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Let’s get right to the ‘Don’t Blink’ responses for Zach R. who is about to drop off his oldest daughter at college

• As a reminder for those who might not have caught Tuesday Screencaps, Zach wanted to hear from others who have sent daughters off to college. “What should we be doing/advising/talking about with her in these final days before she starts? How do we handle those first months she’s gone? She’s going to be 2.5 hours away- how should we handle visits? How often is too often or not often enough?” Zach wrote.

It took approximately five minutes after the post went live for the responses to start rolling in. And Zach wasn’t the only one that has eyes on this subject.

• Chris B. in Texas writes:

My oldest leaves for college in a few weeks. I am looking forward to seeing the responses to Zach.

• Craig in Lubbock, TX writes:

Father of 25, 22, and 20 yo daughters

Be prepared to get a lot smarter in your newly departing children’s eyes – I first found this out when it happened to my parents with my older brother’s departure to UF back in 1984 and has proven true with each of our departures…

It is an incredible important transition time where you need to start communicating and thinking about become friends with your kids and not so much parents.  Think about doing some career coaching like you might do at work and much less telling them what to do – try to show them how to go about making their own decisions.  When you do spend time with them really listen and share your own failures and experiences as college hasn’t changed too much as a massive career and social transition point.

Enjoy the ride, relax, and start working on rediscovering your own hobbies and interests that will consume your thoughts/time as your nest empties!

• Screencaps veteran Mark W. in Franklin, TN writes:

Having sent my two off to college, here is my advice to Zach:

You and your wife have done the parenting process and trying to stuff in last minute do’s and don’ts unnecessarily raises the stress level for everybody. She knows she is loved and supported, so remind her to remember who she is (how you and your wife raised her), and that you are always there for advice and counsel. As she gets into the social experience of college you will be surprised how often she will draw on your experience and wisdom. I am sure you are helping with the move in which will be emotional. Be prepared! You will get a feel very quickly from your daughter about visits and the space she needs. Pay attention to the school calendar and at a minimum plan to be there for the parents weekend. Set up a consistent time for a weekly call just to catch up.

Once you become temporary empty nesters, it is time to start “dating” your wife again. Having raised children and pouring time and energy into that process, it is now time to start to do the same for your wife and yourself. It is an interesting stage of life to begin this process again, but it is fun and if you do it right can really bring new depth to your relationship. Go out to your favorite restaurant, see a concert together, whatever you both like doing, and just enjoy one another’s company like you did when you were dating and first married.

• Kevin in Gibsonia writes:

Man this is a tough one. 

Hardest thing I’ve ever done was drop our son (only child) off at college, but you will survive.  My advice – don’t make the first visit until parents weekend.  Give her time to adjust, meet people and learn to live on her own. 

After that, I would say maybe once a month.  If the school has a football team, go for a game and tailgate with some great food.  Her and her friends will love it.  Whenever you visit, take her to dinner and let her bring friends if she wants.  My most important advice is before she leaves, pull her aside and tell her to CALL her mom once a week.  Mom’s need to hear a voice.  Texting is nice, but hearing a voice makes all the difference. 

Also keep in mind that although this is hard and it truly sucks, it means you and your wife have done a good job raising this child.  Good luck.

• Craig B. has recent experience in this field of study:

Having gone through this twice in the last 4 years and now an empty nester I have a few thoughts to share.

My first suggestion is to find time to have some one-on-one talks.  Reinforce that you are excited for their next chapter, that you love them and will be there for them when things don’t go their way regardless of the situation.  I also asked them to come up with someone (relative, family friend, neighbor) as a second resource to talk to if the need arises.  

I hate to say it but she’s a girl and that requires reinforcing safety… be safe, never walk alone at night, be careful what you drink, etc…  Encourage her to join a club or find activities to help find friends beyond her roommates.

The drop-off will be emotional.  Don’t prolong the timing and it’s usually best to just rip the band-aid off.  Don’t stay an extra night just to say goodbye in the morning.  That ends up making it worse.  In the case of my daughter, we ended up leaving her earlier than planned. 

We had done all the shopping and finished the move-in and had planned to stay for a couple freshmen/parent events and say goodbye the next day after the last event.  Instead, we were at lunch and the emotions came out, so we changed plans.  Her roommates’ parents had already left, we had nothing left to get her set up so she was just thinking of the upcoming goodbye.  We finished lunch, dropped her off with her awesome roommates at the dorm, checked out of the hotel and luckily caught a flight home that day. 

Since she is your oldest you will have the benefit of not being empty nesters.  Set up a plan for communicating with your child.  My son was once a week on Sundays (boys!!!).  With my daughter, we ended up doing daily calls to one of us when she was walking to or from class.  Beyond that, let them reach out to you.  I would highly recommend visiting for parents’ weekend or dad’s/mother’s weekends.  Fun to meet other parents and build on their college community.  

Depending on the school a football or basketball game is a fun excuse to visit later in the fall or winter.

The transition will take some time but you will get through it and before you know it she will be graduating and moving on to the next phase and you will wonder where that time went….

• Ray S. writes:

Here are some things we’ve learned since our first girl went off to James Madison University (GO DUKES!) and the second to Florida (GO GATORS!)

1) Avoid over-involving yourselves with on-campus stuff (class scheduling, on-campus logistics, etc). Let her figure it out. Caveat: Be involved with tuition/room & board issues. Colleges are run by academics, not business professionals.

2) When you drop her off and get her moved in, LEAVE THE AREA. Do not hover and certainly do not pop back in for a last hug.

