How often do you talk to your college kid?

<p>My son is in his first year of college and when he left we expected to speak at least once a week. At the beginning we did hear from him a little . Now, we never hear from him unless something is wrong. When we call him he is too busy to speak. We very rarely call. Even when we send a text message he does not text back. When I text him something his answer to me is "Mom, I'm in college". We are paying for college and there have been a few things that came up that we needed to know that he did not tell us that will affect us and his future with this college.But he did not feel the need to let us know. I am very happy that he is trying to work things out and be independent. I just don't want to lose all touch with him. Just curious how others are handling this?</p>

<p>I have girls so I hear that is different. I hear from them every day. Could just be a text or a 30 second call. They touch base just to let us know that they are ok. We established very early when they first got cell phones that not returning calls or texts was a big no-no. They have learned that lesson well. ;) D1 is graduated and working out of state and still calls every day on her commute home.</p>

<p>If you are footing the bills you have a right to insist on once a week contact. Let them pick the day and time but make it clear that it must be done. It is only common courtesy, after all. It never hurts to let them know that the fun-filled carefree life they are presently living is courtesy of your largess. (The continuation of which is not a given.) He is not being independent but selfish and uncaring and rather a jerk, imho and it is your job to point this out to him.</p>

<p>My kids respond almost immediately to texts...even if it's to say "call u ltr". Same with skype messages, emails, and phone calls. In our family it's a matter of courtesy and respect, but they know that if I initiate a conversation or have a question it's probably important and something they will have to deal with alone if they don't cooperate! I try to be clear on what/when I need an answer and I don't nag or bother them beyond that. I no longer pay for their phones but, when I did, it was understood that they had them for my convenience so that I could always reach them and keep tabs on everyone (when they were a bit younger). If you're still paying for his phone (and tuition), perhaps it's time to make the ground rules crystal clear...and be prepared to enforce them. I'd bet that if he loses his phone service for even a day, it will never be an issue again.</p>

<p>We have two kids in college. D calls 2 x’s a week. S (3rd year student) never calls / texts or emails. This became a problem a few months back. I was trying to reach him about some important information that he had – that I needed. Long and short of it is after 3 messages to him over a 4-day period – I gave up. With that said, to get him to understand that importance of a RETURN call – I did not plug any $$$ in to his monthly college spending account. It was funny to see how fast he called me to ask where his monthly allowance was…since then; we get a weekly (or is that weakly?) call…</p>

<p>I agree on the selfish jerk observation. However, was he really communicative BEFORE he left for college? If so then I think those terms would aptly apply. However, if there wasn't much communication going on before he left then it's unrealistic to think he would change that dynamic on his own.</p>

<p>My kids have had their phones since Middle School with the #1 condition that they respond ASAP. They are very good about it and I can't imagine it will change since they are in the habit.</p>

<p>If there is information that you need from the school that you are not getting, you need to have your son sign the FERPA. My son also was not great at communication. When he left for college, the expectation was that we would hear from him once a week. He chose the day and time, Sunday afternoon, and was pretty good about calling in the beginning. After first semester, he would miss a week here and there, but usually called mid-week. If he did not call, I called him, usually early in the morning when I knew he did not have class, so would be sleeping in. He got the message pretty quickly and resumed his Sunday afternoon calls!</p>

<p>If you mean "talk" in the type of conversation where you actually hear each others voice, probably 1x/week, but D might call me one day and DH another; we've found that having a group phone call isn't conducive to actually talking to one another. If by "talk" you mean having some type of contact (fb chat, fb message, text message, email, phone call) then D is probably in touch with either DH, D2 or myself every other day.</p>

<p>I will say that thanks to the input of CC, we had the contact conversation a few weeks before she left for college. We put the call in her court & asked her how often she felt it would be good for us to talk. She said "um, twice a week?" We told her it was up to her, that 1x/week would be fine, but that we'd like her to check in electronically with us a few times a week so we knew she was OK. Frankly, as long as I've seen that she's updated her FB status, I'm OK with that.</p>

<p>Now girls are much different than boys with the contact, but I'd say no response and then saying "I'm at college" is just rude. You're paying the bill and if you need info, then you need info. I think a once a week call and some type of response to texts is not asking too much.</p>

<p>Boys and girls to me are different when they leave for college. Our DS who I am very close to, never calls unless something is wrong. Our DD who I am also extremely close to, but is very independent calls me almost every day during the week.</p>

