Missouri mother Mindy Horwitz, like many parents, had to adjust when her kids left home for college. She founded mindyKNOWS, an organization that helps guide young adults through the ups and downs of college life.
MindyKNOWS began in 2019 after Horwitz’s son went to college nearby. She began to notice that other parents were worried about their students who were attending college far from home.
“Every day, they’d ask where to get a birthday cake for their student or where to get chicken soup if their student was sick,” she said. “It occurred to me that as local parents here in St. Louis, we had an opportunity to help.”
She shares several tips:
Encourage your child to try new things. College can be a hard transition for many students as they leave their hometown, friends and family. but Horwitz recommends encouraging them to keep pushing to find new, exciting things to do. “Suggest that they join a club, take a class on a topic that is not in their field of study or try new foods,” she said.
Give kids the space they need — when they need it. Often, students can either take one of two approaches to communicating with their parents throughout the college years: constant communication or ghostly silence. “Let them know that you are happy to talk with them at any time, but follow their lead and don’t be that parent that calls every day or even every week to check up on your child,” she said.
Celebrate your child’s accomplishments, no matter what. “Even when kids are far away and doing their own thing, parents can show love and support by sending an occasional treat and message of love to support their child,” she said.
Horwitz said this could be for doing well on an exam, getting a Greek life bid or making a competitive club group, among other things. “Send them a treat or special note to make them feel good and supported by their family,” she said.
More information is available at www.mindyknows.com.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice