Last Updated on October 11, 2018

It’s easy for us to look back on our high school and college days, and only remember the late night fun, friendships, sporting events, and parties.  Even though those things were a part of those years, there is much more that happens during that time.  The years between, say….17 and 20…are times of huge transition as  a young person adjusts to becoming an adult.  It can be a confusing and stressful time, and a time when young people are trying to figure out what they want to do with the rest of their life.  Many times relationships are hard,  and they are trying to juggle a job and school work.  Sometimes finances are tight and that can be stressful as well.  These years are not as care free as we sometimes remember them to be.

As parents of children who are in this season of life, it can be a wonderful opportunity for us to look for ways to serve and encourage our children.  Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of it being a time when there is conflict and distance that begins to form in our relationship,  we took advantage of the time and did all we could to pursue our children and become their biggest support system and cheerleaders?

Here are some ways that I try to serve my own children, who are both college aged.

  • I  sometimes surprise them by cleaning their room during a week that is particularly busy (exam week, a big paper is due, they are working a lot of hours).
  • On a particularly busy day, I will do their chores for them.
  • I make sure that their favorite snacks are available.
  • I will buy their favorite candy bar, and leave it on their pillow.
  • Even though they both do their own laundry, sometimes I will do it for them just to bless them.
  • I love grabbing them and taking them on a spontaneous lunch date.
  • Sometimes if they are studying, I bring them a snack
  • In the morning while my daughter is getting ready for work or class, I sometimes will bring her a hot cup of coffee or tea.
  • I make sure that they know that our  home is always open for them to bring their friends over.
  • I allow them to have “study parties” in our living room, and I serve their friends.
  • On Saturday mornings, I make sure the house is quiet so they can sleep in a little.
  • As they run in and out of the house, in between work and classes, I make sure I tell them I love them, that they are precious, and ask how they are doing.
  • I ask how I can pray for them.
  • If they didn’t do well on a paper or test, sometimes I will take them out for coffee or ice cream just to encourage them.
  • I ask them how I can serve them to make a busy day more bearable.
  • I work hard to get to know their friends.
  • If they are hanging out in our home with a friend, sometimes I will suggest that we jump in the van,  I will treat them both to Starbucks!
  • I text them and tell them I miss them, love them, or am praying for them.
  • I try to treat them with respect. They are young adults.
  • I am working hard to learn how to relate to them in a new way, since they are getting older. I make sure I am reading good books for tips, or talking to women who have gone through this season already.
  • I try to arrange a weekly family time to make sure we are connecting as a family and keeping caught up with each other.
  • Sometimes on Saturday morning,  I make their favorite breakfast, since most mornings during the week they are grabbing breakfast on the run.
  • I keep my eyes open for good devotional books or Bible studies that I can buy for them, to help encourage them to be in the Word.
  • If they are struggling in a particular area, I work hard at responding with grace and calmly taking the time to discuss how we can work together to grow in that area. I try to let them know I am on their side and want to help them. I try not to lecture or “punish,” but to work together at coming up with a plan (and consequences).
  • I look for opportunities to talk with them and find out what is going on in their minds,  help them sort through their thoughts, and just generally be available.

If your child is in college, and doesn’t live at home:

  • Send a care package, or letter stuffed with a gift card, on a monthly basis.
  • When they come home for a break, clean their room and have a small gift waiting on their pillow. Make their favorite meal.  Have a “welcome home” sign hanging on the front door.
  • While they are home for a break, make sure you are as available as possible to them. This is precious time.  Make them WANT to come home again.
  • If it is their birthday, and they live too far for you to go visit, send them a “birthday party in a box” care package!
  • If they are close enough for a day trip or weekend trip, make the effort to go visit them monthly. Take them out for dinner.  Get to know their friends.

We have an amazing calling as parents.  It doesn’t end just because they become young adults!  There are so many fun ways we can bless our children and bond with them as they are growing up.  They are unique people who need us to encourage them and support them as they transition into the next season of life.  They are individuals.  They are not us!  We need to remember that and find ways to help them succeed in becoming the people they are meant to be!  It will make such a difference!

