Sending your child off to college can wreck even the most steady, seasoned parents. Somehow nothing in your parenting repertoire prepares you for this. One minute you’re happy your child finally graduated high school and got into a university, and the next you’re trying not to sob at the thought of goodbye. One day you feel strong—hallelujah, you’re one step closer to an empty nest—then later you’re a crumpled mess.
Your teen probably feels anticipation (“I’ll finally be free of mom and dad!”) as well as uncertainty (“Will I be able to make it on my own?”).
How can you support and encourage your new college student when you’re a bona fide mess yourself?
My husband and I are doing this for the second time as we prepare to take our youngest to college in two weeks, but even on the second go-round, it feels like new territory. Helping our children take their first steps into independent adulthood can feel scary, yet we can trust the same God who led us during their growing-up years will continue to guide us now.
These 5 steps can help us keep ourselves intact and encourage our college student at the same time:
1. Entrust them into God’s Care.
Remember God cares for your child infinitely more than you do; even after your teen leaves home, God will watch over them. Pray intentionally each day to entrust your new college student into God’s loving hands. Ask the Lord to prepare them for their new adventure.
These verses from Psalm139 give me words to pray and put my worried mom heart to rest: