what are the best ways to help with the grief of a child going to college?

Jewel - posted on 08/20/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




Just sent my oldest of two to college yesterday. Cried on and off all day. I know I am supposed to feel excited for him but all these emotions are too much. Any suggestions


Sharon - posted on 08/26/2012




I know how you feel. I have one ( a daughter) that has just graduated college and is back home who didn't go to far (40 miles away but lived on campus), My son spent two years at a college 40 miles away but now has decided to attend college 4000 miles away. We live in Chicago and we just dropped him off at a college in Honolulu. It is hard to believe he is across the ocean and I agree sometimes the emotions are too much and I feel like you do but from experience it does get better. Keep yourself busy, find other moms that are going through what you are going through and talk it out. It is hard because the kids you have taken care of for 18 years are growing up and as a mom it is hard to step back. I try and remind myself that is what it should be and pretty soon it will feel liberating that they are on their own. Find some activities that interest you and get involved. It was hard for me at first to realize that I could finally do what I wanted to do without having to put the kids first. Right now, just ride it through and like I said it may not seem like it now, but it does get better. Best to you and your college student!


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Michelle - posted on 09/08/2012




I have 2 in college, and while one commutes, if you have good lines of communication it is much easier not seeing them daily. Just think, it's part of their development to becoming productive adults!

Jane - posted on 08/26/2012




Try this link.


When the son of mine who I posted about going to Frankfurt first went to college two years ago, I seemed to experience small steps of grief. Cried at night, missed him. Just let yourself go through the steps. Eventually, you will realize he will be okay, he's having fun (and don't you want him to be happy ultimately?) and it will all be okay. Times home will be special. I hate to say this, but eventually, when he comes back, you will see how he has changed, and you and your household have changes, and you both realize that of each of you, and then you will be happy when he goes back to school. I know this sounds harsh and you don't think that now, but it will, and I'm not being harsh. This past summer, it was so apparent how much he has grown and how much he was into having the constant social network source at school, availability of three square meals and food anytime he wanted (and then he comes home and grumbles there's no food at home and wants to be cooked for). We at home, parents and remaining children, are changing, our home dynamics are changing, the remaining kids are growing and changing, and he will come back and say things like "everything is different here now," not necessarily in a good way, as he is the one away and his perception is that home and the people in it suspend in time and all will be exactly the same when he comes back, and it won't, and he won't like it. He will give you advice on child-rearing the younger children, will complain about "I didn't get to do that," because our rules tend to relax with younger children.

Hope this helps a little. I think I will be going through some of the same and more now, with him leaving the country for a whole year, but we will see how it goes. Can't stop life, and I'm happy for him and I wish I could get to do all the things he's gotten to do. I also realize how I felt traveling. It was exciting, still is, so I have to remember those feelings too.

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