What are your ideas for connecting and growing your relationship with your young adult child?

You May Like:

:: What to do when they won’t talk
:: Our Kids and Our Worries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Thank you for this, Gina! With a 19 and 18-year-old (18 as of yesterday), I will be using some of your ideas! My kids LOVE going to coffee or lunch with me. I don’t want to miss out on this time. They also love when I put an encouraging comment on their Facebook page or comment on their posts. 🙂

    1. When they dont talk. I giive them time to go through what they are going through

  2. Gina – that was awesome!!! Thank you for the reminders – as they say, sometimes the smallest things have the biggest impact! I’m going to go out and buy my kids some candy!!! LOL!!! Seriously, thank you so much for sharing!

  3. This is all GREAT stuff Gina! We know our children better than anyone and taking the time to speak to them in their language with love and attention is a great reminder! Thank you for your wonderful example and great ideas! I see lots of encouraged young people out there in the future! Go moms go!

    1. Gina, thanks for the great ideas and encouragement! Being a mom is one of the best gifts God has given me. We enjoy taking our two sons out for supper (with their girlfriends). Both in college, one lives home, one with friends, it’s great to all connect at the same time at the end of a busy week. They love the free food, we love the good conversation time. I have a friend who sent her son in the military a birthday cake – baked in a canning jar and sealed, with a can of frosting – what a fun idea to show your love!

  4. This was such a blessing to read. I wish someone had thought to do these things for me. College was a time of big transition for me. All college students love a free good meal because cafeteria food gets old. God keeps placing it on my heart to do this at my church for all of the college students. I am just wanting for God to bless us with the resources so that we can do this consistently.

    1. I had this same experience as you. I almost cried when I read her post. I had NO IDEA that there were mothers out there who did these sorts of things simply just to “serve” (?!?!?!) their child and make their day easier. My house was more about what I wasn’t doing right and how I could change to make life better for her while those years were soooo difficult for me emotionally and in college. Amazing post.

      1. I think most of us godly parents continue to do these loving things for our children thru college & even if they are older. We can continue to set an example for them as they grow, mature & take on their own spouses & children. I continue to try to do caring things for both by older 20 age children – lunch, coffee together & talks, a new book, a surprise. As parents we continue to show our children our love in many ways all our life. My parents did – and I feel I was blessed to have them into my older years as a guidance. Thank you for your kind example.

    2. At our church we do “COOKIES FOR COLLEGE KIDS.” We bake and box cookies with small wrapped candy for finals week(so twice a year).

    3. Brittany M says:

      Just wanted to let you know at my church there is Tuesday Night Dinner where dinner is served once a week for college . Different people in the church rotate cooking, signing up for different weeks and the church reimburses the family who cooks if needed. Ii don’t know how many students are at your church, but that’s an idea you could try so you weren’t the one doing it all the time. We also have fundraisers in order to help fund the dinners and other activities.

  5. Wow! What a great post. Saw this on Pinterest and just loved it!!
    I have two college aged daughters still at home and this is just a wonderful way to minister to them.
    Thanks so much for this! What a blessing

  6. I also saw this on Pinterest. We have a 20 year old son, who lives at home, while attending college. My husband and I love to surprise him with books that he has mentioned he would like to read.

  7. Just wondering if we can expand this to find out ideas of how to bless our daughter-in-laws (or son-in-law as the case may be) who is long-distance. I am having a difficult time of knowing how to encourage without being seen as commenting or being held in comparison, how to stay in contact without making them feel pressured. Does the old saying, “Your daughter is a daughter for life, but your son is a son until he takes a wife” have to be true?????

    1. Gina, I Love this! Thank you!
      Sarah, My children were both married in 2011. We love our children’s spouses. My husband and I still try to do things for and with our children. They know our home is always open to them and they have a key. They also know we are always here to listen, give godly advice, encourage, and help them in any way we can. They have an open invitation to dinner every Sunday after church without obligation. The saying you mentioned is not true for us. I do believe that a daughter is close throughout life. Thankfully we are just as close to our son and his wife. Our son in law and daughter in law both know how we feel about them. We tell them often what a blessing they are to us. The greatest thing we do for them is to pray for them daily.

    2. Sarah,
      From the daughter-in-law’s perspective, my mother-in-law uses a lot of guilt to pressure us into doing everything with them, and no matter how often we see them (we live on opposite coasts but see each other multiple times each year) it is never enough. Leave the invitation open, and as Dawn said “without obligation” and make the time spent together enjoyable and they will remain close.

    3. From the DIL perspective. I love my Mother-in-Law. Because she is a friend to me. Every Sunday, she would call to let us know that she had put dinner on and there was plenty for us, if we would like to come. I never felt any pressure and was thankful for one less meal to cook and the company. She was divorced from her husband and by herself. We included her in every family vacation, which we reasoned would be great for us so she could watch the kids…but, I can count on one hand the times we left her with the kids, while we were on vacation. We all like to be together as a family. My MIL now lives with us. There are ups and downs just like any relationship, but I know that my MIL has enriched our lives as we have hers. I am hoping that one day I can have a similar relationship with my future DIL (I have 2 sons). I am hoping that you get what you give. I hope that helps. I do know that some folks have preconceived notions of how a MIL is supposed to be. I never felt that with my MIL, and it grieves me when I see a DIL be ill with her MIL. It is only hurtful to all involved.

  8. Gina, I found your writing via Pinterest. What great information and encouragement to continue to seek after our children. So often we are left with our own experience as our only reference, which is not always what we really want to repeat. These are great suggestions without feeling like an intruder to their new adult life. Thank you! Juanita

  9. Thanks for this! Our daughter is going out of state for college in August. I already do some special things for her, but this is a great reminder. Truly appreciated.
    Thanks again!

  10. Thank you for the tips. I am happy to say that I did a lot of this already, just because. But it is good
    that I was on the right track and I now have a daughter who IS my friend and has thanked me for
    being her rock and always there for her. The rewards are soooo worth whatever effort we put in.

  11. Thank you for the great ideas – many which I have done – but many I hadn’t thought of or have done for years, so this post was great. thank you again

  12. What a terrific post! I do many of these things with my 16 year old daughter already and will use your list as guidance into the coming years. Thanks for the reminder that we are still needed as our kids grow older. No one else can love and encourage them the way we can!

  13. As a 21 year old college student, these are the greatest things any daughter my age could ask for. It shows that even though you are letting them go and become their own person, you want to be a part of their new adventures in life, while letting them have their own space as well. Great post!

  14. As a college student, I know that if my parents make me spend all my time at home with them, it makes me not want to come back home. And I would be furious if they showed up at school.

    1. Ya, as the mom of two young adult guys I have to agree w Thomas. They need their independence. And being a helicopter parent doesn’t allow them to freedom to make their own mistakes . It’s painful to watch as a parent but if I want to keep up a long term relationship; ill let them fail and grow.

    2. Not all college kids feel like this. I have two at the same college. The very first year, i started what is now a REQUIREMENT of me from my kids & their friends. We call it “Momz College Daze”. I go & stay with my daughter for a few nights. I end up doing everything from dropping a kid off for class & picking up another to take back to their apt/room to cooking for 15-20 of them the nights i am there. I have spent 4 hours with them in a study room til 2am, then opened the back of my van so they could drag rolling desk chairs back to their dorms that the library was throwing out. The list goes on & on. My daughter graduates this year, but i know my son expects me to continue this even if i have to stay in a hotel 🙂

  15. too sweet! Great tips and easy to adjust for anyone you love to show them they are loved and appreciated!

  16. Thank you so much for these ideas. Looking at them, I realize again that I was blessed with amazing parents. My children are getting close to the young adult age. I will keep these and refer to them often as they make the transition from home to adult life.

  17. I just have to say that I am so touched by reading this and that there is a parent out there who does this for their young adult child. Those years were the hardest years of my life and the years where the most important decisions were made that would shape my future. It would have meant so much to have these things happen just to “serve” me, what?!?!? It is just SO nice of you! Your kids might not thank you now but they sure will some day. And all their friends I am sure wish you were their parent!

    1. I did all the same things that you mentioned the difference was that they were never appreciated but they were seen as my obligation for being a mother,I work from home and have several business but always worked around my family schedule at the end it sounds bitter but my 20 and 22 year old chilldren took me for granted,I am ready for them to move on and start seeing that life was very easy and comfortable at my house maybe one day they will apreciate their parents I am not expecting that day to come,I did my best and I am proud of both of my children but expect nothing from them I might be dissapointed.

      1. I”m with you on that one. I have seen too many moms try to win the hearts of their children, only to create monsters who demand more and more and more. i wanted you to know you are not alone in seeing the problems with trying to love them. Tough love becomes more and more necessary the older they get, even if it means we are not popular with them for a time.

      2. I can understand where you are coming from. Our son took this for granted (very often) and then after school he joined the USAF. Right there. Basic training is where he suddenly realized how very nice he had it at home! Fast forward to training and first base assignment and marrying his high school sweetie.. Wow he is out of the house, far away and a married guy but he now knows how fortunate he is. We had rules and structure along with all of this nice treatment and he didn’t get the rules and structure part. He had a number of friends who had none of those but all the goodies in life – they could do and have anything. Hold out hope, they might yet appreciate what you have done once they’ve gained perspective. I miss him so much! Be blessed and don’t be too hard on yourselves fellow-moms!

  18. Thank you so much for all the encouraging comments! I am blown away by how many women out there are, either needful of this kind of encouragement, or are wanting to serve their children in this way! You are all a blessing!

  19. I’ve done most of this and more. I used to stop by and pick up daughter’s laundry when she lived at the dorm, take it home and return it to her cleaned and pressed when she was bogged down with papers and exams. I would stop by and take her to a movie, go out to dinner and take her to the grocery store to pick up snacks and good food to stash in her dorm room. Since she was in marching band all 4 years and had to go to campus a week early, for band camp, I would drive out to watch some practices and drop off goodie bags of pop tarts, breakfast bars and individual cereal boxes to her and her besties, enough to last them for a few weeks, until they got settled in. Even though there were times she seemed peeved for me being around, I soon realized she was secretly looking forward to my visits, and was just more overwhelmed by the amount of time her studies were taking. I think she thought she should be more independent. I always laughed and told her those days were coming, to enjoy the time she had while I was still around to help. I think she will always remember she could count on me and will be that way with her kids as well. No better gift to my grandchildren as far as I can tell, since who knows how much time I will have with them.

  20. I just wanted to say, that when I was in college, my dad would leave me a bag of Teddy Graham’s or jalapeno cheddar chips on my bed, just for me. He’d always ask me later if I’d found them, knowing that I had been up late writing a paper or studying for a test. It meant a lot, first that he’d bring me a favorite snack when I was too busy to even think about eating, and second that he took the time to pick out something that was a favorite snack. So, parents… Thanks for taking the time! We may not always show appreciation in the moment (sorry about that…), but it’s these kind of things that stick with us when we get older, and get married, and don’t always get to see our parents as much. 🙂

  21. Connie Beukema says:

    When I read how you bless your children, all I could say to myself if…YES! I have done most everything on your list in one way or another even when your adult children were little ones. Sit with them on the couch and just talk, bring them a fresh baked cookie while they’re watching their favorite TV show, spontaneously give them a great big squeeze and them them you love them like crazy…the list goes on… I truly believe that because we showed our children respect, continually prayed for them and TOLD them were praying for them AND prayed WITH them, that it’s because of all these things that we are a close family today. Many people asked us over the years what we did as parents to have such wonderful kids today. All I can say is, show your children respect, be interested in what’s going on in their life, give them great big hugs and pray for them daily. …and don’t be afraid to have a little fun, be crazy and goof around with them!

