One of the toughest things a parent faces is sending a child off to college. It’s tough to let your baby walk out of the house, possibly living hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles away from your protective, loving arms. While you may cry, feel depressed, and miss seeing your baby every day, it does get better.

How can you allow your child to go off to college, leaving the nest to lead her own life?

1. You have to allow your child the freedom to start a life of her own. You just have to face it. It’s tough, but mom and dad, you have to allow your child to go on this exciting opportunity.

2. Make some rules for your college age child. In other words, set limits, for your child, so that she will still have boundaries, knowing you still love her. But walk the thin line, mom and dad, set realistic limits.

3. Call or text your child at least once a week. During the first year, she may not want to hear from you at all—loving her new freedom. She may also be horribly homesick and whine everyday. Still you may have the college freshman who is homesick, but never tells you there are any problems. Texting is cooler than calling!!

4. Visit your child at school, and make certain she comes home for the holidays. During a non busy weekend plan to visit her. This way your college child will know you love and support her, but that you are not bugging her.

5. Take action to fill the void of your college age child away at school. Even though you tell yourself you will not miss your baby, you will. Sometimes this is tougher on dads who won’t acknowledge these feelings. Take action now by joining groups, going for walks, starting a new hobby.

6.Change that now empty bedroom into a room you will enjoy such as a hobby room, entertainment room, possibly an office. Either that or close the door until your baby comes back home to visit.

7. Ask your college kid to send pictures via technology—- cellphones,Skype, the Internet, which you are probably paying the bills for anyways. Pics of her dorm room, her friends, herself, pics of her school, etc. Now, you get a glimpse into the exciting life your college child is now leading.

8. Be supportive of your college child who is enjoying her new freedom. She may have left the nest, but you can still love her from afar. Call her, Skype her with the entire family present. If other family members are not present, have other siblings call, text her. Ask Grandparents to call her. Be supportive by listening to her problems and do not complain about your own. Send her care packages, filled with new clothing, cookies.

Remember—- have a good sense of humor parents of college bound kids. You might need it, if you suddenly see your child being roused from a college party on the reality TV show, “Campus Cops.”