For some parents, it’s virtually impossible to see your son/daughter more than once a semester. It’s hard knowing that your son/daughter is 6 or more hours away from you no matter how you travel.
What can you do as a parent to help your son/daughter from a distance? Here are some strategies.
1. Use Skype or similar technologies to keep in touch. That way you’ll feel more in touch. You can also have a better visual sense of how your son/daughter is doing.
2. Try to find someone on campus or in the local community your son/daughter can turn to in case of an emergency. The person could be a mentor/advisor your son/daughter has gotten to know. It could be a nearby family member. It could also be someone you have known professionally or socially in the past. Generally people are happy to help out in these cases.
3. See the topic: Dealing with Homesickness to guide your student through these issues. Homesickness is natural and something that is quickly overcome.
4. Encourage your son/daughter to find friends who can become an effect a part of an extended family. Whenever possible, have your student share visits home with friends. For example your student and friend(s) might come to your home on one visit and spend time with another family or another visit. That way your student will have a break from campus.
5. Investigate whether the campus arranges transportation to major cities over breaks. Often campuses will set up chartered busses or flights when a number of students are travelling in the same direction to get home. This can cut down on the travel time getting back and forth from campus to home.
Generally these long distance problems tend to evaporate after a semester as students learn to adapt to their new environment. .