  22. I just found this on Pinterest and had to comment. As a few others have commented, I *wish* my parents had done anything like this when I was in college. I had a really difficult time in college and instead of trying to understand and really help me through it, they only offered criticism. Even 4 years after college, I still have a rough relationship with them. What you’re doing for them is amazing and wonderful. Thank you for being who you are and sharing it! I hope this is an inspiration to parents struggling with their young adult kids.

  23. Thank you Gina! Since I am still a young adult myself your post was about everything I wish my own parents were but are not able to be… Not that they are not loving parents, but they lack good communication skills… It did encourage me though to become that kind of a parent myself one day! It is good to know that there are encouraging parents out there who take the time to truly know their kids yet let them be who they are 🙂

    1. You know what, it seems like what you have experienced is exactly what my life has been with my own parents! They aren’t able to communicate much either. They still don’t! But, like you, that is exactly what God used to cause me to want to do it differently! Not having that encouragement was what motivated me to want to do all I can for my own children! So, don’t forget your resolve! You will be a blessing to your children!!

      Blessings to you!

      1. Ladies I love your vulnerability! Just a thought…why not turn this around and serve your parents in the way that would’ve been so meaningful for you? Let them experience what it feels like to have someone emotionally invest in them! As hard and awkward as it might feel at first, it’s great practice for when you have your own children. I know you’ll master this as a parent, but how might God grow you as a daughter!

  24. Gina, What great ideas! These could be applied or modified for children no matter old they are. I wish my parents and in-laws had been more like this . We try to be with our children who are in their early 20’s, both good hard working kids. You are a wonderful mom and a thoughtful person. Thank you for this post!!

    1. Thank you, Cindy! I’m so glad you are encouraged by this!

  25. Tamara Bennett says:

    These are some great tips! I would love to see a list of tips for an older child too, such as very young married. For example, my mom will babysit for us when we need a date night. She is an amazing babysitter. Not only are the kids bathed and in bed when we get home, but she has done the “little things” around the house that i haven’t found time to do. i.e. take out the trash, wash the dishes, start a load of laundry. It’s the little things like that that make me realize just how special my mother is.

  26. sally miller says:

    I would like to know how to bless the wayward child. the one who wants to live their life their way because they have their free agency. That is fine untl it makes other physically sick and depressed from worry. How do you bless them.

    1. Sally, the whole point of having children is to raise self-sufficient, autonomous human beings. You can bless your “wayward” child by trusting a) your parenting and b) their own sense of self-preservation. Instead of spending your time making yourself sick worrying about things you have no control over, spend that time and energy on positive things. The last thing any adult child is interested in hearing is how what they’re doing (that doesn’t involve you or self-harm) is making you sick with worry. That is not a way to bring your child back to you.

  27. I’m feeling like a really good mother after reading this….both my girls are in college and I do most all of this already….just a great affirmation to know that I’m doing something right!..Thanks!

  28. Lauren Bostock says:

    I am a college student myself and I think that that is a great list I wish that my parents did things like that. I go to school a long way from home but when I’m home I just want to go back to school. I think it’s great that you have such a great way to let your kids know you care.

  29. I am a 21 year old set to graduate in December. My mom does these things for me and it is so helpful. I am also on a full ride at school so my parents give me money to survive on during the week for taking care of the house. It makes life so much easier because nursing school is a fulltime job without another job added to it! Keep up the good work! I’m sure your child appreciates what you do for them.

  30. This made me tear up b/c my mom did many of these things for me when I went to college 3,000 miles away. once, she even showed up to my dorm as a surprise (in new york from california)! She cleaned my room, hung out with me, and helped me with a late last minute paper 🙂

    good times!

