C.D. asks from Scottsburg, IN on August 24, 2009
Help Comforting 7 Year Old After 18 Year Old Brother Goes to College
We dropped off my 18 year old son yesterday at college and now my youngest son is very upset. Didn't anticipate such an emotional reaction but I understand everything he is feeling. I just don't know how to make this easier for him. Any suggestions appreciated.
So What Happened?™
I knew I would get some great ideas from all of you and I did. Here is what we are doing and things are going so much better. First, the oldest calls the youngest every evening at the same time, so when the phone rings, he knows it will be for him. Second, we set up an email account for the youngest, so they are emailing each other. Third, we are in the process of setting up a game that the two of them can play together on the internet. And last we made a trip to the college a couple of days ago to take some supplies. I am interested in trying skype so they can see each other over the internet, but haven't got that far yet. Thanks everyone. The 7 year old is doing much better, all of these things have helped a lot!
S.T. answers from Nashville on August 25, 2009
Make it a positive change. All the great things that will be happening with his brother. Give him things to look forward too... the times his brother does come home, let him help you celebrate and plan an activity geared to him, only. Love and patience. Let him talk on the phone to his brother and have the college student tell him things he is doing. Seperation of any sort is tough on children. Good luck and God Bless.
1 mom found this helpful
J.W. answers from Lexington on August 24, 2009
One way to make this "cool" is to use the Internet for e-mails and maybe even video talks with his big brother every week. e-mail may help your son with his writing skills, and the scheduled video calls every week or two can be something very special to look forward to.
1 mom found this helpful
M.M. answers from Jacksonville on August 25, 2009
My son too had a hard time when big brother went to bootcamp. We all did. We wrote lots of letters. Sent lots of pictures. Every time He called I put the little one on with his big bro for a little bit. He was 6 when he left and 6 months before that Daddy left for Iraq. It was a miserable couple of months but it got better. We would pull out some of the pictures and look at pics of Charlie(18) when he was a baby way before PHilip(6) came on the scene.
We had more tears this year when the older one was home for three weeks on leave and had to go back. He lives in Japan. We sent more pics and letters.
Keep the little guy busy, school will help. If he writes a journal in 1st grade it will be filled with pictures of his hero.
Have the little one help make a care package with brownies and cookies. We do this every week.
If your older son is game ask him to read a couple books on tape or cd/dvd for the little one. THe college can help with that.
Your older sons are the "fun uncles" when they leave the house and come back. It takes a while but the little guy will be OK.
A.G. answers from Nashville on August 24, 2009
If the 7 year old is missing his big brother suggest he draw him pictures. Let him put tghem in the mail. Then have big brother call him sometime(maybe before bedtime). Then have the big brother send a very simple card or gift through the mail to let him know he is missed too. Look at pictures helps too. It keeps them on his mind. Good luck.
K.D. answers from Raleigh on August 25, 2009
I concur on the video talks over the computer, that might help to be able to see him and talk to him.
I am playing checkers with my 8 year old great nephew online that I only get to see once a year. www.yourturnmyturn.com is awesome for lots of different games for people separated by distance - although my daughter and I are having fun with the scrabble type game on there called wordgame. Each person only has to make a move once every 3 days and they can send each other messages with each move also. My great nephew likes to do tongue in cheek trash talk and he is beating me too, even though I am trying!
C.R. answers from Knoxville on August 25, 2009
Let your 18 y.o. know that he is really taking this hard. Maybe he could call just to chat with him. Also let your 7 y.o. help to make a goody box to send to him. Letters, post cards and emails are also good way to let them keep in touch.If your son is close enough maybe he could come on a certain day for a special lunch or dinner. If he is far away maybe you could coordinate a certain day and time to have a meal together, turn the phone on speaker and if possible eat the same thing, pizza, pasta, McDonalds etc... Also make sure that your 7y.o. is active in something he enjoys with kids his age. Good Luck and God Bless.
S.W. answers from Lexington on August 27, 2009
Wow - you have received a lot of great ideas. I have a little sister (she's not so little anymore!) I do not know if she reacted the same way when I left home for college. She was the flower girl when my husband and I married - I hadn't lived at home for a few years, but she cried at our wedding and was very emotional - everyone tried to convince her that she was gaining a brother. Seeing her cry made me cry! You have a lot of great ways to stay in touch that were not available back then.
S.D. answers from Nashville on August 25, 2009
My daughter was 11 last year when my oldest son went off to college. I taught her how to email her brother. When we take photos she attaches them to emails and sends them to him. Create an email account for your 7 year old. Ask him what he wants to tell his brother and you type it for him in an email. Take photos of what your 7 year old is doing--soccer games, going back to school, doing his homework. Attach the photos to the emails. Pick one or two days a week and send a newsy email from his brother. Then CALL your older child and ask him to send a quick email back.
My younger son was 3 years old last year. When we were talking on the phone with the son at college we would let him talk on the phone to him and that seemed to help.
My youngest child had the hardest time. He didn't understand that his brother was not going to be gone FOREVER. To him waiting for his brother to come home at Thanksgiving seemed like forever. But after the first few times his brother came home and then went back to college he seemed to understand better.
My son that is two years younger has his own cell phone and they still talk all the time.
Mail a care package to your older son who is in college. Involve your 7 year old in the process. Take your 7 year old to the grocery store and let him help you pick out what to put in the care package.
Involve your child in planning for the next time your older son is home to visit. Take him to the grocery store with you. Let him help you pick out what to cook for dinner, what snacks to pick up to have in the house, what to bake as a treat when he is home, etc. Ask him to make a welcome home sign.