Sending off your child to college and away from home is intense for every parent. Moreover, birthdays are even more overwhelming when you can see your child on their special days.
However, despite all the physical distance, there’s always an endless list of activities, plans and ideas you can try to make the day special.
With several online services, you can send flowers to Prague and other countries along with gifts and notes.
But, this article will take these special days a step further. We understand the excitement and despair parents and children share when they have to spend special days away from each other.
Therefore, we will provide some tips and ideas on distance parenting and how to make the most of every moment.
Keep reading and figure out how to celebrate your college-bound child’s best birthday by staying away from home!
Long Distance Parenting: How To Do It?
When parents and their children live far apart from each other, it can be tough to stay close. This can make them feel like they’re missing out on important moments and it’s not fair.
However, just because they’re far away doesn’t mean you can’t have a good relationship. You can still feel emotionally connected to your children by staying in touch.
You can do things together like the following:
- Playing games online.
- Watching movies.
- Reading the same book.
With these activities, you can stay in constant touch. Moreover, it makes you and your child feel like you’re still part of each other’s lives.
However, you have to be smart about reaching out, putting in some effort, and maybe even making some sacrifices.
Secondly, for collegegoers, you want to be there for your kid, but you also want to give them their space.
In this case, building trust from both ends is a necessity. Therefore, try to be friendlier with your children when they are away from home. Finding a confidant in their parents is the best thing for any child.
Lastly, when you do get to visit, make the most of it! It might mean missing out on some other stuff, but trust me, it’s worth it. A strong relationship with your child is something special.
With toddlers and preschoolers, you have no don’ts when celebrating their birthdays.
However, when it comes to your 18-21 year old children, you need to follow some rules.
But that shouldn’t be completely bad. We all want our children to thrive in their lives and, thus, send them to study abroad.
Therefore, its best you first understand what you cannot do/expect before planning what you can do to make their birthdays special.
Given below are some of the no-nos you must follow to maintain peace on both shores—
1. Do Not Arrive Unannounced
You will want to see your child on their birthday. Parents often go out of their way to make things happen when it comes to their children.
However, knocking on their dorm door at 7 am may not be the best surprise once your child goes off to college.
This act may seem more like a privacy breach or trust issue to a 21-year-old collegegoer.
Therefore, resist the urge and switch to the boons of internet! Video calls and Facetime may not fulfill your tactile cravings, but its time to accept your child is an adult.
2. No Emotional Blackmailing
If you’re a parent, you’re emotional when it comes to your kids. Moreover, you must remember that your kids, too, feel overtly emotional when it comes to their parents.
In that case, stay away from statements like the following:
- “Oh! You’ve forgotten us.”
- “You don’t love your parents.”
- “So your friends are more important?”
- “You don’t want to spend your time with us?”
- “You’ve distanced yourself after you left for college.”
It is okay for parents to feel these things. However, hearing these statements on their birthday does not make it absolutely fun for them either.
Therefore, it’s best for parents to keep these emotions to themselves and be supportive.
No matter where they are or how exciting their plans are, your child will miss home on this day. And emotional talks can only make their day worse.
3. Do Not Force Them To Come Home
Although deep down, you’re expecting your kin to feel miserable for having to spend birthday away from home, they aren’t.
They do miss you and wish things were like before. However, life away from home and college excites them equally!
Collegegoers do not always want to run back home when they can party with their friends. You know that. You’ve been there once.
So, it’s best not to keep nagging them to return home on their birthday if they are unwilling.
4. Do Not Expect Honest Answers For Their Birthday Plans
Well, a college goer might not want to share exactly how they plan to spend their birthday away from home.😐
Therefore, it is best not to expect absolute honesty when they say, “Nothing much!”
Moreover, it is redundant to keep asking them about their plans. Your child is old enough to understand their personal safety.
Therefore, fight your trust issues here! Believe they are lying! Relax! And just drop a text the next morning to see when they wake up.😉
5. Never Forget The Date!
We know parents prioritize their children above most things. However, it is not impossible for parents to miss a thing or two once in a while.
Parents can be forgetful. And if you’re a parent to a college-goer, you’re aging as well.🙁
If at all, you forget your child’s birthday when they are away from home, your child will never complain. At the same time, it can bring some of the most devastating questions to their mind.
“Did mum and dad forget me?”
That can be childish for a college student. However, we all start acting and expecting like infants on our birthdays.
Therefore, considering your probability of forgetting the date, you can put your children’s birthdays on your calendar.
Birthday Plans For Your Children Living Away From Home
Now that you know what not to do, let us check out all the plans you can make. So, keep reading to know how you can make your adult child’s birthday special—
Pre-Plan A Family Vacation
Since you must resist the urge to surprise, a pre-planned family vacation can be a great option.
It is your child’s birthday. Therefore, the best way to plan it is to let them select the destination, hotels and activities.
This makes the trip more enjoyable and helps your child learn to take up new responsibilities. All you need to do is set the budget.
With this amazing plan, you’ll be surprised to see how your child grows into a responsible individual.
Moreover, as parents, you may lag behind with the latest technologies and their uses. However, collegegoers are not all about making reels and staying addicted to social media. This will allow you to watch and learn how they use technology to smoothen your family vacation.
Additionally, you can arrange a small party to celebrate their birthday.
So relax and enjoy a beautiful time with your family.
Plan A Wine Tour
Now that your child has reached the official drinking age, why not take their spirits for a spin?
A wine tour with your adult child can be a magical experience. With loads of family banter, light mood and relaxation, this can help you bond better. On this tour, you can truly shatter the walls between your parent-child relationship and come closer as individuals.
Some of the best locations you can visit for wine tasting are the following:
- Napa County, San Fransisco.
- Tuscany, Italy.
- Bordeaux, France.
- Mendoza, Argentina.
- Champagne, France.
- Alentejo, Portugal.
Make all arrangements and pre-book your tour for the best experience. However, just one reminder: don’t get too drunk.😛
Sponsor A Vacation With Friends
Everyone wants to be the coolest parents. Every parent spends thousands of hours brainstorming on this idea.
However, with your college-going child’s birthday approaching, you have the opportunity!
Sponsor a great vacation for your child and their friends. This is one of the best gifts you can get your child. However, the key here is trust.
If you know your child and trust them, you can even consider sponsoring a trip to Vegas with their friends.
This celebration plan can build trust from both ends. If your child realizes how much you trust and care about them, it will make them feel special.
Moreover, when you sponsor the trip, you have some control over their whereabouts. In cases of emergencies, you will know where to get the information.
So, go ahead and plan this celebration and become the cool parents you always dreamt of being!
Midnight Cake And Pizza
Who doesn’t like a cake and a pizza? No one!
At midnight, the sweetest celebration is sending a cute cake and pizza to your child’s hostel dorm. Moreover, you know how your child likes their pizza and favorite cake flavor. So stick to that information!
It reminds your child of the caring bonds back at home.
Furthermore, you can make it a celebration by video calling them and maybe having the same cake and pizza together at your place.
Sing them “Happy Birthday,” stay on call while they cut the cake, and then enjoy a little virtual party!
Send Home-Made Food
One thing every child misses when they leave home for college is home-cooked food. Nothing beats the taste of their parent’s love!
You might not hear this from them every day, but your child misses you at every meal.
Therefore, cook their favorite meal, pack them well, and find a trustworthy delivery service to send the food to your child.
You can add a small letter with the package wishing them a happy birthday and good luck. However, if you’re sending the package far away, ensure it is not perishable.
Another great plan is to send them one of your best secret recipes and the ingredients. So they can prepare the meal and find the magical taste by themselves.
Schedule A Family Movie Night
If you’re missing your child who’s away for college on their birthday, plan a virtual movie marathon just like the old days!
To get started, choose a movie your child loves or one they’ve wanted to see for a while.
Next, coordinate with the rest of your family members. You must decide on a specific date and time for everyone to gather to watch the movie.
Furthermore, send your child a care package with favorite snacks or treats to enjoy during the movie.
This thoughtful gesture will show your child that you’re thinking of them. Moreover, it helps create a sense of togetherness and makes them feel appreciated, even far away from home.
Make A Video Collage
Another special way to celebrate your child’s birthday when they are away is to create a wonderful video collage.
This video will evoke cherished memories and show them just how much you care.
Therefore, to make this happen, start by gathering pictures and videos of your child. Capture memorable moments such as family gatherings, vacations, or special occasions.
Once you have your collection, use editing software or apps to compile them into a beautiful video.
Moreover, you can personalize the video by adding heartfelt messages or their favorite songs in the background.
This thoughtful and creative gift will surely make your child feel loved and missed on their special day. Additionally, it allows you and your child to relive the moments that mean the most to them.
Plan & Send Snail Mails
“Snail mail” refers to traditional mail sent via postal service rather than electronic mail.
Snail mail is a traditional method of communication. However, in today’s era, this has become a source of poking your nostalgia.
Imagine your child receiving a heartfelt letter from you on the day of their birthday. With the ease of modern communication, these old techniques exhibit care and love at once!
Moreover, it allows you to add personal touches such as handwritten notes or small gifts. Thus, this makes the experience more meaningful and memorable for your child.
Therefore, consider embracing snail mail as a unique way to connect with your college-bound child on their special day!
Don’t Let Distance Meddle With Your Love!
Distance parenting may require patience, effort, and understanding. However, it is a worthwhile investment in maintaining a strong bond with your child.
Therefore, considering what not to do, let’s concentrate on crafting positive and memorable experiences for our children.
With the help of these tips and ideas, you can create a birthday celebration that your college-bound child will cherish forever.
Nothing can replace being together in person. But we can still make the most of the situation and demonstrate our love and care for our children.