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Residence Life at Messiah College

10 Tips about Homesickness

 

1. Don't Bring It Up! Don't ask your child if he or she is homesick. The power of suggestion can be strong.


2. Write-even if your child doesn't write back. Occasional care packages are huge emotional boosts. Even the smallest package or letter during a stressful time can be exceedingly encouraging.


3. Ask generalized questions such as, "How are your classes?" or "Are you having a good time?" These are great questions that will get better answers than "What is your roommate like?" (he or she may be listening) or "Are you staying out of trouble?" All in all, the less you ask, the more he will tell. Be sure to give verbal feedback so your child knows you have heard what they shared.


4.Listen, but Don't Stress. Don't worry too much about stressed out phone calls or e-mails. You will likely hear about the failed test but not about successes.


5. Let's Visit! Visit on occasion-not too much- and call ahead. Suprise visits can be stressful for the student rather than enjoyable.


6. Your Attitude is Critical! Keep a positive attitude about change. Avoid projecting the adjustment you are making onto your child. Of course, you will miss her, but this is a very jubilant, yet apprehensive, tim in her life.


7. Listen and Respond. Validate feelings, then encourage.


8. No Negativity! Avoid negative comments such as "Cafeteria food can taste bad." or "I hope your roommate isn't a problem."


9. Use technology to stay in touch within reason: cell phone, e-mail, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc.


10. Urge your Child to Stay on Campus. Remain calm if the dreaded call comes: "I want to come home." Help your child approach this as a young adult. Recommend on campus resources such as the Resident Assistant, Resident Director, Campus Counselor, professors, roommate, Campus Pastor, or coach.