<p>I think there's a lot of truth in Northstarmom's post 23. I learned the hard way regarding girlfriends. My son and his gf (both going off to college) spent so much time on the phone and text-messaging it drove me nuts, because he also seemed to be putting off things <em>I</em> thought he should be doing. Looking back, it was my problem, not his, as he had everything packed and ready to go right on time, and actually stunned me with his organizational skills. I think it's just hard for moms to let go the first time, so they tend to be a little too controlling and instrusive. Statistically, most kids who date in high school break up by Christmas: this is exactly what happened to my son (she broke it off). That was a whole other story in itself--adjusting to college with a broken heart. Now a rising junior, he has a new gf. I've learned not to intrude unless, as NSM says, there's true danger involved. I'll know what to do differently with my second son. We learn and grow along with our kids.</p>

<p>"I'll know what to do differently with my second son"</p>

<p>It's a good thought, but it seems that with my 3 they all presented me with new and different situations--so that I feel like I'm always starting over at square one. What works with one may not with the other. Keeps life interesting!</p>

<p>As a father whose DS just left for college yesterday, and who exhibited the same frustrating obsession w/ gf including sulking through birthday party and spending midnight to 5 am on cell phone w g/g and packed last last minute (left sneakers on floor - just has flip flops at college), I ENJOYED reading that I was not alone. Actually it drove my DW crazy as she felt like CGM (let him be responsible) but also like AppleMom, and also like the other posters she did the laundry and packing anyhow. So many different reactions, so many points of view. Thank all of you because my wife and I went through each feeling and it was very good to see that it was not just us and our DS.. </p>

<p>Did he hurt us, Yes. But he is a straight A student, won a merit scholarship for about 20% of cost, does not drink, does not do drugs and was a joy for the other 17 years. I don't know the right answer for how parents should treat the kid when they act like this, especially when they are so blessed and fortunate to be able to go to college (and yes I am old enough to have been draft age in Vietnam, and NO, my parents would have tanned my hide if I had tried any of this) So while I can't settle the difference of opinions here on this board, I did want to thank you all. YIPEE - he's at college now.</p>

<p>"I don't see who wouldn't bring a sweatshirt or two but just for the example- yes, I would definitely send them sweatshirts even if I had to go out and buy new ones. They will learn eventually, I wouldn't make them go cold just to prove a point"</p>

<p>I wouldn't rush to send items like this to a student who was away. There are stores that students can get things from, and I would expect my student to do just that while I got around to mailing the items when I had free time.</p>

<p>I find myself surprised at some of the things that people are doing for their kids, and some of the things that people insist on buying at home and then dragging to college. I remember that when I went to college, my mom insisted on buying my sheets and towels, and I was disappointed because I wanted to buy my own in the colors and patterns that I wanted. After I got to school, I replaced what she bought (which happened to be in colors she liked, but I didn't) with things I purchased from my summer job. I loved those things and used them until they literally wore out.</p>

<p>I also bought other things like lamps, decorations at stores near campus. I didn't have a car, but walked or took the subway to bring them back to the dorm. Virtually everyone I knew did this. There was an exception -- a girl whose mom unpacked her at the year's beginnning and then came to pack at the year's end. The rest of us thought that the girl was acting like a baby.</p>

<p>When my older S went to college, 1,000 miles from home, he packed his own things, and my husband drove him to college and drove him to the mall, where S proudly used his work earnings to buy the various things he wanted for his dorm room including some kind of Nintendo or something similar that we'd always forbidden his having at home. When S needed other things, he learned to use public transportation or to get rides from friends. No big deal.</p>

<p>I know that not every student goes to a college that has any kind of shopping nearby, but still, there are alternatives. I remember going to grad school at Stanford and not having a car, and needing some clothing items. Shops wre very far away, Palo Alto had much less to offer than it does now, and rides were hard to find. I ended up ordering some things by mail. This was in the preInternet days, so this was much harder than it is to do things like this now.</p>

<p>Anyway, I think that now is the time for parents to realize that we've done our best, our kids are grown, and now it's time to allow them to take care of themselves in a relatively safe, contained environment. Allowing them to figure out how to keep themselves warm in the cold, and how to keep their feet dry in the snow, are the things that will help them learn how to handle the inevitable major challenges they'll face in their adult world.</p>

<p>Proving for the umpteenth time that I really need to not make CC the first thing I read before fully awake, I read the NSM's quote as: "I don't see who wouldn't bring a sweatheart or two...." </p>

<p>Not quite as it dumb as it sounds. The title of the thread is "Girlfriends...grrrr" after all.</p>

<p>My kids have always done their own packing- especially my youngest</p>

<p>Yes sometimes when she was away at camp she would write me and say she forgot a brush or some pads, but if I try to help at all- like asking if she has this or that I get a dirty look, because for her, she feels she needs to have it under control. </p>

<p>BUt we all forget stuff sometimes- I was reading on REED lj, one student forgot her bag of clothes ;)</p>

<p>BUt as far as blowing off packing all together I dont know.
I would assume that up to this point- the person in question had been doing their own packing, and while if it was possible for me to help, like move things around in the wash, if they gave their go ahead, I would, but if they weren't doing anything at all- that would just seem so out of character for them- I wouldn't know what to do</p>

<p>I know I don't often pack until right before leaving- and if I was going off to college ( which I didn't- although I did move when I was 17- but I just took some clothes with me- which was about all I had), I would probably just take what I needed right away, & leave the winter stuff to be sent later.</p>

<p>A couple things we found
even though she was very organized- a couple things got left out
we bought them- the bookstore also often has some of those things that students forget or need more of
Students also bring too much stuff and don't have room for it- so everything really does work out- it just takes some communication with the others in your dorm</p>

<p>One reason I would hope that some shopping is done ahead of time is $$, it is not unlimited, and with some planning, money can be saved, and even if student is using own earnings, if those earnings go too quickly because of last minute shopping, ie for linens, and such, mom and dads $$ will disappear quicker, so to me, while I would not be a crazy person unpacking, setting, up, etc., I would want my fledglings to plan somewhat and if they didn't, my $$ wouldn't be free flowing </p>

<p>I just expect some consideration, some planning, some thinking about possibilities, etc., and knowing that mom is there to help, but if they haven't taken care of business, I am not going to panic and rush around fixing it...</p>

<p>Looking at what's going on in my house as I read this thread, I have to laugh.</p>

<p>S -- who almost didn't graduate from h.s. because of lateness in getting to his first period class -- catches a plane early tomorrow to do his Americorps orientation. Procrastination in packing is a family trait. We usually barely make our planes. When S has flown alone before, I've had to incessantly nag and then speed him to the airport. But, I can't talk about his procrastination because --</p>

<p>The last time I went away -- a couple of weeks ago -- I was up all night packing while S repeatedly reminded me about the time. I missed my plane due to lateness. S, who had calmly driven me to the airport at 6 a.m., was nice and didn't say, "Told you so...."</p>

<p>So, for his trip tomorrow, to my surprise, S decided yesterday to wash his clothes. This represented a major gain in his planning ahead as usually he realizes he needs clean clothes at midnight the day he's scheduled to leave. He politely asks me what to do with my pants that are still in the washing machine.</p>

<p>Today, S got up early and was filling out forms for orientation. By noon, he had a partially filled suitcase by the front door. By 1 p.m., he had given me his travel itinerary. </p>

<p>I have not nagged at all. I do not plan to nag. I plan to sit and take notes because he seems to have somehow learned some things that I need to learn, too. What's this about "the child is the father of the man?" or maybe it's "They grow up in a blink of an eye."</p>

<p>Procrastination in packing is a family trait. We usually barely make our planes.</p>

<p>Why do you think we were happy D found a school we could drive to?</p>

<p>ROFL :D</p>

<p>When we go on vacation, we just keep throwing stuff into the car until it is * full*</p>

