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How much contact do you have with your dc at university ?

(31 Posts)
3teens2cats Mon 03-Sep-18 06:13:18

Eldest ds, 18 is off to university at the other end of the country. He is really excited and I think I have done a reasonable job of hiding my own anxieties from him but I am going to miss him so much. Due to the distance it is unlikely that we will see him until Christmas, although a weekend home is not impossible.
I know we need to let go but how often do you think it is reasonable to contact him? My heart wants to text him everyday just to know he's alright and call atleast once a week. Is that overbearing or OK when they are living away for the first time?

snowsun Mon 03-Sep-18 06:17:32

I think that sounds fine. He'll let you know if it's not.
I text my son daily. Sometimes he replies sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he texts or rings first.
It's really hard.
Use little tricks to stop yourself worrying such as seeing when they were last active on messenger. Add him on snapchat.

CraftyGin Mon 03-Sep-18 06:20:44

I never heard from my boys unless they needed something.

My DD is good at communication. I might get a WhatsApp from her once a week and FaceTime every couple of weeks.

I flew up to see her a couple of times.

TanteRose Mon 03-Sep-18 06:27:58

My DD(20) is studying overseas for a year - she left two weeks ago, and we've spoken on the phone twice. I've texted maybe (goes to check)...ah, yeah I've texted every day grin blush
But she's not necessarily replied every day...

I guess because she's abroad and its the first time for her to live away from home (she commutes from home to her university here), I am a bit more anxious.

I imagine we'll settle down to a phone call once every couple of weeks, and texting a couple of times a week smile

3teens2cats Mon 03-Sep-18 06:29:16

Thank you. That's a good idea about checking messenger etc.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Mon 03-Sep-18 06:29:37

I probably have contact with my dses a couple of times a week. More if they want something...

Also Dh and I always go and stay in their university towns for a weekend once a term, and meet up for dinner and brunch the next day. That is really lovely.

PhilomenaButterfly Mon 03-Sep-18 06:34:03

None, but we're NC anyway. Not my choice.

Ditheringquietly Mon 03-Sep-18 06:55:41

We have a family whatsapp. I'm more likely to get a response if I send photos of the dog than 'are you ok?'messages.

SmartyPants0 Mon 03-Sep-18 07:08:51

Ditheringquietly... funny enough my DD was the same, i got more response if I sent a whatsapp pic of the dog... haha

SureIusedtobetaller Mon 03-Sep-18 07:13:41

Messages from dd most days and she facetimes the dog (with my assistance as he doesn’t have opposable thumbs) sometimes. Ds I would get a text to confirm his continued existence when I asked for it once a week but no chit chat!

useyourimagination Mon 03-Sep-18 07:15:49

Messages 4 or 5 times a week and Skype generally once at the weekend. Like PP she's studying abroad this year but when she's in the country it's pretty much the same except Skype becomes a phone call and she comes home once in term time for a weekend.

Lobsterquadrille2 Mon 03-Sep-18 07:18:38

I dreaded DD leaving as our family unit has always been just the two of us - only child and her father's never been involved at all. We are very close. We agreed before her first term that I wouldn't telephone her - she'd call me if she wanted to. She's now about to start her third year and I absolutely love my own space, as much as I like it when she is at home. We text every day, always have done, but there are often long gaps between texts if she's in lectures/I'm in meetings or busy at work.

She calls maybe two or three times a term, mainly if something is troubling her - but is then on the phone for two hours minimum, so I'm fine with it not being more often!

The first weekend alone was tricky but I made sure that I had loads of things planned. And this is generally a short term as well.

LaContessaDiPlump Mon 03-Sep-18 07:23:04

I went to uni in a different country to my DPs - my mum kept calling me at 7am local time to 'see how it was going' and I had to tell her to bloody stop grin it settled down to text messages once or twice a week in the end, if that. This was a long time ago mind you!

3teens2cats Mon 03-Sep-18 07:29:07

Thank you so much everyone. I had no idea what was normal. We chat all the time at home so will miss that. I suppose I should ask him what he wants too.

BackforGood Mon 17-Sep-18 00:19:14

I found I "chatted" a lot more with ds when he was at University, than when he is at home. When 'at' home, he is either out, or in his bedroom so I don't see him other than fleetingly in passing but when he is away at university, he tends to whatsapp quite a lot.

We also have (had for some time) various Whatsapp groups we are both in.... house family / extended family on my side / extended family on dh's side / etc so he appears in those occasionally.