  31. There are some really good ideas on this list (I especially like the ones that involve personal one on one time together!). However, (eek!) PLEASE mothers…do not do too much for these young adults! Especially the sons! Seriously, the BEST thing you can do for your sons is to make sure they are 100% self sufficient so they are good husbands to their future wives. Let them clean their homes, cook their meals, do their laundry. Don’t take away their blessing of learning to do for themselves! So says the young wife and mother who had to teach her husband how to cook, clean, and generally help out in the home without having to be asked and instructed in every little thing!! :X

  32. AMY DONALDSON says:

    I wanted to respond to the comments about how to encourage a daughter-in-law as I have been one now for 23 years. My mother-in-law and I have always had an interesting relationship. Sometimes she seemed pushy and wanting her agenda, but usually she made me feel that she was my biggest cheerleader and and so thankful I was the one who married her son and parented her grandchildren. I think the key to being supportive is to do it through spoken and written words, but with actions it may often be best to ask first…ex: “would you like it if I did some laundry while you were gone?” or “I hope you don’t mind but I had some extra time and just put a couple of loads in.” rather than “it looked like you could use some help around here.”

  33. When I was in college my mother did none of these things for me and I’m thankful for that. I learned that I have to manage my time and that sometimes laundry and exams are going to happen at the same time and I had to be prepared for that. My mom and I had and still have a great relationship and I know I can turn to her when I need her, but I was taught to be independent and to manage for myself.

  34. This post had me in tears, I saw it through pinterest.
    I’ve been living away from home coming up to a year, I would of been so grateful for any of your suggestions to of supported me.
    Your children are so lucky to have you (I’m 24) and those things are never forgotten.
    I particularly liked the birthday box. I was three states away from family for my birthday, it was a lonely and depressing day, I hope others take on your suggestions. Because without those loving gestures there’s only hopelessness and depression.

    1. I lived with my parents until I moved away from home ( I came from another country ) and I got married at 23, even though I had a husband, I missed my family and my parents a lot, back at home I never had to do any house work, no laundry, no cooking I never had the time to learn I was too busy, so to add up to my misery I had to learn to do all the above. I had sad days because I felt like I was missing out a lot being away from my siblings and specialy my mom, I felt guilty because I left my parents for a man (husband) but my mother told me “Do not waste your time being sad, thinking of all the things you are missing out with us, enjoy all the new experiences, people and specially be happy wherever you are, you will meet new friends, new people that are in the same situation away from home, your parents will always be there loving you and supporting you even if is far away, now I am 53 years old, my mother just passed away but those 30 years I continued having a great relationship with my parents even long distance, I called them twice a week visited them twice a year and made them participate of all my children activities, triumphs ,my up and downs.I learn to talk to my parents always with a positive attitude, telling them that I loved them, but I never told them about difficult times until they were over or if it was a difficult situation I told them after the situation was solved, after all they could not do anything to solve my problems long distance. Our conversations were full of advice, recipies, prayers and stories. She was right I chose to enjoyed my new life, and love them long distance. Now that my mom is gone and I miss her dearly, but I am going to enjoy everything that she tought me and the great times we had talking on the phone. when I see my adult kids I see a lot of my mom in them and I smile. I am sure her advice even from heaven is Enjoy life! I am still watching after you.

  35. How do us kiddios return the favor and bless our parents?

    1. Jenny, Just the fact that you asked that question has blessed me!!

  36. Sharon Underwood says:

    I read these comments and had to tell about my MIL. She has always like to do “goody bags” for just about each and every holiday, St. Patrick’s day, Valentine’s day, Halloween, etc. She would do one for each of the 4 children and most of the time one for my husband and I. It meant so much to me that she did that and I know my children liked it. She still does this even though all 4 kids are ages 18-25.
    Everyone loves to get gifts and be remembered.

  37. First of all, it’s really cool that you want to do nice things for your kids but there’s one thing on the list that I (being an 18 year old) would find invasive if my parents did.
    Cleaning my room: It may be messy and that may suck but chances are that I know where things are and when I want it clean I will clean it. It feels like an invasion of privacy if my parent moves things in my room without my permission.
    You sound like a really great and generous mom, I’m sure your kids appreciate all you do for them.