<p>Although let me tell you, when we down sized to a Jeep Liberty, from an extended length mini van it was a shock- we had to get a roof top carrier to have room for all our stuff.</p>

<p>When my H and I were first married, he asked me to pack for him,,,he had always packed for himself, and thought, gee, married, wife pack for me (said in caveman voice) I did, I was working too, and didn't really mind doing it, but as a joke, i went and switched out his tolietries that i packed, at the last minute i replaced them with GI joe toothpaste, brush, soap, shampoo, etc...his friends laughed and laughed...he thought it was funny as well, but you know what, i was not responsible for his packing ever since</p>

<p>CGM - too funny. I'm finding these moving stories entertaining. We found that packing for college is totally different than packing for a trip, as the throw-and-go laundry-basket method works really well. The kids just dump all their clothes and accessories into laundry baskets, using their bedding and towels as packing material for sensitive electronics. Laundry baskets are easy to carry, and can be left behind or taken home. This also lets them quickly find and identify all their stuff once they arrive and unload.</p>

<p>And the trend, especially for girls, is dumpster diving and exploring thrift shops to find the treasures that make the place their own. This is also a great bonding experience to do with new roommates. As mentioned above, it's really no fun if Mom decorates the room . I travel a lot, and find that I do my best packing the night before a trip. Too early, and I tend to take things out to wear or use and forget to replace it. Procrastination can be somewhat of an advantage.</p>

<p>"When we go on vacation, we just keep throwing stuff into the car until it is full"</p>

<p>I know that method. Once we were lucky to be spending the summer driving cross country. As always, we let our kids do their packing. When we were well underway, I turned around and noticed that in addition the essentials, they had brought about 30 stuffed animals including some who were huge! Believe it or not, they were 11 and 15. My 15-year-old was about 6 foot tall and an imposing young man, but still had a thing for his favorite stuffed animals. No one would have guessed it to look at him.</p>

<p>Know what the hardest part of the overbearing, mainipulative 24/7 gf is? Realizing that your son is susceptible to such women. If he has any real mates, they are telling him the same thing. </p>

<p>Try not to manipulate the gf into helping him. Let him slam into the wall of dirty clothes and unfinished details. That's the way boys learn.</p>

<p>Personally, I'd get out the video camera and wait for the day. This is going to be better than his first steps.</p>

<p>I just want to say that I am enjoying your stories. I have a HS sophomore so I have awhile.</p>

<p>Sorry about your son and the rough time you are having. </p>

<p>I am sure it will all work out!!!</p>

<p>CGM: I love the story about the GI Joe toiletries! :) It's not like he suddenly became too busy or incapable of packing after the altar... geez. :) Gets your point across in a very humourous way.</p>

<p>I agree that 'kids going off to college are the luckiest people in the world'. But I myself surely didn't understand that when I was 18. In fact, after all this, I need to sit down with my mom and (a) ask her how she felt and (b) thank her. I now have a whole new appreciation for her.</p>

<p>BTW, along the lines of CityGirlsMom, on Friday I was to the point where I was going to just go do the shopping and buy him PINK everything...flip flops for the shower, toiletry tote, towels, etc. It sure was tempting and I had a friend egging me on. But I resisted. </p>

<p>I think it hit him yesterday that he needs to get some of this done. Last night, after coming home from the GF, he called his friend that works at the 24-hour drug store and two other friends and they all went to the store to buy his personal care items. I would have loved to have seen these 4 teenage boys shopping.</p>

<p>So the empty SUV is sitting in the driveway waiting for his stuff. It'll be interesting to see what today brings.</p>

<p>My son and I spent Saturday night packing for his Sunday morning departure. He is doing a pre-orientation outdoor adventure this week and then husband, young son and I will drive down Saturday for official move-in and orientation. </p>

