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Topic : 10/11 College Chaos

Number of Replies: 102
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, October 07, 2005, 03:40:09 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Sending kids away to college should be a cause for celebration, but for some parents it's a cause for worry and sadness. Dr. Phil and Robin share their journey as they move their younger son, Jordan, away to college. Next, Becky is so obsessed with keeping a close watch on her 18-year-old daughter, Molly, she doesn't let her stay out past 11:00, is constantly calling her, and has even considered packing her bags and going to college with her! Can Dr. Phil help Becky learn ways to cope without a child in the house? Plus, nine female college roommates drink excessively, fight constantly, and their neighbors call the police on them at least twice a month!  Talk about the show here.

 

Find out what happened on the show.

 

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October 11, 2005, 7:26 am CDT

Been there

It has been a while since our sons left the nest. I just want to let parents know that our children had better know how to make good choices for themselves BEFORE they leave for college, or whatever. We can help them by allowing them to make small choices from the time they are very young. Something as simple as what they want for breakfast is an opportunity to learn. We would of course give them three choices that are doable and acceptable to us. My older son is chronically ill, so I needed to set limits. Hang in there, Robin, it took a while for us to fully appreciate our empty nest. Cindy
 
October 11, 2005, 7:29 am CDT

It really WILL be okay.

I often think that no mother ever loved her children as much as I do, but I know that every mother feels that way! 

  

When it was time for our older son to go to college, I was just plain scared. I wasn't sure if he was prepared, or if he would survive on his own, even though my husband and I had worked very hard to prepare him for adulthood. It's just the same old thing that's always the most frightening: the unknown. 

  

He did great, and I started to enjoy the journey with him. Each time he came home (about every 2-3 weeks), he had matured in a new way. He had gained insight into yet another new facet of life. We were in almost daily contact through email, but I tried VERY hard to let him initiate it, so it wouldn't seem that I was checking up on him. 

  

Two years later our younger son left for college. This time I wasn't as nervous, because I knew a couple of things for sure: he would also mature and adjust and do fine; and I would be fine too. 

  

My husband and I rediscovered what being a couple is again. I had been nervous about that, too. I would picture us sitting across the dinner table from each other and wondering, "Who ARE you?" But that didn't happen. We LOVED our together time. Yes, it was deafeningly quiet. Yes, sometimes I missed the boys so much it hurt. But it was fun to be "two" after 20 years. 

  

Now that our older son has been out of college for 18 months and our younger one is a senior, I look back and wish I could have known how really well it would all work out.  

  

What I learned was that by nurturing a close relationship with our boys while they were growing up, I was able to maintain a close relationship with them even when they were in the most "independent" phase of their lives: the college years. Never once did I feel shut out of their lives. They still come to us when they needed us. They never acted "put out" when they were here with us. 

  

Now, it's just the best: we all relate to one another as adults and I'm not sure how it could be better. I guess I would hope that every mom and dad could get through that initial phase of the empty nest with the reassurance that everything WILL be okay. I tended to be a hovering mother ... a worrywart ... but I exerted some self-control and trusted the boys, and yes, it was fine. I hope it will be for everyone here, too! 

  

  

 
October 11, 2005, 7:52 am CDT

Thank you!

Quote From: ibdhappy1

I often think that no mother ever loved her children as much as I do, but I know that every mother feels that way! 

  

When it was time for our older son to go to college, I was just plain scared. I wasn't sure if he was prepared, or if he would survive on his own, even though my husband and I had worked very hard to prepare him for adulthood. It's just the same old thing that's always the most frightening: the unknown. 

  

He did great, and I started to enjoy the journey with him. Each time he came home (about every 2-3 weeks), he had matured in a new way. He had gained insight into yet another new facet of life. We were in almost daily contact through email, but I tried VERY hard to let him initiate it, so it wouldn't seem that I was checking up on him. 

  

Two years later our younger son left for college. This time I wasn't as nervous, because I knew a couple of things for sure: he would also mature and adjust and do fine; and I would be fine too. 

  

My husband and I rediscovered what being a couple is again. I had been nervous about that, too. I would picture us sitting across the dinner table from each other and wondering, "Who ARE you?" But that didn't happen. We LOVED our together time. Yes, it was deafeningly quiet. Yes, sometimes I missed the boys so much it hurt. But it was fun to be "two" after 20 years. 

  

Now that our older son has been out of college for 18 months and our younger one is a senior, I look back and wish I could have known how really well it would all work out.  

  

What I learned was that by nurturing a close relationship with our boys while they were growing up, I was able to maintain a close relationship with them even when they were in the most "independent" phase of their lives: the college years. Never once did I feel shut out of their lives. They still come to us when they needed us. They never acted "put out" when they were here with us. 

