For most parents, seeing a child go off to college – whether it’s their first, second, last, or only – is a very bittersweet experience. And often they feel like they’re being left behind, especially when seeing their kids having all these new experiences and not needing them anymore. Here are a few things you can to do make sure your parents know how much they mean to you.
1. Give them a call! Or, at the very least, and for those more tech-savvy parents, a text. Especially when you don’t actually need anything, like money. Just a simple “Hey, what’s up?” would probably make their day. Just chat with them for a while. It doesn’t have to be a 24/7 conversation, unless you wish it to be, but just a reminder that you’re still thinking about them.
2. Going along with that, talk to them. I mean, really talk to them. You don’t have to tell them about every second of every day, but share stories about your classes, friends, roommates, and new experiences. Chances are, you’ll actually have stuff to talk about nowadays with all the things you’re doing. And it’s definitely a step up from the “How was your day?” “Fine.” days of high school.
3. Visit them sometimes. I’m sure there are plenty of fascinating and fun things going on at college during the weekends, but it won’t kill you to miss a few parties once a month and head home for the weekend, if you’re able to. Your parents will enjoy having you back for that little bit, but it’s not long enough for them to remember why they were slightly happy to see you go out on your own. Or, if you don’t have a way to get back home easily, or just don’t want to miss out, invite your parents up to your university for a day. Take them out to lunch in the dining hall (or get a free lunch out from them!) and show them around the campus and your dorm.
4. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, etc. You don’t have to send a gift for every milestone, but just remembering these things and acknowledging them,or even sending a card, will really show your parents you care. It will be a nice little memento and will really mean a lot to them. Plus it gives them bragging rights with their friends, and who wouldn’t want that?
5. Say it! This is probably the most obvious and the most overlooked answer. If you don’t tell your parents you love them, how are they going to know? It doesn’t have to be a big production, especially if you’re not used to doing so. But when you end a conversation over text or on the phone, just nonchalantly throw it in there. It’ll probably make them feel really great, and make their day (or week) just that much better.