Oct

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5 Things I Learned When My Teen Went to College

by Migdalia

My teen left for college in August. It was, and still is, one of the most bittersweet moments of my single parenting journey. I’m so very proud of him, more than words can ever say. Yet, a small part of me wishes… he could have stayed a boy forever.  I know this is selfish of me. I do not own him, never did. God just let me borrow him. So every morning I send out a prayer, and maybe a text, to let him know how very proud I am of him and the man he is becoming.

I’ve also learned a few things during these past few months, 5 to be exact, that I wish someone had mentioned to me before I started this journey.   They’ve helped me transition from the Mom of a teen to the Mom of a young adult, allowing me to let go and let God. If you have any other suggestions you would like to share, let us know in a comment!

 

1. The missing doesn’t go away, but it does become bearable.
Stay busy during the first few weeks/months your teen leaves for college. Reconnect with a lost hobby or passion. It will  not only make the time pass quicker, it will also help you reconnect with the person YOU were before you had children.

2. Do not call everyday. 
This may sound counter-productive to what you’ve done in the past as a parent; however, if you laid the foundation in their formative years, you need to trust that they will draw on that during this time. My teen and I decided we would talk once a week, unless there is an emergency. We set a time and stick to it. This allows him to become independent, helping him to transition to from a young adult to an actual adult.

My son recently told me:

“Some of my friends’ parents call them everyday. It bothers them… I’m glad you don’t.”

I agree. I’m glad I don’t either.

3. Your parenting has not ended, it has entered another stage.
Although your teen is no longer at home, your job as a parent has not ended. It may have changed from a daily job, overseeing most aspects of his or her life, but it has not ended. It has entered a new stage, one that combines parenting with friendship. Cherish this new stage, nurture it, as you would any other important friendship. How? By knowing the difference between telling and leading. Listen and guide. The response you receive will most likely exceed your expectations.

4. Actively listen.
It seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? To listen means you must be quiet, while active means you are in motion, so how can you “actively listen”? First, remove all distractions when they call, or as many as possible, so that you can absorb and reflect on what is being said. Second, listen to the words, spoken and unspoken, as well as the intonations. Third, respond and ask questions as needed. Just make sure your questions are not being construed as an interrogation.

5. Social media is a parent’s best friend.
As a blogger I love social media, but as I’ve mentioned before, I became involved with social media because of my teen. It allowed us to connect. It allowed me into his world. Each platform, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, allowed me to see a different side of him, and still does. As a parent, social media is your best friend. It gives you a glimpse into worlds you wouldn’t have access to; as a result, you should join and follow your children on social media. Read, listen and watch for any issues. Just make sure you do not invade their space with baby pictures and Mom-expressions without their permission!

 

Let’s talk! If you have any other suggestions you would like to share, let us know in a comment! I’m sure our readers would appreciate the advise.

♥ If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy: 4 Tips to Deal With Back-to-School Stress ♥

 

Share and Enjoy. Go ahead, you know you want to.

    About the Author

    Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and two Australian Shepherds. When not chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media. Migdalia gets her glam on as a Glambassador. She also knows that beauty begins on the inside; as a result, she promotes heart health as a Go Red for Women and Go Red Por Tu Corazon Spokesperson, the Spanish version of Go Red.

    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá October 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I’m so happy for you and your young adult and Thank You!… Thank you for raising such a great kid and showing us your little secrets!… I love the part where you say:
    “you should join and follow your children on social media. Read, listen and watch for any issues. Just make sure you do not invade their space with baby pictures and Mom-expressions without their permission!”
    You ROCK!
    Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá recently posted..Muestra GRATIS del café Fair Trade de Green Mountain Coffee

    2 Eileen October 3, 2012 at 4:59 am

    What a great piece!!!
    You are blessed to have one another!!!
    Hugs!!!!
    Eileen recently posted..Ser Niña- The Memories that PaperSaltUSA Books bring to mind

    3 Marcy Kennedy October 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Fabulous! Happy for him and you! You’re such and awesome mom!

    4 Ruby October 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    great tips! I think the journey as a parent after your kids leave the home is one that takes a while to adjust to I know my parents had a hard time especially since i was the oldest. It got a little harder when i moved out of state too. You are doing amazing already!
    Ruby recently posted..Halloween Fun in NJ & PA

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