The time after a child gets a college acceptance, but before he or she leaves for college, can be bittersweet. The child is ready to fly, scared to fly, can not wait to be on his or her own, but still needs lunch money, and so detachment begins.
Detachment makes the leaving home easier. I have seen thousands of children detach in my more than twenty-five years of teaching. I have also seen thousands of frustrated parents and students.
Signs to Look out For
Pushing the curfew limit
Drop in grades
Being less help around the house
Extend the curfew (soon there will not be one at all)
Limit the funds your child can access
Keep a sharp watch on the grades, but unless the drop will affect the college acceptance, try not to say much or overreact
Hug your child, a lot
Talk about what is going on
Be consistent, consistency is security in a changing world of a soon to be college freshman
Remember, you are the adult
Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes
Try to visit the college a few times together and explore and discover it together
Do not make idle threats
Do not say things you may regret
Do not burn bridges
Do not lower your standards with behavior expectations just because the child will soon be gone
Do not think this behavior will continue after your child leaves home
Your child is thinking that if he or she is angry with you, then leaving you will be easier. Your child is scared, but excited. The door to the great unknown is getting ready to open, but you are not going through the door with him or her.
Be calm, try to be consistent, and try to make the memories of this time positive. You will all live through this time, I promise you.