<p>The only thing I will say when our DS left he did the same thing as the OP, and it brought us to a head on battle. The battle ended when I realized that when I was in college, as much as I adored my Mom, I felt like an obligation to talk to her. I wanted to be with my friends, and she was keeping me from them. </p>

<p>Right there and than I realized that there could be worst things in life...he obviously was happy and enjoying life, which is all we wanted for him when we left him at school.</p>

<p>He jokes with me when we talk now, because if I see his number pop up on the phone, the 1st words out of my mouth are WHAT'S WRONG? He is so accustomed to it that he now says NOTHING, I just called to say hi! This all happens before either of us actually say hello.</p>

<p>Be happy he isn't calling you. He will be home in a few days for Thanksgiving and I am sure he will have diarrhea of the mouth about everything he has enjoyed over the last few months.</p>

<p>The quickest way to lose him IMPO is to force the relationship. Trust me, he will come back in his own time if you let him. Remember baby birds fly away from the nest, but they always come home.</p>

<p>One thing I want to add is from personal experience. I am 45 and my Mom still gets upset if I don't talk to her in a week or so. Se will throw in my face that Bullet calls his folks every Sat at 9:30 a.m. without fail....insinuating how great of a child he is. I throw back in her face, Yes, that is true, but do you want me to call you from an obligatory stance or because I want to talk to you? That is something to think about. You can set up the ground rules of calling a certain time and day of every week, but ask yourself if you want him to feel that this is his duty? Not saying he will, just saying in our family I have seen it 1st hand that he feels it is his duty. He even jokes as he grabs the phone on sat. morning, and says time to do my sonly duty. I would hate for my kid to ever feel that way about me.</p>

<p>My oldest son (senior) we are lucky if he answers the phone once a week, but it's more often two. He's never liked talking, and he's never liked phones. His phone was broken for a couple of weeks and he didn't miss it. He often forgets to turn it on. We don't really have any leverage with him, (he's got more money in his checking account than we do!), but I'm pretty sure he would respond if we sent an email saying something was important. </p>

<p>Younger son calls us once a week on the weekend when it's convenient for him. He knows how much big brother drove us crazy and I appreciate that he calls. We've gotten lots of short calls and texts for various reasons. (Things he wanted us to mail to him, or bring to parents weekend, help getting visas, questions about foreign travel etc.) We find that conference calls actually work pretty well.</p>

<p>D1, a senior in college, probably 3ish phone calls a week and texting on and off all week.</p>

<p>S, a freshman in college, phone call once or twice a day and texting on and off all week.</p>

<p>Both though, are very conversational when they were at home and it is kind of a family trait that we all stay pretty "in touch". The above is what works for them, so it works for me. S is calling probably more often than most, but he is still adjusting and I think it helps him to "report" his progress with classes, projects, etc. - helps him to share the info with someone willing to listen. :)</p>

<p>We struck a deal with both boys--they call at least once a week S2 a creature of habit, calls about the same time every week on Sunday. He also has HORRIBLE cell service at his school, so he doesn't answer texts promptly unless he's in a good cell. S1 calls frequently walking across campus or wherever. He answers texts fairly promptly. Both of them answer texts or emails when I send funny pics of our family pets or tell them a funny story. Or talk about sports :) I just told them both originally that we really missed them, and want to kow about their life--not that we're trying to control it, and that was all it took to get through the freshman year silence.</p>

<p>3 D's and 1 S, two are out, two are in, so probably hear more from the D's is my personal experience. S texts his 3 sisters & maintains good relationships with them! We probably hear from S about once a week by cell phone. I don't usually call my children, they call me. If I need to know something, I send an email or a text message & usually get an answer from them. Sohomore D is far from home & we hear from her once a week.<br>
I know that all 4 of them talk, text, Skype with each other & are FB friends. </p>

<p>We are happy when they can work out their own problems, too!</p>

<p>Olsest son, a senior calls 1-2 a week, depending on what is going on in his life. Mostly calls to ask my advice, for recipe (he lives off campus), etc. When he was a freshman, it seemed he never called and was annoyed when we called. When we call him now he is cheery and natural.</p>

<p>Freshman son never calls, but is polite and chatty when we call him. </p>

<p>I have come to understand that in their freshman (eighteenth) year they are trying to become independent and moving into adulthood. Think of it as them starting kindergarten, they are once again trying to figure out how to move ahead without their family, without losing their family. If you call too frequently or ask what they think are invasive questions, they think you doubt their ability to an adult. My advice is to call them once a week (Sunday nights are good), keep the conversation light (How's the dining hall food, your cat is driving me crazy, those kinds of things), respect their independence (you have letter here from financial aid, do you want me to open it? Do you want to deal with it or do you want me to see what I can do?) and end every conservation with a simple, straight forward, "love you", nothing more, nothing less. In times they will come around.</p>

<p>BulletandPima and lololu have the right idea - you can't force the contact. I think you've pushed a reluctant boy into a corner and he is protecting his privacy with a bit of a snarl.</p>

<p>A couple of things that have worked well for us, with three boys, are: texting a request to "call us this weekend" or "when you have time" so that our boys don't feel pressured to respond, and calling the ones we haven't heard from on Sunday afternoons during or after the football game. They start by talking about the game with their dad, and that sets us up for the "mom" part of the conversation, where dad gradually signs off and the kids and I can talk about whatever.</p>

<p>Anything that needs to be in writing, like travel information, goes in an e-mail.</p>

<p>You do have to let them run their own lives, and sometimes get by on less contact than a parent would like. My oldest was vehement about his privacy, and we really had to learn to back off although we always had many questions. His type of personality will not share information until he feels ready to do so. Freshman year is a big learning experience for everyone, even parents, so think about what will work the best in your relationship and try again with that in mind.</p>

<p>Our S is a freshman. Before he left for college (a later departure due to the quarter system) we ensured he set up his new laptop with a Skype account. He got used to using it with his friends who left earlier for college. </p>

<p>After I left him after move in, I commented that we didn't know how busy his schedule was (or how it meshed with ours) and that, once he got settled in after about two weeks, we would try to establish a set time for a weekly Skype session. Turned out Thursday evening usually worked well for all three of us, so we chose that time. It's worked out pretty well and we usually talk for about 30-40 minutes. Conversations can range from what's happening at home to helping him review his election ballot. Since these are weekly, I just keep a note pad next to the computer at home, so I make sure to cover certain topics.</p>

<p>Other than that, we'll get an occasional call from him when he's doing something in particular. So, when he was looking to purchase a used bike, he called us from the place he was looking for some advice.</p>

<p>We are respectful of his cyberspace as well. When he noted that his academic email was getting a bit cluttered with my occasional emails (sending him stuff like news clips about his former HS sports team), we all easily agreed his academic email would be for important or time sensitive stuff, and we would use his Yahoo email for more casual, non-time sensitive communication.</p>

<p>I'm surprised how well it's worked out, since he wasn't as communicative when he was a jr and sr in HS. Perhaps it's because he's a few thousand miles away.</p>

<p>I expect the length of the Skype sessions may decrease as time goes on. I just thinks he knows we like to know he's settled in well and that we're just curious how it's going and not intruded on his new life. In fact, he even commented that I've mentioned to him several times how pleased I am at how he's settled in and taking charge of his time management.</p>

<p>We almost never call our freshman D (because we don't know her schedule and don't want to interrupt), but we text back and forth almost every day just to chat. She calls us maybe once a week at her convenience- but we don't have anything regular set up. The longest we've gone without some sort of communication is probably 3-4 days. That being said, S (who is 15) has been out of the country for a month at a time and we heard nothing. So I am not expecting as much communication when he leaves for college. Boys are just a different animal.</p>

<p>Thank you all so much for the responses. Alot of mixed reviews. My son was not a very big talker when he as home so I guess I can't expecet him to be one when he is away. I should be happy that he is doing well, wants to be independent and is not crying to come home. I guess my boy is growing up!</p>

<p>My oldest two that went off to college were girls. My oldest who is working and just completed her MBA still calls and texts me everyday. My second daughter, a senior, called me everyday her first two years and still calls or texts 3 or 4 times a week. Then my son went off to college this year. WOW! He doesn't call and rarely texts. His excuse is that he is taking sophomore level classes and wants all A's (which he had at midterm). We know that he is loving every minute of his college experience but it has been hard to accept that lack of communication. When he came home for a long weekend he was very chatty and enthusiastic about sharing but getting him on the phone is near to impossible. We are looking forward to having him home for Thanksgiving!</p>

<p>Pretty much the same situation here. DD (jr in college) calls, texts or fbs pretty much daily. DS (freshman) will text back if we text him. Maybe we "communicate" a couple times a week. He was never someone who liked to talk on the phone. With him I know that no news is good news and he is having a great time. My third (a high-school sophomore boy) is not a talker (at least with us, sometimes it says "excessive talking" on his report card which we find very amusing) so I will not expect a whole lot of communication with him when he goes away.</p>