In the first couple of weeks, you tend to get quite a few messages checking details on how to wash something (clothes) , or a cooking question grin. then quite a lot of the messages are him suddenly needing his National insurance number, or something nothing to do with him being disorganised.

Then I'd ask specific questions at the beginning....'Where are the other people in your flat from?'...... or 'What's your timetable like' type things so there is a specific question to answer.

Both mine send photos, and I do tend to "chat" by text or whatsapp about 3 times a week.

HildegardCrowe Tue 02-Oct-18 09:55:50

Happy to have found this thread....18 year old DD (only child) started uni just over a week ago. We are very close and she calls me her best friend. She appears to be having a ball which is great and although she says she's missing me, isn't homesick. So far we've had daily contact (she's been calling every other day) and we exchange a text or two every day. However I always struggle when I text/WhatsApp her and don't get a reply for several hours. I have an anxious personality and always think the worst and it can get to the point that I don't know what to do with myself and it affects what I'm doing.

How do you cope with this? I know in my rational mind that she's OK but catasrophising is second nature to me when it comes to my child.
Do you set some sort of response time with you son/daughter or just accept that they're busy/can't see the necessity to respond and sit tight?

ErrolTheDragon Tue 02-Oct-18 10:25:48

Our DD usually phones us once a week - when it suits her and she has time to chat. Between times odd texts or emails - if there's something interesting in the paper or a photo of the dog doing something particularly cute or weird.

If she's busy (work or fun stuff to do with pals) the phone calls are brief, but this summer when she was interning away from home she'd occasionally chat for long enough that we needed a loo break part way through!

Too far to visit her, I'm surprise how many parents seem to or kids going home for some weekends - I don't remember that being a thing when I was at uni and contact was queuing for a brief call on the pay phone or an occasional actual letter!

ErrolTheDragon Tue 02-Oct-18 10:28:42

Hildegard- on rare occasions when DD hasn't phoned us for longer than usual I may craft an email or text ending in some sort of question to which a brief response is appropriate.

Seeline Tue 02-Oct-18 10:31:15

I was at uni in the Dark Ages. I used to queue for the phone box once a fortnight to ring home, and wrote a letter once a fortnight. DM used to write weekly!

HildegardCrowe Tue 02-Oct-18 10:33:16

Thank you Errol. I too remember the days of phoning home once a week from a phone box that smelt of wee! I can't remember going home much in the holidays either. Great you've found a happy level of contact, am hopeful I'll get there too....

ApolloandDaphne Tue 02-Oct-18 10:41:07

My DD2 is at uni 350 miles away. She is terrible at keeping in touch. She only messages me when she wants to know something.

I message her every 3/4 days about random things. Pictures of the dog etc. She will respond briefly to these messages. I doubt I will actually speak to her before Christmas.

I am just pleased she is having a great time and doesn't feel the need to be in touch constantly.

TryItAndDieFatLass Tue 02-Oct-18 10:50:51

I check to see my DS has been online, if he hasnt for 18 hours I phone or message him. He spent the first weekend phoning me in tears because he was convinced he didn't fit in and begging me to pick him up (he has ASD and has never really mixed well). Since he started enjoying Freshers though the calls have become less frequent!

ErrolTheDragon Tue 02-Oct-18 10:51:31

Hildegarde - thinking about this a bit more, DH is somewhat of a catastrophiser; when DD was living in a less than ideal place this summer they established a quick check in the evening - basically he'd send a text in the evening 'OK?' To which she just needed to text back 'yup'.

Hopefully you'll adjust to her being away but if you're really struggling at first something like this might help?

PilarTernera Tue 02-Oct-18 10:55:57

We usually have a skype chat with dd once a week. In between we get a few messages on the family whatsapp group.

If I haven't heard from her in a while, my usual technique is to send a funny message about what I am doing or pic of the dog. That will get some kind of response, even if it's just an 'aww cute'.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 02-Oct-18 11:07:12

My DD1 went away 2 weeks ago. We have texted and whstspped every day. Many times. But we always did when she was home. We’ve FaceTimed a couple of times and called a couple of times more.

It’s tricky isn’t it? I don’t want her to think I’ve forgotten her or that I don’t miss her. Equally I don’t want her to think “leave me alone for goodness sakes”

I’ve found this thread really helpful and reassuring op that we are all worrying about the same things and feeling our way so thank you for starting it.

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