Sending your kids to college

Sending Your Kids to College? Here's What You Should Know

Sending your kid to college? Here's what you should know

College is likely the first time your child is living away from home. This can be both exciting and nerve racking for you as a parent. So, before you pack up the car and move your son or daughter into their new home, consider how you might prepare for the big day.

Give them a leg up

You know what it's like to live on your own, but your child likely doesn't. So, while they might want to move in with a duffle bag and a few pairs of underwear, you know that having some staple items for their dorm will be really helpful. Help them shop for (or remind them to pick up) things like soap, bedding, shower caddy, laundry basket, hangers etc. This will make the transition from home to their dorm much easier.

Talk about what's important

There are many topics which can seem difficult to broach as a parent. But now that your child is on the precipice of moving out and on to the next stage of your life, it might be wise to have some important conversations before they move any further into young adulthood.


Whether you expect your child to get a job or you will provide them with money regularly for food and books, make sure to set your expectations right away. You can opt to provide them with a prepaid debit card that gets refilled each month, or a regular deposit into their checking account. Make sure they understand that this money is now their responsibility, and that they need to be wise with how they spend it.

Personal safety

Your child should always know that you are there to support them, especially when it comes to their personal safety. Remind them that they can call you at any time if they don't feel safe or need something for their health or safety.


Just because your child is off at college doesn't mean you won't ever talk again. It can be a good idea to discuss your expectations for communicating regularly with your college student. This could mean a once per week check-in to see how things are going, or a less frequent call to stay in touch. Just make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to future communications.

Let them make mistakes

The urge to parent your child may never go away, but since your child will be living on their own, it's time to start letting them make their own mistakes. Seeing them make decisions that you don't agree with (as long as they are safe and respectful) may be hard. Still, it's their life and the more independence you give them, the more they can learn on their journey. You might even be surprised at how often they ask for your advice without being prompted.

Embrace the experience

While this might feel like a momentous milestone in your parenting life, to your child, it likely feels like the beginning of an exciting experience. It's ok to be emotional when you drop your child off at college, and it's also ok to be happy that you might be finally an empty-nester! Regardless of how you feel, try to take in the complete experience as much as you can. After all, your child only goes off to college once, and if you blink, you might miss it.