Ask Dr. Dobson


QUESTION: Our son will

be leaving for college next fall Is there anything we can do to help ease the transition from home to dorm life?

DR. DOBSON: For starters, author Joan Wester Anderson suggests that you make sure that your teen has the basic skills necessary to survive dorm life. Can he operate a washer and dryer, stick to a budget, handle a checkbook, get along with roommates, and manage his time wisely?

It's important as well to prepare your son for the negative aspects of campus life. Too often, adults present a rosy portrait of college as "the best years of life," which creates unrealistic expectations that lead to disappointment. Remind your son that homesickness is to be expected, and that he can call home collect anytime, just to chat. At a dime a minute after working hours, the costs of telephone usage should be within everyone's reach financially.

During the first semester away, letters and treats from home can ease the pain of separation anxiety. And be pleasant when that young man returns for visits. If he feels like an intruder, he just might decide to visit someone else's home for future vacations. Going away to college is a milestone for those who embark on that journey. With proper planning, it can be a positive time of growth for the whole family.

Send your questions to Dr. Dobson, c/o Focus on the Family, PO Box 444, Colorado Springs, CO 80903. These questions and answers are excerpted from books authored by Dr. James Dobson and published by Tyndale House Publishers. Dr. Dobson is the President of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the home. Copyright 1997 James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. International copyright secured