<p>I happened to look over Son's shoulder while he was on the computer and saw that there was a link that students were supposed to read before they came to the campus. Son had not read it. I went over to my computer and opened it up. Lo and behold there was a whole packing list of things he was supposed to bring including backpacking breakfast and lunches! It was 10 pm. Being the uber-shopper that I am, I gave him some breakfast bars, dried fruit and raisin bagels I had in the cupboard and we searched around until we found the other things on the list. Good thing for his boy scout background. We could probably outfit a troop with the misc. stuff we had bought over the years but until son saw that list, most of it was going to stay here. Anyway, I ended up the hero and he left bright and early Sunday morning ready for his adventure. Sounds like things are looking up for you Apple - good luck!</p>

I'm glad he started shopping, & he did it with MALE friends, not the gf.</p>

<p>My S still hates shopping, but every credit card statement still reflects purchases from local drug store. He hasn't bought shoes in 2+ years, but he will buy toothbrush, etc. He doesn't seem to need or want the variety offered at a Target, for ex.</p>

<p>Here's a follow-up on my son, who flew out of town this morning for his Americorps orientation. This is a kid who always was at the wire when packing to go off to summer camp and family vacations.</p>

<p>His flight was scheduled for 8 a.m. At 5:30 a.m., he woke me up to make sure that I was up in time to leave at the time he said was necessary -- 6:00 a.m., to get to the airport in time, which is about 20 minutes away. His bag was packed and by the door. At 6:30, we left with him calmly driving. I suspect that he always planned to leave at 6:30, but told me earlier because he knows that I can be hard to get going in the morning.</p>

<p>Nice chat on the way to the airport, with son taking his favorite route (This is a kid who had to be forced to learn how to drive and who until recently stressed out at driving virtually anywhere, particularly to places "far" -- this is a small city and fairly unfamiliar -- like the airport).</p>

<p>When we got to the airport, he kissed me good-bye, had his itinerary in hand, told me he loved me and cheerfully left. </p>

<p>Just letting you all know that with our support, they can grow up and some actually don't become super procrastinators like I happen to be. </p>

<p>For the record, I haven't packed for my sons since they were about 5. When they were very young, I talked to them about what essentials to bring, and had them fold and lay out the things so I could look them over before the things went into the suitcase. My sons also started washing their own clothes at ages 9 and 10. They actually liked the idea because they viewed being able to work that machine a sign that they were "old."</p>

<p>Of course, they forgot to wash their things at first, and I didn't step in and help. I remember one morning when S who's now 18 told me that he didn't have any clean underwear. I sighed sympathetically and said it was really too bad that he'd have to go to school in underwear that he'd already worn, something he thought was "gross." He remembered next time.</p>

<p>I know that sometimes we as parents do things that work, sometimes the same things won't work with a different kid. We just do our best and cross our fingers! </p>

<p>If this is the first time that your kid has ever been expected to pack for themselves and go some place for an extended period, cut them and yourself some slack. This is a learning experienced. Only the rare, naturally super organized folks get these things right the first time. For most, it takes lots of practice. SOme, like me, are still learning!</p>

<p>There is no way I could get to the airport with just an hour to check in, go through security, etc....our airport, while efficient is still fine tuning its new checkin procedures...I am much more comfortable, getting there early, checking in, and relaxing....after my Ds drama of getting home last week...egad...</p>

<p>We have been lucky enough to travel alot, so the trick with my Ds is to get them to take less..."but I NEED 5 pairs of shorts , and 6 pairs of flipflops"....they have always had to drag some sort of bag around airports, even if it was jsut a bag with their crayons and papers and cards</p>

<p>good luck to everyone!!!!! it will always work out and the worst that can happen in they wear dirty underwear (or none at all)</p>

<p>ps- my H still has the GI JOE toothbrush on his desk</p>

<p>pps- when my Ds were little they would always use daddy's combs, so he complained he could never find one, so for Christmas, we ordered a case- 500 combs (really cheap black man-combs), and my D (4 and 6 at the time) put them in his shoes, on his pillow, on his drawers, when they set the table, that went on for about 6 months.....</p>