  

Now, it's just the best: we all relate to one another as adults and I'm not sure how it could be better. I guess I would hope that every mom and dad could get through that initial phase of the empty nest with the reassurance that everything WILL be okay. I tended to be a hovering mother ... a worrywart ... but I exerted some self-control and trusted the boys, and yes, it was fine. I hope it will be for everyone here, too! 

  

  

Your message made me smile.  Thank you so much for posting it!  I hope very much to read further messages like this! 

  

Great job mom and thanks again!  :D 

 
October 11, 2005, 8:16 am CDT

Rat Bite Fever

Rats are wonderful pets!  I love them.  We had a pair, and they are far more intelligent and personable than hamsters or gerbils or guinea pigs.  There are some cautions you should take with them however, particularly in what can be a chaotic environment.

Depending on whom you ask, up to 99% of captive rats carry bacteria for Rat Bite Fever in their mouths and feces.  It's usually not a huge problem, because pet rats really don't bite often and when they do they seldom break the skin.  Our daughter, however, managed to catch it, probably through a scratch on her abdomen.  She used to let the rats tunnel into her shirt and  squirm around.  She did not keep the rats' cage terribly clean, and it's likely there  were bacteria on the nails which entered her bloodstream when a scratch broke the skin.  Another way people have contracted rat bite fever is by eating or drinking food or water which has been sampled by rats.  I've known many people who thought it was fun to have their pets drink from their glass or give them kisses.  Not a good idea.  Apparently the microorganisms are robust enough not to be destroyed by the digestive system.

Rat Bite Fever usually starts out seeming like the flu and is accompanied by joint pain.  The symptoms can go away and you think you're all better only to have them recur after a few weeks.  You can also get a rash which looks very much like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  That's what they initially thought my daughter had, except it wasn't quite the right season and then they discovered the scratches.

So as I said, rats are wonderful pets, but keep their cages clean, don't share your food with them, and if you have any rat inflicted wound (bite or scratch) that breaks the skin please go see a physician to get some antibiotics.
 
October 11, 2005, 8:32 am CDT

Two left at once

I am in the same boat. Our oldest daughter is getting married in less than a month and she just started a new job close to where she and her husband will be living which is an hour and a half away. Since gas prices are so high and they are getting married so soon, they made the decision to move in together now rather than have her commute every day. This was a difficult decision for her to make because she didn't want to move in before the wedding, but we supported her and she just moved out this past weekend. Our youngest daughter is living on campus at a university about 45 minutes away. While it's nice that she's close it still leaves a huge hole in my heart that they are no longer here. The positive things are that the house stays a lot cleaner and I am very proud of both of them that they are confident young women and doing what they love to do. They are both doing well so far, but I hate the empty nest! It does leave a lot more time for just my husband and I but it's just odd. I hope this feeling goes away. You raise your children to be happy, successful, and independent, and that is exactly where our girls are headed, but it's really hard when the kids have been your life for 20+ years and now there's an odd quietness that is just not normal. 

 
October 11, 2005, 8:40 am CDT

You give me hope!

Quote From: momisme2

Your message made me smile.  Thank you so much for posting it!  I hope very much to read further messages like this! 

  

Great job mom and thanks again!  :D 

Thanks for posting your message. I see many similarities in our life that you have had in yours, so I hope that my situation comes out as well as yours! I'm sure it will. I am doing the same thing, letting the girls make the first move, but WOW is that hard sometimes. I do hear from them daily so that is a good thing. It gives me something to look forward to. I'm sure it will get easier. Thanks again for the advice!
 
October 11, 2005, 8:59 am CDT

Pet Rats

Dr. Phil, 

I can't believe out of all the years of education you have had, you don't know about rats!  You say you always do your homework, but you forgot this time. I have learned so much from you, I hope you can learn something from me. Rats are the best small pet to have. They are very social and highly intelligent, they beg to come out of their cage to be with their owner. They can learn tricks, and their name, and can be litter trained. They are very affectionate and sensitive. They bond with their owners much like a dog does. They may show their affection by licking you. Many small animals only tolerate being handled, but rats actually enjoy it. They are extremely clean, bathing themselves six or more times a day. They are a friendly and gentle pet. Although nocturnal they will adjust to their owners schedulegentle pet.  

 
October 11, 2005, 9:14 am CDT

Parents...Its OKAY.

I remember when I left for college. For alittle backstory, my parents tried for YEARS to conceive.  Ultimately, the doctors told my mother it would never be possible for her to have a child of her own.  And then, one day when my mom was already in her 40's, she passed out at work.  She thought she had an ear infection but a blood test confirmed quite the surprise.  She was pregnant...with me.  So, yeah.  I was an only child...a girl...AND the baby they were never suppose to be able to have. 

  

You can imagine what it was like for my mom (and my dad) when the time came to send me away to college.  If I close my eyes, I can still remember looking out my dorm room window, watching my parents walking towards their car.  My mom was sobbing in a manner I never saw again...until my father died.   

