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Keeping connected with your college student

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Staying in touch

Your college student is packing up and ready to head out into the world, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be in touch. We have a ton of different technologies at our fingertips, all of which can help you keep in touch with your college-age kiddo.

college student texting

Cell phones/texting

It’s obvious you can use cell phones to call your college student, but he may not be free to take a call every time you’re ready to talk. For communication that’s more convenient to him, use your cell phone for texting. It’s a great way to send a quick message, no matter what he’s doing. No matter how grown he is, you son will love reading an “I love you” text from his mama, whether he’s in class, at work or hanging out with his friends. It’s also great for asking a simple question like, “Where do we keep the flash drives?” without pulling him away from something important. Unless there’s a pressing matter, stick to texting and let him initiate most of the phone calls.

Email

If you have a lot to say, send an email. She’ll love sitting down to read it when she has a chance. She’ll probably save it and read it again later, when she needs a touch of Mama in her day. Consider writing one at night, so she’ll have a nice, cheery note when she wakes up.

Social networking

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are a great way to keep in touch with your college student. The constant updates make it easy to know where she is and what she’s doing at all times, and pictures will make you feel like you’re right there with her. Just a glance at the screen will let you know whether she’s having a good day or a bad one, and probably why. Features like instant messaging and private messages make it even easier to keep in touch.

Your posts and updates are also a great way for her to keep tabs at what’s happening on the home front. She’ll love reading how everyone is doing and seeing photos of the people and places she’s probably missing.

There is a bit of etiquette you should keep in mind when it comes to the social networking relationship you have with your college kid. There’s a fine line between observing her posts and Facebook stalking, and she’ll pick up on it quickly if you cross the line. Let her initiate the friend request, and don’t comment or “like” everything she posts. As hard as it may be, refrain from posting cheesy comments on her wall, or you may find yourself at the receiving end of a block or "unfriending."

Video chat

Sometimes, the phone calls and emails just don’t cut it anymore. Some days, you just need to see his face. Sites like Skype offer video chatting free of charge, letting you have face-to-face conversations, no matter how far apart you are. Make sure you both have downloaded the program, and then arrange a time for a little face time. It’ll brighten any day!

Quick Tip

When in doubt, send a text. Ask her if she has time for a phone call or a Skype, and if not, set up a time for later.

More back-to-school tips from SheKnows

Mom secrets for the first day of school
Back-to-school shopping tips for moms
School year budget tips for moms

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