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    12 Ways to Say "I Love You"

    Practical things you can do when your college student needs to know you care.

    Karen Langley

    As a college student, I love my independence. I love doing things on my own, and making my own decisions. But there are also times, especially if things haven't gone just right, when I need a little help.

    ways to show your college student you careOK, I'll admit it straight up: There are still times when I need my parents. Yes, we college students are eager to be on our own. But what you—our parents—might not realize is that at times, we're also unsure of ourselves, nervous and even homesick. And I'm not the only one who feels that way. Kristen, a junior and one of my classmates at Bethel College (IN), recently had an experience where she soon found herself on the phone with her parents.

    The spring semester had barely begun, and Kristen found herself in the midst of a computer crisis. Her portfolio, a project she'd worked on since freshman year, was due the next morning. But when she stopped by the computer lab to tie up loose ends, she found nothing on her disk. As panic began to set in, she hurried to her dorm. She prayed all the way there, and to her relief was able to recover almost everything on her personal computer. But almost wasn't enough. Her two most important documents remained mysteriously missing.

    When faced with a challenge, what is an accomplished, independent college student to do? Kristen called home. Her mom calmed her down, and her dad talked her through steps to check her computer. Kristen felt better after talking to Mom and Dad, but the two crucial documents had apparently disappeared forever, leaving Kristen with a sick feeling in her stomach.

    So, what should parents do when their college students hit a bump in the road? Well, Kristen's parents drove more than 500 miles that weekend to be with their daughter. "They took me out to eat, bought me stuff at the store, fixed my computer and just were here!" says Kristen.

    Now, not all crises require a road trip, but we do want to know you care whatever the circumstance. We don't want you to treat us like little kids, but we do want to know you miss us when we're gone. So, here are some practical ways that you can show your college kids that you love them—even when they're far from home.

    Send a care package

    Even the smallest package means a lot, especially around exam time. But, surprise packages are blessings straight from heaven.

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