A mother and daughter hug by a car packed full of college dorm room moving supplies

Prepping Kids for College

Sending kids to college has always been REALLY hard for me. I am not one of those moms who is excited when my kids move out. It is too quiet, and I miss them!

I have sent all 3 of my kids to college – and they have moved back in and out since then. I call them my boomerang kids.

When my kids were growing up, they would get mad because I would teach them to do things for themselves. I would tell them they would thank me later!

They were frustrated, but I'd remind them I was not going to college with them, so they needed to learn how to do laundry, cook, make doctor's appointments, take their asthma medicines, and more.

Managing their asthma

We did the typical college tour with our kids and looked for the student health center. We stopped to look at the sign on the door to see the hours they were open and the fees. I could not believe it was only $10!

I made sure my kids knew how to call the student health center and make an appointment. (Sounds simple, but if you have never done it, and your parent always called to make your appointments, it might be hard!) They also programmed the student health center number into their phones.

I also made sure they knew how to call in refills for their inhalers and nebulizer solution. And I made them PICK UP their prescription. I'm a mean mom, right?

When they moved too far away, they had to find a pharmacy close to their apartment and call and transfer their prescriptions.

Prepping college living spaces

Student housing can be a little scary, and I would cringe while I walked through my kids' apartments. We have gone to a lot of work to make our home allergy- and asthma-friendly, but there is only so much you can do with a student apartment.

All of my kids' apartments were unfurnished, so we had to move in EVERYTHING for them. I started saving things while they were in high school- so we had extra mixing bowls, dish towels, bath towels, silverware, and more.

I bought a new couch for each of my kids, but I made sure they aired out first so there would not be any off-gassing.

For their bedrooms, they each took their own bed, mattress-pad cover, pillowcase cover, and a standing air cleaner.

Since the apartments were old and run down, they did not have exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen. I told my kids to open the windows for 10 minutes after showering or cooking. It is easier to prevent mold than to fix it!

They each bought a HEPA vacuum to keep the carpet clean (if that was possible – the carpet was REALLY old).

I bought food containers and chip clips and taught them to wash their dishes before bed, wipe off the counters, and take out the trash. I made sure they knew it was important to "take away the food and water source" for roaches and mice by keeping the kitchen VERY clean.

I also checked to see how often the landlord changed the furnace filter.

Self-sufficient kids

Did they survive on their own? Yes. Did I worry about them? Also yes.

Are they self-sufficient? Yes. And thanking me for teaching them to do things on their own, because their roommates are clueless? Also, yes.

Was anyone else a "mean parent" for teaching their kids how to take care of themselves, and manage their asthma?

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