3) Strongly encourage her to immediately reach out to dorm neighbors, get involved in clubs, and meet as many people as possible. She’ll find her “people” but they won’t come knocking on her door.

4) Encourage her to go to sporting events. I bought my daughter season tickets to UF football and she loved it. She had no interest in sports before landing at UF.

5) When (not if) she calls after a day or two and says she’s struggling (meeting people, tough classes), do NOT go visit and do NOT invite her to come home. Tough love at this point is critical. This is a tough part of any student’s life but she will survive.

6) Don’t get fooled by vendors offering fridge rentals, moving services, etc. Also, don’t be rushed into securing an off-campus apartment for her second year. The leasing agents create a false sense of urgency. Also, if you want to go to Parents Weekend, go for the day.  Hotel room rates are jacked up plus you can’t get a table at a decent eatery.

7) Schedule a trip for you and your wife after you drop your student off. Anything that fits your budget and schedule. Helps keep Mamma Bear distracted and gives you time to reconnect with each other.

8) Know that after the first month, all of you will have established a new routine that you’ll really like!

• Tom M. writes:

Zach, not sure where your daughter is going to school (I have two at U of I) but if they have sororities be prepared for 5-7 days of hell. Sorority Rush is painful and hope to God they get into one of their top two choices.

As for visiting, we went on parents’ weekend and homecoming in the fall for football games. Usually, it’s just the right amount of time to let them get acclimated to living on their own and not missing home. Good luck and feel free to fire off any questions you might have, my daughters are a senior and a sophomore (I also have a sophomore son at U of I) I’ll be happy to be a sounding board. 

• Mike L. offers up this on the “Don’t Blink” theme:

This is probably the best I could do for the “don’t blink” category. Been married to the same woman for 30 years and we’ve raised two fantastic daughters. Like the song says “when the hourglass runs out of sand, you can’t flip it over and start again”.

Chris B. would also like to have a word with Little League…as you know by now, he’s not a fan

• Chris B. writes:

There’s no crying in baseball!!!  LLWS is a joke and that’s hard for me to say because I love youth baseball.  But having 12-13 year old boys playing on a field sized for 9-10 year olds (60′ bases) is absurd, they can’t frickin lead off, and now they’re crying & hugging on the mound.  Goodness gracious.  Give all these boys a trophy and televise some real youth baseball on right sized fields with big boy rules.

Little League Hitter Drilled In The Head Comforts Crying Pitcher & It’s Red Meat For The Social Media Moms

New Jersey’s wacky water graphic

• Rob in NJ checks in:

Not a whole lot of rain to work with here this summer in NJ, pretty dry out here. The state just put this graphic out, and I’m hoping whoever came up with No. 7 is a TNML member — they’d be the only NJ government official I could trust!

Personally, I’m gonna save water the best way I know — drinking a few patio beers. Nothing like a few High Lifes and a cigar on the patio to close out the workweek. Summer of the Patio lives on. 

Kinsey: I’ll maintain that TNML care more about the environment than any wacko these water groups can send our way. Drive by a conservationist’s house sometime and look at the lawn. The first thing you’ll notice is that the yard is scalped. Until they start raising their mower decks, don’t listen to anything they say about saving water.

Like Rob said, don’t trust anything coming from these maniacs. RAISE YOUR DECKS! THINK ABOUT THE WATER FOR THE NEXT GENERATION…AND THE BEES!

More Jeep wave

• David W. in Florida writes:

Please extend a sincere thank you to your SC readers. I didn’t know the story of the ‘Jeep Wave’.
In Florida I was told the Jeep wave was an acknowledgment of ‘so far, so good, I haven’t broken down yet today, you?’

Sorta rained out on Siesta Key

• Gauntlet league commish Michael J. from Chicago crowdsourced Florida beach recommendations for a trip he’s on with his family to the Sunshine State:

Family enjoyed Siesta Key as best we could.  Rain made it impossible to spend all day there.  So we just went for a few hours to swim and catch the sunset. Will have to return in the future. 

Surfing on the Boise River

• Mike T. in Idaho caught this action. I have to assume these guys know where all the rocks are at.

Golf + The King = Morning Screencaps

• Samuel S. writes:

My wife and I love outkick, morning screencaps and of course, TNML. As a military man, sometimes where we are stationed we keep missing some big golfing events. As luck would have it, we finally live close enough to the Wyndham, spent around 100 dollars in beer and food, and then we found the USO TENT! What a nice break from the heat as well as wonderful volunteers serving veterans, serving free garage beers and Chick-fil-A; it was humbling and much appreciated.

Well, we are sitting there watching Aaron Wise own the 10th during round three, and I look over and say to the wife…”that guy looks like Richard Petty. Wait!! That guy IS Richard Petty!!” The King also there giving tribute to the veterans, young and old…what a wonderful day (before the rain of course). God Bless you and your readers and we are proud to be a part of good times in this country. I felt like I was 14 again watching Richard Petty race for the last time.

Kinsey: Here’s where I remind everyone that Richard Petty is 85 years old and maintains an incredible schedule during the racing season. I don’t want to think of an America without these characters that sports created over the decades before stars were turned into corporate robots. You can put Mario Andretti, 82, right there with Petty as a legend who still gets after it and has never met a racing fan he’s not willing to take a photo with.

On that note, let’s get Wednesday rolling. I have to play phone tag with the husband of the lady who hit our car Sunday night. I didn’t expect this level of trouble, but here we are on day 3 1/2 and I still don’t have their insurance policy number.

You’re damn right I’m starting to get antsy, especially when I can’t open the driver’s side door.

Go have a great day. Crush it.


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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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