  38. Thanks so much for this, my mommy does things like this for me all the time and on small holidays like Valentines Day, St. Patricks or the Fourth of July she always leaves me either a cute card, my favorite candy(skittles & snickers) and some festive socks, because I love festive, fun, and funky socks, and she’ll get me a pair to match the holiday. I try to do the same for her, if I see something cute at work that I know she’ll like I buy it for her(if my budget allows) I’ll pick up maybe a small sanitizer and small candle from Bath & Body Works that I know she loves or HER favorite candy and I know its the small things that count. I really like when we have our lunchdates as well we like to call Jason’s Deli “our spot” and I love to treat her as often as I can. We even have a special booth that we sit in everytime we go! Thanks so much again for this post!

  39. Being a newly single mom to 3 amazing kids I am reaffirmed by your post. My son is 22 and about to graduate college, my daughter is 18 and a freshman at the same college, and my youngest daughter is 14 and a freshman in high school. I cherish every moment I spend with each of them as well as the time we have together as a family. I am blessed that they still like to hang out with me and each other. I can’t ever imagine not doing special things for my kids, no matter what their ages. Thank you for letting me know that other moms care as much and bless their kids as much as I do.

  40. I wish my mom did things like this for me. We don’t have a great relationship and I have never felt very supported by her. I am in college getting a second degree (and I am now married) but she mostly just gets mad or ignores me when I am busy. Your children are very lucky to have someone that shows support when they are in need.

  41. Thank you so much. My husband and I are entering a phase that 15 years ago we did not think we would enter. Our two autistic sons (ages 23 & 20) are contemplating getting their own apartment. Our 18 year old plans on attending an out-of-state university next year.

    We have a wonderful relationship with our guys, but this gave me some great ideas for non-verbal communication of our love and concern for them. They all work hard, attend college and take care of most of the household chores (GASP–I’ll have to wash dishes again!!). Thanks for the encouragement to creatively bless them and let them know of my love.

    Blessings to you!

  42. What amazing ideas!

    I am a graduate student, and have often felt distant from my parents. These kinds of things are the glue that keep relationships going strong–I am amazed at the effort you put in to showing your kids how you love them. I also wanted to add that I am not religious, and these ideas transcend any religion. This is the good stuff, people! Thanks for posting!


    1. Elise, Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I love what you shared! Yes, it is the glue that keeps relationship strong. We all need it!

  43. This post almost made me cry. Im 23 years old and I realized that my mom’s done almost everything you put on here. It just shows how hard she tried to be there for me, support me, make me happy. Shes tried so hard to try to connect with me. I will definitely do the same for my kids:)

  44. These are great ideas! When I was away at college my Dad would send me gift cards to Subway, McDonalds, Starbucks or other fast food restaurants. Just $5 cards but it was always a nice treat! He would alway send them in funny cards or with silly pictures, like our cat climbing the Christmas tree! Let me see little things I was missing back home but kept it humorous so I wouldn’t get home sick. I hope to have kids someday so I can bless them the same.

  45. Louanne Huff says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I did many of these things for my own sons, but it’s a great reminder of ways to bless them them and their families when they come to visit. And now, I can continue the blessings with my college-aged grandchildren.

  46. I love this! It reminded me of all of my mom’s TLC when I was in college and even now – I am 41! (She still drops off dinner when I am working a long day & sends me notes in the mail, sometimes just a quick tidbit on scratch paper. I love those the best 😉 Her loving care and your post are reminders of things I can hopefully do one day for my son (& his friends). He is 10 now but the young adult days are coming soon – waaaaaaahhhhhhh! 🙂

  47. When my 17-year old son went away to college (he has since returned home due to his father’s medical condition), I sent him a care package almost every week, just to let him know that he was on my mind. I missed him so much and although getting out in the world was good for him, I’m glad that he’s back home.