  

But I'm here to tell all of you parents concerned about your kids leaving the nest that ITS OKAY.  Be prepared.  'Cause your relationship w/ your children is going to change.  But it'll be a GOOD change. 

  

Four years after graduating, my father died of cancer.  I had moved home the last year of his life to help my mom care for him.  And, I stuck around after his death.  My mom focused, once again, 100% of her attention on me.  A year after his passing I knew I needed to move on...for both my mom's and my sake.  I got a job an hour and a half away.  Once again, mom did NOT handle this well.  In fact, she handled it worse than college. 

  

And I told her the same thing I'm telling you...its going to be OKAY.   

  

And, eventually, once everyone adjusted it was.  My relationship w/ her is different now.  She's not there to "do" for me anymore.  But we talk a couple of times a week.  She visits and I get to show her around my new home and my new life...just like when I was in college.  I've found that being away from home has opened the door to a whole slew of new topics for us to discuss.  She sends me newspaper clippings of hometown stuff she thinks I'd be interested in reading.  I send her pictures of our home remodeling projects, or daytrips I've taken.  She keeps me up-to-date on my "old world" and I get to share all kinds of stuff regarding my "new world." 

  

I won't say that I understand the sadness of letting your child go ('cause I haven't had to do that yet).  But don't think of it as a loss.  Think of it as a new adventure.  Your kids are going to have so many new experiences to share with you.  Funny stories about their roommates.  Interesting tidbits about what they're learning.  All kinds of experiences and adventures. 

  

When I left for college I couldn't cook, I didn't know how to do laundry, I had never had a checking account before.  I knew nothing.  But now, as an adult, when my mom comes to visit she find's a clean house, an old fashioned meal waiting for her, and a million adventures for me to share with her in my new life.  Heck, we took her sailing...her FIRST TIME in a sailboat, this past summer.  Once she embraced watching her child fly from the nest, it opened up a whole slew of new and exciting happy experiences for her. 

  

And it will for you, as well. 

 
October 11, 2005, 9:20 am CDT

Kids and College...

Parent(s) really need to move out of their own children's way.  When children go away to college, they have their own anxieties and stresses and worries going on inside of them and really do not need additional stuff coming from the parent(s).  As parents, we really need to encourage our children to do their best and let them know that the future is bright for them and they can make it on their own and we will always be there for them no matter what.  I remember when my older son went away to college.  The first day he arrived on campus, he was very nervous and did not want me to leave.  Although he was looking forward to college and had friends on campus, he was still nervous.  I reassured him and said goodbye.  Of course I wanted to cry but I didn't because I knew that would not help him and I knew he would be okay.  Yes, we miss our children when they are away.  But we need to be strong for them.  And this teaches them to be strong.  It is a natural that they will get homesick when they are away.  Some more than others.  They will face their own challenges and they will learn how to deal with them.    My son made it through his four years of college and graduated with honors.  His freshman year he called me every night and kept me on the phone for hours.  Until one day I decided this cannot continue and I stopped it.  Whenever he called me (it was usually late at night), I would make sure everything was good with him and then I would tell him that I was going to bed and that he should do the same.  Whenever he was feeling down or homesick, I would tell him to say his prayers (we are Catholic) and everything would be alright and that he should not worry about anything.  In my heart I knew he was okay.  I have always believed in him and this taught him to believe in himself.  The other day he said to me that I instilled in him the virtue of Hope.  I felt so honored when he told me this.  We must teach our children that the future is extremely hopeful for them.  And we must get out of their way so that they can spread their own wings.  My second son is going away to college next year and I am so happy for him because this is the beginning of his future life as an independent young man.  I am very proud of them.
 
October 11, 2005, 9:59 am CDT

Cutting the apron strings!

Dear Robin,

I told everyone before the graduation of my last, that I would be the one in the stands clapping and yelling (not crying), but when he really went off to college, it was so hard.  The first two weeks went fine and then......I really missed him and all the activity in the house.  He comes home in the summer and lives at home and works for his dad, so I get the joy(?) of having him home again for a few months.  I really felt like I needed a self-help group when Drew left home!  Mothering kind of defines us women and it takes time to transition.  He was really ready and in many ways I was really ready to shove him out of the nest - young men need and want to be independent and, boy did I realize that. 

He is in his third year of college now and I have adjusted and am so proud of him.  Our daughter graduated from Pharmacy College last spring and her and her husband just blessed us with our first grandchild.  A whole new world has opened up to me - it is unexplainable! 

I am so thankful and blessed to have the MOST wonderful husband - I am truly loved and cherished!  We have always done so much together and this has been helpful in the letting-go process of both of our children.  I think we all want to raise our children to be outstanding individuals - we want to be able to look back and know that we did our best! 

Thank you, Dr. Phil, for your shows.  I TiVo you every day.  It is such a pleasure to see Robin in the audience every day and even more fun when she participates. 




 
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