a square meal or even know the difference between fruit juice and fruit drink. Arrange a Skype video call on their smartphone while they’re cruising the refrigerated aisles and see them through the finer points of food shopping in real time.

More than the microwave

Now that you’ve steered them away from buying a cart full of microwave burritos, your young scholar is going to need to do more than push buttons to make dinner. For some cooking tips from the Master Chef (AKA you), set up the laptop or tablet in the kitchen and take them through a favorite recipe over a Skype video call.

What’s tumble dry?

Your student might need a few pointers on the dos and don’ts regarding detergent and dry cleaning. Keep up with them via instant messaging from the dorm to the laundry room and they can even drop a photo of the washing machine control settings into the chat. With your help – and some luck – they can avoid shrinking all of the really important clothes you just bought them.

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I write what where?

The adult world is full of confusing stuff, including opening bank accounts and writing rent checks. Create a simple Skype video message showing how to (properly) write a rent check and balance a checkbook so they can reference it whenever they need to on their phone.

That doesn’t sound right

Diagnosing a car problem and finding a good mechanic is hard enough for adults let alone students. If they have a strange sound or delinquent dashboard light, have them show you on a Skype call so you can determine if they just need jumper cables or need to throw themselves at the mercy of a professional.

How do I look, mom?

As graduation approaches, your collegian will have presentations, job fairs and formal events to attend. Help them stand out (in a good way) by talking them through fashion tips in real time with a Skype video call. That way, you can rest assured that your daughter’s make up is more appropriate for a corporation than a concert or your son’s tie is more Windsor than wonky.

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Interview intelligence

Of course, your student will have the good sense to start navigating this difficult job market before they have a degree in hand. Right? When they receive invitations for interviews, you can help them prepare with a mock interview over Skype. And you can turn up the heat with multiple relatives asking questions on a Skype group video call. Here are our top tips for acing a Skype interview.

The role of a parent really never ends, no matter where your kids end up. But we want to make long-distance parenting a little easier. What are your tips for parenting from afar? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Skype Moments!

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