1. Focus on the positiveWhen your children are moving from home, it’s easy to focus on tear-jerking memories such as their first day of kindergarten. Instead, try to focus on how proud you are that they have graduated from high school and are starting a new chapter in their lives.

2. Talk to other parentsYour children probably aren’t the only students anxious about moving away to school, and you aren’t the only parent who is sad to see them go. Talk to other parents on move-in day about the experience, and chat with staff about any questions that are still bothering you.

3. Be supportiveWhether they admit it or not, your children are probably a little nervous about moving away. Being supportive of their decision is an important part of helping them adjust to their new surroundings. Let them know that you’re always there for them if they need help -- or just need to talk. Tell them that you will support and trust in the decisions they make away from home.

4. Give them spaceYou will inevitably miss your children at home, but calling them 20 times a day for updates will only drive them away. Give them a little space when they move out, but still keep in contact. A text to check in is a nice idea, but don’t expect them to always respond immediately. Remember, they have busy lives of their own now! Stopping by to visit every once in a while is a good idea, too; just make sure you give them notice. A surprise visit may catch them off guard.

5. Enjoy your freedom!Instead of spending all your time worrying about your child, get out there and do things yourself! Chances are, you have a bit more free time now. Enjoy it!

6. Expect changesYou will probably notice changes in your children’s behavior. They may not check in as frequently, or ask for as much help. Their schedules will change a lot as well. Most students have a day or two every week where they can sleep in or get off early. Take these changes in stride, and try to remain calm. If you freak out, they will too.

7. Send an email Send your children an email! Students these days do most of their communication online, so you might get a surprisingly quick reply (but don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of days). Email is also more casual than a call, so you can show you care without being too overbearing.

8. Send a care packagePut together a package of your children’s favourite foods, magazines and books. Students love to get care packages because it reminds them of home, and often, contain things that they really need!

Looking for more back-to-school tip sheets on topics from residence to student finances? Visit www.ryerson.ca/news/media/spotlight/bts2011/index.html

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 130,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca

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