Are your kids ready for the test of college?

You know that feeling you get right before you run out onto the field before the big game or as you are taking the stage for a performance in the school play?  It is easily the best and worst feeling in the world.  You are excited for the opportunity but there is that small voice in the back of your head asking if you are as prepared as you should be or if there is anything that you may have forgotten.  This feeling is amplified beyond anything previously felt when you watch your child leave home for the first time and see your child rearing take the ultimate test.

Parents are excited to see their children grow and blossom by moving out and living on their own but not being able to be the safety net for their children can be the biggest source of anxiety.  Everyone knows the feelings you have before tests like SATs or a final and wondering how prepared you are.  Parents have an even more intense feeling wondering if all the lessons they tried to teach their kids stuck.  Did my child listen when I told him how important a disciplined schedule was?  Did he hear me when I tried to explain how much easier life is when you keep your room organized?  Did I make sure he heard me when I told him how to use the washer and dryer?  Is he going to socialize well at school?  And will he miss me?  As a parent, you have been there to celebrate your children’s successes as well as support them in their failures.  For the first time you will not be there for successes or failures. 

The Reality of It All

Please forgive the dramatic language of the previous section.  It is as dramatic the first time a parent drives away from a child’s dorm.  Though it can be a teary event, know that your child will be calling you shortly, not because he or she is home sick but more likely because he or she cannot find something that was packed.  It may come as a reassurance that you child will definitely call you though not to catch up as much you may like.  He or she will call about many things like how much detergent is need per load or help with typing up a resume or tips on basic cooking.

The longer your child is away, the less he or she will call you.  As much as you may miss your child calling you, this is a good sign.  All parents want their children to miss them but independence is a very strong indicator that your child rearing was effective. It is also natural for children to form new relationships and become less dependant on you which is ultimately what is best for them.  Unlike other tests, acing a child rearing test is bitter sweat. It is certainly a very difficult stage in parenting.

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