Congratulations! Your daughter is off to boarding school where she’ll be surrounded by new intellectual opportunities, have access to world class facilities, and be able to dive deeply into her passions whether that’s geeking out on the Robotics team or practicing her shot.
We understand, we’re parents too.
We expect you may be anxious as she starts her new life as a boarding student because you want to be sure to stay connected as a family. Here are sure fire tips to follow now to prepare for a smooth transition.
Figure Out Your Communication Plan, Now
Is it an Instagram post to start the day? Will you start every morning off with a joke or funny cartoon, send a text after practice, and FaceTime on Sunday mornings?
Yes, our kids do want to hear from us - but on their terms so don’t expect her to reply instantaneously. Remember, her boarding school will have different standards than your local public school and in all probability she won’t have access to messages until after classes end for the day.
No really, we mean it.
Which leads us to our next tip…
You know the joke, our kids walk around with mobile phones but nobody makes calls and it’s true. Explore the internet beyond Facebook. Get really comfortable with texting (but not while you drive). Send a picture of the dog looking goofy. But here’s the thing, don’t stalk your child. Don’t comment on her posts, instead, be sure your communication is through private contact.
Share funny news, but nothing too funny, or she may feel left out. What she’s doing is big and important and she needs to focus her energy on her school work. After all, that’s why she’s there.
We know you have a ton of questions you want to ask her but try to ask one question a day and phrase it as “Tell me about….” to encourage her to open up. But again, she’s focussed on mastering AP Calculus or learning her lines for the fall musical (or both!). As hard as it is, don’t send her on a guilt-trip for a return text. She’ll soon model your texts and send you funny pictures, share your favorite inside joke, or tell you about the Biology lab she aced today.
Who doesn’t love a package from home? Fill it with favorite snacks, a book, fuzzy socks, or a new refillable water bottle. Make sure to follow the school rules for what’s allowed in the dorm rooms.
Still looking for more tips? Check out our post on Tips for Staying Connected with Your Son at Boarding School.