  48. When I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a
    comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment.

    There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

    1. Katie Howard Clemens says:

      Please send me an email to I’m not entirely certain why that is happening to you but I’d be happy to try to help get the issue resolved for you. Blessings,

  49. A Canadian Mom says:

    Very nice ideas… I’ve tried many of those but it is particularly challenging when all 3 sons have rejected God (they used to be Christians) and now find that they have little in common with us. They all started off in college and have dropped that as well. I feel so sad that any attempts to encourage and support are being rejected… I have truly tried many of your strategies. Feeling discouraged… any advice for this type of situation? Other than prayer… and more prayer….

  50. Your ideas are so thoughtful and loving. It inspired me to remember how great my adult & soon to be adult children are. Thank you!

  51. I went to college on the other side of the state, and my dad often had to go to a nearby city on business trips. It always made my day when he showed up at my dorm and treated me to dinner at a real restaurant. These little acts really do matter to young adults. 🙂

  52. Thank you, our daughter is in college across the country and I have had a hard time knowing what to do for her your site is amazing and I can not wait to do some of these things for her. Thank you again and God Bless

  53. antonieta says:

    Great ans simple ideas, i´m a profesional working mom & ussually i don´t have so much time to think about. Thanks for sharing!

  54. Wendi lauer says:

    That was great advice.

  55. This post is amazing. You have no idea how much I got from this article. My kids aren’t in college yet, but this is actually very handy. Thanks!

  56. This is so timely for me as my daughter just turned 18 and we are struggling a little bit. Great advice! I’m going to keep coming back to read this. Thank you!

  57. elizabeth thomas says:

    My daughter is in England at capernwray bible school and this has given me some really cool ideas for her birthday parcel. Thanks

  58. my little is still just a toddler but I’m saving your list! I loved it and thinking about how I can do these things for my girl some day. Thank you 🙂

  59. To love & care & grow a child with values is so much easier than having to fix an adult. Either way it is so worth it.

  60. To love & care & grow a child with values is so much easier than having to fix an adult. Either way it is so worth it.
    Thank you for the ideas I love them.

  61. If my son is really stressed I will go to his college (about 1.5 hours away) take him off campus and out to eat. We sometimes go to the mall and look for cloths for him but when I come home I will bring his cloths home and wash them and take them back a day or two later.

    I also make homemade soup and freeze it so if he has late nights and missed the dining hall he has a good meal that reminds him of home.

  62. Paula Boroughs says:

    Thanks. Great place for me to start.

  63. I have a 21 year old (just turned 21) and she is away at college, and her brother is almost 20 and still lives at home but has a full time job. Thank you for some of these tips! They both have very different lifestyles because of what they are doing, so it’s hard sometimes. I am divorced from their father, so they are my entire world!

  64. Need help with my 18 and 20 year they don’t want to help around the house cause they are going full time to collage I’m a single parent

  65. Gina, Thank you! I have been struggling to tell and show my 20 year old son (who is away at college most of the year) how important he still is to me, and that I respect him as an adult, but am still available to him as his parent/mentor/guide if and when he still needs me to be. I have been told that I do too much for him while he is a home (make sure he gets to pick at least one of his favorite meals, do a load of laundry for him if he is busy studying, etc.), and that I shouldn’t spoil him. Thank you for sharing this and validating my actions and feelings for my young adult son! I don’t want to spoil him, but I also think that these small actions let him know that I understand he is under a lot of stress and is trying hard to become a good man!

    1. I don’t think you’re spoiling him I think you love him. From one mom to another I think what you’re doing is great.

  66. My kids are 26&28 with kids of thier own and I will definitely use some of your ideas. Love the care package idea. It’s a great way to let them know that no matter what age they are mom is always thinking about them. Thank you.

  67. I think these are great ideas. I do many of these things for my grown kids too. Sunday night dinners followed by Project Runway episodes are our favorites. And we send the leftovers home for weekday lunches.