22 February 2018

Different ways of keeping in touch with your kids at college

You don't have to wait for a call from your grown offspring anymore. Nowadays you have a variety of ways to keep in touch.

A number of emotions can arise when kids go off to college and start their adult life.

Research done at the University of Kansas shows that being able to communicate through texting and other channels can help you feel more connected and have a more satisfying relationship with your grown kids.

Different methods of communication

Gone are the days when you had to wait by the phone for a call from your college student. Today you can send – and receive – text messages and emails anytime. And video chats let you have a "face-to-face" conversation, even when you're thousands of miles away from each other.

And the more mediums you use, the better. According to the Kansas survey results from nearly 370 participants aged 18 to 29, those with the most satisfying parent relationships used three different methods of communication.

Explore all these channels of communication:

  • Cellphone
  • Texting
  • Email
  • Video calls
  • Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat

Staying close

Another important survey finding was that dads often need to make more of an effort to use the more non-traditional tools – moms adopt them more easily. For parents who have a harder time with verbal communication, sending e-messages might actually be a comfortable way to reach out; to let your grown child know how much you care, and share information to stay close.

Finally, frequency counts. As surprising as it might sound, more communication is appreciated by college students. Especially when the messages are casual texts – like "good luck on that test" – just to maintain contact, rather than to convey important pieces of information.

A new lease on life

But what if you don’t communicate that often with your child? You still have a great relationship, but you don’t feel guilty about having your house to yourself again.

According to the American Psychological Association, having an "empty nest" isn't all bad, and new research suggests that many parents get a new lease on life when their children leave home.

Image credit: iStock


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