Continued from my previous blog:
Hints you need to know to avoid the (tickets, roommate fall outs, cars getting towed, etc….)
1. If possible scope out the areas she/he will be living. Actually make the drive that they will be driving at the times they will be driving it. (more than once) My daughter moved 17 miles away from her school in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. We were thinking 30 mins max to get to and from. The reality is that at the best, if she hit no real traffic issues, she could make it in an hour and fifteen minutes, ONE way. When you figure it out, you should scope out the areas that are no more than 15 minutes away or less!
2. Once you decide on the neighborhoods you want to look for a place in, make sure that your kidlet will have a parking place! If you have to, budget it into the price! This is a must! A deal breaker, a non-negotionable comodity! Believe me, you will thank me for making this so important. I have stayed over night in my daughter’s studio apartment when she did not have a designated parking spot and she could spend an hour circling her block waiting for a spot that sometimes could be a ten minute walk away. After midnight, you don’t want to be picturing your baby making that walk, believe me! I couldn’t wait until that year’s lease was up!
3. Which brings me to rule #3 Have it crystal clear that you would like a say in the location before they sign a lease!!! Even though they may have a 4.0 gpa and be smarter than you. They don’t know what NO PARKING means when they see it on a lease. When the Manger is reassuring her that it is “no problem” and they are only looking at this cute little empty apartment they want to make their very own… well, lets just say you might need to look at the neighborhood they will be walking from when they finally find a parking place five blocks away. I know they KNOW more than we do and really don’t want our in-put but as long as you are footing some of the bill, set the boundaries before they snap their suit case shut. make sure that your in-put counts.
4. Keep the keeping in touch rule! My daughter texted me when she stepped inside her apartment every night for the first couple of years. All I asked is that she text me one word. HOME. I was told by my friends that I was lucky, I was told I was too controlling. I didn’t care. I wanted to know my baby was safe. I was blessed because she usually added I love you I’m Home. It made me feel better and later, she told me that it made her feel cared for. I got her a nice phone when she left and she was happy to accomodate me. Today she lives with someone who cares about if she is home safe or not so I feel that I can let go. But unitl that time, don’t feel bad that you care and if you set up the expectations early, you won’t be one of those parents fretting that you haven’t heard from your child for two weeks! But THESE are the kind of conversations you need to talk about before you make that drive with them to help them move out.
5. When you pack their first few tubs, here are some things you need to include; A tool box with a hammer, nails, a measuring tape, screw drivers, wrench, pliers, heavy duty scissors and a glue gun. And a Bible wouldn’t hurt! You can go grocery shopping when you get there. Don’t forget toilet paper, paper towels, contact paper or drawer liners, foil etc.. make a list before you pack of things you think they will need. Keep adding to it through out the days before you leave.
6. Choosing roomates is crucial. The shorter the lease the better in case things are just not tolerable.It is hard enough to send your excited baby off out into the big old world but when they are lonely and miserable, it is agony for us parents! If the choice is only strangers try to have your child get to know them on facebook or other cyperspace ways so that they can really get to know as much as they can to see if they will be a good fit. Sometimes when it isn’t it just has to be a growing experience for the kids but being pro-active is helpful.
7. When you choose the neighborhood, look for street sweeping signs or no parking signs and point them out. That first phone call of “Mom, my car was stolen!” can really wake you right up in the middle of the night. Chances are it was towed! Believe me… maybe more than once. And no matter how well you think you have taught your kid to be a defensive driver, those fender benders are bound to happen once or twice the first couple of years. If they dont~ Praise the Lord! If they do… don’t over-react and Praise the Lord, it wasn’t worse!
8. Have a budget for care packages! Or….get used to buying Target and Trader Joe gift cards (shipping charges are much cheaper in the end!) I know, I know, you want to make sure they have dish detergent and toilet paper but after buying the lastest bikini cover up and going withouyt toilet paper , they will get used to prioritizing! For some reason it always made me feel better if I sent a big jar of peanut butter and lots of cans of soups and tuna. Do you know how much that weighs?? Argh… I finally had to trust my little bird to buy the staples she needed without my guidance!
9. If they are going to work for extra money, start looking at the job market before they move. Chances are they will find a job on their own and should but it’s nice to know what to expect.
10. A nice gift to send them off with is a gas card, with strict limitations, (If they are hungry, there usually always is a little grocery section in every gas mart.) And if they are taking their car with them, AAA is a must. It is worth your peace of mind knowing your baby is safe!
Hope that helps… take it from a proud mom who has watched her baby learn to fly and then to soar. I am amazed at the levels she has risen to! But believe me, there were a few bumps along the way getting there and it would have been nice to have a book like… What To Expect When You Are Expecting …….. To Let Go.