Once Your Student Has Left for School

  • Remember that once your college student has left, the family dynamic will change.  The sibling (or siblings) remaining at home will now have a new position in the family.  Perhaps responsibilities will change.  Perhaps activities may change.  Room arrangements may even change.  Be sensitive to the upheaval the sibling may be experiencing.
  • Consider giving the sibling a journal or notebook in which she can document important activities or thoughts to share with the college student when he returns.
  • Encourage the sibling to communicate with the college student through phone conversations, e-mail, snail mail or text messaging.  A younger sibling can draw and send pictures or school papers to share.
  • Encourage your college student to stay in touch with his sibling.  He can call or write, talk to his sibling when he calls home, or even consider letting a sibling visit campus if that is practical.
  • Allow a sibling to help prepare a care package to send to the college student.  She can think about what should be included and can help gather or make items.

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