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How do you parents cope with your children going to college and leaving home?

vacutie11vacutie11 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2010 in Parents Forum
Im not a parent but I will be attending college next fall. Im worried about my mother. She's very overprotective and Im the only child. Ive never been allowed to go out with friends before. She's trying to protect me. All she does is tell me horror stories. I hate having to live in fear of somebody murdering me. All she says is you better not go to any parties, somebody will cut you into pieces. Crazy I know.

I don't know how I can leave her. She has my dad and my dog. I have alot of aunts that live near us. She's a teacher so she's around kids all day. I feel bad for leaving her but Im so happy in a way. I cannot wait to get away from her overprotectvness. Its going to be hard for me to survive in the real world because she's babied me all my life.

How can I comfort her? Im obviously not staying in my dorm for my whole college experience.
Post edited by vacutie11 on

Replies to: How do you parents cope with your children going to college and leaving home?

  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 16,790Registered User Senior Member
    Mobile phone is a beautiful thing. She will never know where you are calling from, unless she has the GPS device turned on your phone (for $10 you could do that).

    I am also very protective of my girls, but probably not as bad as your parents. I missed my older daughter terribly when she first went off to school. I asked her every Fri what she was doing for the weekend. She would tell me parties she was going to, but never details. Next day if I asked her when she came back to the dorm, she always said, "oh around 1." It sounded respectable, but in fact she was probably out all night sometimes. In truth, she probably only went out late once a week, not every nigh occurrance. Over time, I relaxed a lot more with her because looking at her grades, work, ECs, I realized she´s perfectly capable of taking care of herself.

    My advice to you is be responsible by going to classes, not partying too much, keep up with your school work, so you could present her with a good report card by end of first semester. At the same time do go out and make friends, even if it means getting out of your room and go to some frat or dorm parties. When you mom asks you about your activities, tell her about lectures and recitals on campus, clubs you are interested in, and very light touch on parties. I believe once you are over 18, what you tell your parents can be "need to know basis." Your mom is not going change any time soon, but it shouldn´t prohibit you from having a normal college life.
  • ddd928ddd928 Posts: 255Registered User Junior Member
    Skype is wonderful too...I loved being able to text, email or call but waited until she initiated contact. I really enjoyed Skype not just for video chatting but messaging. I got to see her in her room, met her roomie and some friends wandering in, etc.

    She is my oldest and only daughter so I missed her terribly. The day we took her to school, my youngest had left for a 10 day trip overseas that morning. We were hosting an exchange student and that experience was not going well. My husband was leaving for a golf weekend (his coping mechanism!). My good friend had dropped off a gift with my ds, a cooler with dd's school logo, filled with a good beverage and chocolate and a card that said "whoever said you shouldn't drink alone never sent their only daughter to school". I cried again but knew my wonderful friends and family would be there for me. I stayed busy and enjoyed knowing just enough but not too much. I liked being able to help her through issues without solving them for her but sometimes finding a way to help without, I hope! taking over. She is appreciative so fun to surprise. I know it will never be the same as having her here all the time and I want her to grow and have her own life and learn to love our relationship as it changes.
  • cecilcecil Posts: 114Registered User Junior Member
    My son spent his entire high school years at boarding school and I was a wreck when he first left. What helped me so much was a quick text from him everyday (usually around lunchtime) just letting me know he was alive, well, doing well scholastically and happy. It took no more than 5 seconds most days and only occassionally would turn into a textersation.

    That made my day and eased my worrying! Hopefully this is something that can ease your mom's worries as well.
  • vacutie11vacutie11 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    I'll try to skype with her. I feel bad that she's worrying so much.
  • limabeanslimabeans Posts: 4,737Registered User Senior Member
    My mother (93 years old) told me what my brother (52 years old) did when he went to college: his voice mail said, "Sorry you got my voice mail and not me. I'm either at the library or at church. Please leave a message and I will call as soon as I can." For all I know, he may still use that recording. lol

    Making those phone calls, Skype, or text messages a regular thing will make a difference. Your mother just loves you and only wants the best for you. If you remember to keep her as an important part of your life, she'll be more comfortable that you're away. However, just remember to be judicious about what you talk about, especially at first. For instance, you won't want to admit you're homesick or not getting along with your roomie even if it's true, as she'll fret more. You'll discover you'll grow up too when you won't be using your mother to help you out, but then again, maybe you already do that.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    A nice thing that my younger son did was create a college blog. He updates it once a week with a long review of his week, and sometimes includes pictures and links.

    He's really busy with coursework, a job, and activities related to his theater major (which is more time intensive than I had imagined), and he doesn't like to talk on the phone, so this is a wonderful way for him to keep in touch.
  • MarianMarian Posts: 9,307Registered User Senior Member
    Its going to be hard for me to survive in the real world because she's babied me all my life.

    It's not how your parents cope that worries me. It's this statement that you made.

    What do you think you could be doing this summer to help yourself learn some of the skills you will need to be more independent?
  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom Posts: 3,661Registered User Senior Member
    Marian, that was a good point!

    I was surprised when I went to college that many other students did not know how to operate the washer/dryer or balance a checkbook.
  • vacutie11vacutie11 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    I don't know what can I do. I applied to a few jobs but didnt get any of them. I volunteer at the animal shelter sometimes. I guess I'll just learn how to be independent when I leave.
  • FallGirlFallGirl Posts: 4,222Registered User Senior Member
    You can do a lot around the house this summer. Learn to do laundry, cook some simple meals, make your own doctor/dental appointments, etc. Perhaps if your mom sees that you have some independent living skills she will not be so worried about you when you leave.
  • mom in virginiamom in virginia Posts: 460Registered User Member
    Your job is to do well at school, not to take care of your mother. Doing well means balancing this new freedom with the responsibilities of taking care of your body and spirit and mind. Don't go crazy with the new freedoms -- if you crash and burn your folks will reign you right back in and you won't have those freedoms any more. Have fun but be smart about it.

    Your mom's job is to figure out how to make it through this coming year.
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