What to Keep in Mind While You're Keeping in Touch
Discover how technology can keep you together during the college years.
By Kathryn Knight
July 06, 2010
You may be dropping your child off for college in a few weeks but you’ll by no means drop them from your life. Knowing what’s happening in your son or daughter’s life at school is more important than ever. They’re meeting new friends, taking on different interests, and challenging themselves in a unique academic setting. To combat these big changes, they need a constant—and that’s you, Mom and Dad.
By now, you already have a family plan. If not, it’s wise to invest in one. Your entire family can share one account, saving you a mess of bills and money. Typically, major cell phone carriers like AT&T and Verizon enable you to add an additional phone line on a family plan for less than $10 a month. Make sure your family plan provides long distance calling options as well as unlimited night and weekend minutes. Additionally, if you plan on spending a majority of your minutes on each other, ensure that your plan provides mobile-to-mobile options, which allows you unlimited phone time with other network customers, like your family members!
Let’s face it; you’re going to miss your child. You’ll even miss watching them drool all over your nice, living room sofa during their after school nap. Now, there is a way to see them anytime you want with video chat technology. From your home, you can Skype your child using a simple web camera that is mounted on your computer, permitting you to take a tour of their dorm room or help out with a tough Calculus question. Also, video chat them while you’re on the go with the new iPhone. The iPhone now has two cameras, one on the front and the other on the back, allowing you to show your son or daughter their favorite pet at home and switch instantly to your face again. This new feature is called FaceTime and with it, you can score more face time with your son or daughter at college.
While technology can connect you and your child instantly, snail mail is definitely a more fun and unexpected alternative. Surprise them in October with Halloween candy or in December with a stuffed stocking for their dorm room. It’s also great in those instances when your son or daughter calls to let you know they left their favorite pair of jeans at home during their last visit. The United States Postal Service offers flat rate shipping starting at $4.90, depending on your location. Just grab a box and whatever you can fit ships at a low price.
If you’re just beginning the college search process with your son or daughter, one of your priorities as a parent is transportation to and from campus as well as lodging. When the time comes to visit your child at their college campus, make sure you reserve a hotel room in advance. You may be visiting during a parent’s weekend or big homecoming game, meaning rooms are going to fill up fast. Also, ask local hotels how far in advance they book rooms for graduation weekends. They might allow you to reserve a room during your son or daughter’s freshman year, saving you a lot of stress and hassle when that time comes.
Sending your child off to college doesn’t have to weaken your relationship. In fact, with the technology and ease of shipping and trip planning, you can connect more with your son or daughter anytime you want. Whether they’ve just moved an hour away or across the country, keep in touch by keeping these simple tips in mind.