As you send your child off to college, it can be a bit overwhelming to make sure they have everything they need to stay safe, healthy and happy. Armed with the essentials and some handy phone numbers, they will have no problem navigating the maze that is university life. Take a deep breath and try these tips to ease the transition for your teen:
They've mastered driving (or so they think), but driving is only one small aspect of car issues they will face at college. At some point your teen will get a flat tire, forget to change the oil, lock their keys in the car, and definitely forget about a half eaten sandwich in their backseat. Try these solutions:
- Make sure they have a spare tire in the trunk ( equip and teach them how to change a tire themselves, or invest in road side assistance that they can call 24/7)
- Mark your calendar. Automotive centers recommend getting your oil changed every three to five thousand miles. Pinpoint when the last oil change was done (then average what your teen's daily usage should be) and when you think they are at 3000 miles, start calling. You may have to nag, but nagging is much better than the bill your child would be calling about if their engine fails.
- Research local automotive Locksmiths, like A-Okay Lock & Key Inc. If your son or daughter locks their keys in their car, one call will get them back in the car and driving. Have your teen program your findings into their phone so that they will never be stuck in a sticky situation for long.
- Speaking of sticky…buy cleaning products. Be it soda, sandwiches, or chocolate, the car is bound to get messy. Stock a basket in the trunk with cleansing wipes and air freshener, then kindly remind them they will have to pay to get it professionally cleaned if they don't keep up on cleaning.
Too Much Pink
Laundry is a learning process. Whites go together and darks go together, it seems simple, right? If your teen is buying cheap detergent without color protectors, then one red sock can destroy a load of whites. Drying their sweaters on high will be disastrous. Stay calm and ask them to memorize this simple mnemonic: SOS. Not exactly the 'save our souls' you may be thinking. These tips may seem obvious to a seasoned pro like you, but it's amazing how many college kids forget the basics of laundry.
- Separate: Divide and conquer. Make sure to emphasis separating colors, threatening their favorite clothing item is typically very convincing. Also, if you have an avid shopper on your hands, let them know if they don't wash the clothing before wearing it…their skin may also turn that color from excess dye.
- Overload: Unless you want a bill from the college for a broken machine, make your teen aware of the load size settings and how many clothes can be packed into one load (send them off with a few rolls of quarters so they aren't tempted to jam the machine full).
- Shrinkage: Throwing everything in the dryer on high will save time, but it will also make your teen feel like they have instantly gained the Freshman 15. A longer cycle on low, then a shorter cycle on high will only be slightly longer and will save your wallet from buying new clothes.
Now that your children are prepared to keep themselves properly clothed and protected from being locked out of the car, all you have to worry about is food. You may try to give them tips on eating…but it is safe to say there are many pizzas in their future. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet!