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Top 10 tips for parents about homesickness
- Don’t ask your student if he or she is homesick. The power of suggestion can be strong.
- Write—even if they don’t write back. Occasional care packages are huge emotional boosts.
- Ask questions, but not too many. Use honest, open ended questions.
- Don’t worry too much about stressed out phone calls or e-mails. You will likely hear about the failed test but not about successes.
- Visit on occasion—not too much—and call ahead.
- Keep a positive attitude about change. Avoid projecting the adjustment you are making onto your student.
- Validate feelings, then encourage.
- Avoid negative comments such as “Cafeteria food can taste bad” or “I hope your roommate isn’t a problem.”
- Use technology to stay in touch within reason: cell phone, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.
- Remain calm if the dreaded call comes: “I want to come home.” Help your student approach this as a young adult. Recommend resources such as the resident assistant, resident director, campus counselor, instructor, roommate, campus pastor, mod parent or coach.