For many parents, your teen is heading off to college to live in a dorm this year. This is an exhilarating time for your child. However, for parents, it is a bittersweet time, a nostalgic time. It is inconceivable to believe that your child is all grown up and ready to go out into the world without you by their side helping them with their judgments.

Even if your teen is not heading off to college, they will soon be transitioning into making their decisions independently and moving away from your watchful eyes. As overwhelming as it is, dry your eyes, as there is so much to do.

Take some time to make a list and think about all the details that must be handled over the next few weeks.

The following topics are a few to address by the end of the summer. It is best not to wait until the last minute and overload your teen. Instead, you might choose to tackle this list one by one.

  • Dental Care – including the wisdom tooth decision – extract only if necessary.
  • Contraceptives and Condoms – sexual safety
  • Health insurance and forms
  • Laundry Basics
  • Nutrition Basics – recipes – eating healthy at college
  • Alcohol and Drugs – symptoms of alcohol poisoning and overdose
  • Stress Management
  • Hygiene practices in a dorm setting.
  • Symptoms of serious health issues and how to handle them
  • Physical Exam and Vaccinations
  • First-aid tips

I know it’s a long list, and it may feel overwhelming. My twin boys are heading off this fall as well. It sneaked up on me, and we’re going to be busy this month.

If you feel you need help and want to arm your teen with valid information unlike what they may find with an internet search, you should check out my book, “The Dorm Doctor,” which is chock full of useful, accessible information for your teens when they need immediate answers. Most teens will get run down and sick those first months at school, so the book includes a symptom checker.

The Dorm Doctor College Health Handbook” is an excellent resource to aid the transition of your teen to the jungle of dorm life. This preparation should leave everyone feeling a little more relaxed and confident as you leave your teen behind to begin their college journey. 

Read the article in Parade magazine to learn more.