I think when my kids go off to college, I will have more anxiety than I do about these last few days where I walked my three little ones into Pre-K, 1st grade and 2nd grade. I totally get why my mom cried when she drove me to college and why my dad just seemed mad. The idea of allowing your kid to make decisions completely on his or her own is frightening. I also understand it is one critical rite of passage. Every young adult needs to be given the opportunity to develop independent decision-making skills. They need to learn how to recognize a potential problem, solve it or not, and then resolve it or not. I know that sounds blasé, but I really believe that independence is one of the most valuable qualities an adult should possess.
So this got me thinking about the kind of package I would send to my hopefully, independent, clear-headed and responsible kids in college. This is my dream, so I am going to paint my three kids; who are currently crazy, happy, energetic, argumentative, inquisitive, silly and loud; as I hope them to be. Considering most colleges started about one month ago, I think it is time for me to get a care package together. Those of you with college kids, might be laughing at me, I know three kids all exactly the same !? with such admirable qualities ?! – hey a mom can dream!
Instead of sending packaged food, hair ties, ink cartridges, and subway gift cards, I think I would probably focus on safety in general. As independent as I want my kids to be, I think I am going to nudge them towards keeping themselves and their things safe. Some of you reading might have a problem with some of these items. Keep in mind, I am martial arts instructor, fitness professional and I teach weapon disarms, sexual assault prevention and Krav Maga full-time. Another detail about me that might give you some insight into why I would choose these items today for my imaginary 3 college kids is that I was born and raised in downtown Chicago; the real downtown- Chicago Ave and Wells Street, not Skokie or Hinsdale (great places of course). So, my POV on gifts and necessities might be a little different than the average mom.
Pepperface Protective Spray with the cartridges it runs about $35-40. This is the best protective spray on the market. My favorite aspect of this product is that the spray shoots out the bottom in a cone, not a cloud. This is more realistic because your hands should raise in a guard to defend your face or strike an attacker. Therefore, you can spray the 'heat' can at the attacker and discharge it with your thumb, not index finger. It's lightweight because it is made from aerospace aluminium. It is thin and compact, yet strong enough to use as a weapon when hitting an attacker. It also comes in black for your sons and does not look like a mace-like can.
Auto Road Side Emergency Kit run about $20-25 depending on which one you buy. But this should be in every college kid's car. I know that I used mine several times, driving back and forth from University of Illinois to Chicago. Now I realize you can buy much better quality tools individually, but I think kids will not keep a set of random tools organized in their car. Most likely, it will never be opened unless they actually need it. Keep in mind, now our kids can just look up on youtube a video that will help them solve their car problem and with an organized set of tools they are more likely to be able to solve their problem.
Power Cells can be found for the car or a USB cord. Both of these brands are are affordable and easy to find. Other than going on a website to order one like Amazon, I found this Sound Logic brand at Bed Bath and Beyond for $15. The value of giving your kid this item for their car or backpack, is if their phone dies in an emergency. It is also great for them to travel with it if they go on any hiking trips or fly home during the holiday season. If they do not have the Mophie charger which runs about $90
Suggesting LoJack for your kid's computer might seem like I am paranoid, but the truth is, even a responsible kid can easily get their laptop stolen. Absolute LoJack's theft recovery software is available for laptops, smartphones and tablets . The software rebuilds itself and provides a constant link between owner and machine. It costs $30 a year.
Blender bottle and healthy ISALEAN Shakes are a great way to keep your kid nourished. I find that kids are subject to eat crap because they do not have good snacks in their bag. The blender bottle will allow them to make a shake for themselves at any time of the day. They cost about $14-20 a bottle. There are several different styles, the one I am showing has a compartment for powders and vitamins. The ProStak’s has interlocking jars and lids. It has SureSeal™ flip cap so it will not spill in their back pack as well and the BlenderBall wire whisk will mix their powder so their shake is not lumpy. As for Isalean Shakes by Isagenix, they are by far the best product on the market. Other than offering an organic protein (which is glutten free), it is combined with a low glycemic carb source (meaning it will keep their blood sugar even and brain functioning). There are also vitamins, mineral, digestive enzymes and fiber. Send them a box of individual packets.
A computer lock kit is a valuable security measure. When your kid leaves their room to shower, study, eat or go to class. It would be nice to know if their roommate leaves the door unlocked their computer will be safe. There are several different ones on the market but this one is fairly basic and very affordable at $30.
I know I might be over-thinking the safety of my fictitious college kids this fall, but I think I would like them to have some additional security system when they are sleeping in their dorm room. The Dorm Room Door & Window Alarm with Chime is ultra thin, so that is slides into a window easily and the chime is fairly loud. Although it takes three batteries, it is only $15.