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As parents, we often painfully anguish over how these helpless creatures are ever going to survive in life.

If we keep rescuing them, they won’t.

Here are some suggestions from a college counselor to help parents adjust to the “loss” of their teen to college. They may be helpful to ALL parents in order to help our teens become self-sufficient adults…

How Can We Let Go?

1. announce publicly to our teen (and the other children) that we’re letting go 

2. admit it’s OK to be sad and happy at the same time

3. take time to let the pain of separation hurt

4. live the family routine differently reinvest all the energy directed toward our teen into other things, especially redirect our attention to our spouses

Why Should We Let Go?

1. Kids cannot see what they can do by themselves if we parents are always there to direct them. Let go to allow independent thought and action BEFORE they go off to college. That way, if they do make mistakes, we can discuss this and help them to learn alternative actions for the future.

2. They will have NEW FREEDOMS & NEW ROUTINES at college. Letting go helps them to prepare for these major changes without going off the deep end. So they can learn new things and learn how to handle things on their own. They have to learn how to manage their resources differently (time, energy, money).

3. Make sure they have a checking account at least a year prior to leaving for college so they will have plenty of time to learn how to balance it and maintain it.

4. We won’t give in – we won’t rescue them if they get in a bind with money, etc. Give them time to work it out on their own! If they ask for our help, we will offer suggestions for solving money, time problems, etc.; but we won’t solve the problems for them.

Because parents need a life, too!