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Do you feel like you're running a race against time before your teen leaves for college?

I feel like there is not enough time to do all the things I want to do with my teenage son before he leaves for another country and whether the feeling is mutual, it's still up for debate!

I still have another 11 months to go but it's just not enough time. Now every time he wiggles his way into getting me to do something for him, he sells it by telling me that this time next year he won't be around for me to do stuff for him and that I'll miss it. Truth be told, I probably would. But then I have to remind him that he'll also miss having someone around to do stuff for him.

This separation will be a big step for us, especially since it has always been just him and me. I am of course excited for him as he embarks on this new chapter of his life. He too is excited and nervous at the same time. Leaving for another country to pursue his studies is something he has wanted and that I will support. I want him to go into the world to see and experience all the world has to offer and most importantly for him to spread his wings and show the world what he can offer it.

The problem lies with me.

I think I'm ready to let go but at the same time, I'm not!

What I do know is that I have 11 months before I am left behind standing alone while I watch him walk away into the world on his own to navigate through the life that he will be creating for himself, and instead of wallowing in the fear and sadness of what's to come, I am most definitely going to make full use of the time I have left with him still being at home.

Before he embarks on this journey into a new chapter of his life, these are the 11 things I plan to do with him, and fingers crossed, he'll want to do with me! If you too have a teen leaving for college, read on as we create moments that will not only be lasting memories but will also strengthen the bond you have with your teen.

11 things to do with your teenage son

Cooking Together

Cooking together is not just about preparing meals; it's about bonding over shared experiences and teaching essential life skills. Spend a day in the kitchen whipping up his favorite dishes or trying out new recipes. Share stories, laughter, and secret family recipes as you create delicious memories together.

As you cook side by side, you'll find that the kitchen becomes a place of connection. It's also an opportunity to pass down family recipes and cooking tips that he can carry with him to college. As they'll soon be responsible for their own meals, teaching them some essential cooking skills is a fantastic way to ensure they have a nutritious and budget-friendly start to college life. Plus, you'll both cherish these moments spent in the kitchen long after they've left home!

Hear-to-Heart Talks

As the departure date inches closer, those late-night chats in your son's room. or in my case, in my room, become even more precious. Share your own college stories, and let him share his dreams, doubts, and fears. These heart-to-heart conversations are like emotional gold. It's a chance to bond, reassure, and let him know that no matter where life takes him, you'll always be there.

It's a chance for you to tell him all the things that you never get to tell him, like how incredibly proud you are of him, and how you could not wish for a better son, or how grateful you are to be his mom.

Use these talks to guide him through the practical side of things too, like budgeting, cooking basics, and personal safety. It's your way of making sure he's well-equipped to face the world.

Re-live Those Game Nights

When my son was very much younger, game nights used to be a common thing in my household. All those times that he'd forced me to play a card game with him. Even if my body and mind were just dead at the end of the day, I'd still play with him. Of course, he'd come up with all these made-up rules, but I'd play along, there was no harm. I think I was more of a sore loser than him!

These are moments that I will cherish, I still have that deck of cards from 10 years ago.

Whether it's board games, card games, or video games, re-living these moments of fun and competition will you both closer. It's where inside jokes are born and where you can create family legends.

Use this time to reminisce about family traditions and let him know that no matter how far he goes, he'll always have a home to come back to for game night.

Create a Memory Book

I have a memory box, and I'm sure many moms out there have one too for each of their kids. It's so heartwarming going through a memory box every now and then. Your heart explodes when you look at his first 'booties', which is a rare thing nowadays I think, or his first-grade school photo.

Start a memory book with your son, gather photos, keepsakes, and mementos from his life so far, and create a memory book together. This project will take the both of you down memory lane, reminiscing about the joys and challenges you've faced as a family.

As you work on the memory book, you'll both be overwhelmed with emotions, recalling the love and support that have shaped him into the young man he's become. This creative project will preserve all those cherished memories and serve as a beautiful reminder of your love.

Host a Special Dinner

Host a special dinner with close friends and family to celebrate his upcoming college journey. It's a time to show gratitude to those who've played a significant role in his life and will continue to do so.

Let him express his gratitude and share his excitement. These gatherings strengthen bonds and reinforce the fact that he has a network of people cheering him on and will always stand by him to support him in his journey.

Write Letters to the Future

Sit down together and write letters to his future self. Share hopes, dreams, and advice for the years ahead. These letters, sealed in envelopes, are gifts he can open at a later date, perhaps during tough times or moments of reflection in college.

These letters will remind him of your unwavering love and offer encouragement when he needs it most.

Let Him Teach You Something New

Whatever your son is good at that you know you're hopeless at, get him to teach you.

There is no doubt that your teen has taught you many things throughout the years, but there are things that are truly his 'thing' that you have never bothered learning.

For me, my son is really good with games on his PS4 and though he has attempted to teach me in the past, I was just useless and because of that I never bothered. This time around, I'm going to let him have a go at it again and I'm going to learn.

I know it'll be a great bonding experience, even if I might end up smashing the controller, but hey that's part of the experience that we will both share!

If there's something your son is good at, let him teach you that skill. It's not so much about you being a pro at it, but it's the time spent with him doing something he loves.

Go to a Concert or Sporting Event

This is a great way to bond. Whether you're both into music or sports, even if you don't share the same interests, just do it, this is a memory you'll both cherish.

Book a game with his favorite team. Even if you don't know the names of the players or anything about the game, do it with him, I promise you you'll be surprised at how much fun you have.

Outdoor Adventures

Spending time in the great outdoors is a fantastic way to connect with your teenage son before he heads off to college. Whether you prefer hiking, biking, camping, or just taking long walks in the park, nature provides the perfect backdrop for quality conversations.

Use this time to talk about life, his goals for college, and the adventures that await him. Encourage him to appreciate the beauty of nature and the importance of finding moments of serenity amidst the chaos of college life. The great outdoors has a magical way of bringing people closer, and you'll cherish these moments together.

Plan a Special Road Trip

Before he dives into the college hustle and bustle, plan a special road trip. It doesn't have to be a grand expedition; even a weekend getaway to a nearby destination will do. The key is spending quality time together.

On the road, you'll create new memories, share music playlists, and probably have a few disagreements about directions. But that's all part of the adventure.

Take this opportunity to talk about his college plans, hopes, expectations, and dreams. These road trips are not just about the destination; they're about the journey and the memories you create along the way.

Endless Hugs and 'I Love You's

Amidst all the activities and preparations, never underestimate the power of a simple hug and an "I love you." Make it a habit to express your love and affection every day. These words and gestures hold immeasurable value and provide reassurance during times of change.

Before your son leaves for college, shower him with endless hugs, kisses, and affectionate words. Let him know that your love knows no distance and that you are always just a phone call or message away. These moments of physical and emotional connection will remain etched in his heart as he embarks on this new adventure.

Sometimes, moms need those hugs as much as their sons do, if not more...

As we prepare to send our sons off to college, the emotions are intense. By embracing these 11 meaningful activities, we'll be creating lasting memories, strengthening our bonds, and providing the love and support they need to thrive in college and beyond.

Cherishing every moment, trust that the foundation you've built will help him navigate the world with confidence and resilience. Wishing all of us the best on this emotional journey!

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