Every parent who has ever driven away from their child, leaving them on a college campus for the first time has a moment (or maybe a week) where they wish they could do it all again: hold their hand and start again from the very first day of kindergarten.

What would they do differently? What do they wish they knew then, that they definitely know now? We asked parents of college kids to offer their very best advice for parents of kindergarteners, and we got some great tips to share. (You might want to grab some tissues.)

  • Enjoy every second of this. When they're off to college, they don't come home to you everyday. Look at it this way: there are only 13 more summers before they're off to college. - Gina
  • Parent your child, not your perception of how it "should be". - Lauren
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. And most of it's small stuff that we parents make into big stuff. - Lauren
  • Bring tissues, but it does get easier! - DeAnna
  • Start saving now for senior year and college. College won't be free...Saving is necessary because K to Senior is a flash! Also, because it's a flash treasure it. Don't wish it away. - Dana
  • Be okay with making mistakes. You're likely going to forget a snack or lunch money one day. It's fine. Your child's teacher will do his/her best to cover a snack or give you an extra day for that form to be submitted. - Juanita
  •  And when they forget something? Don't bring it. Let them learn to problem solve and figure out how to get by without it. I give my kids one free rescue of something a year because everyone forgets something once. After that? It's on them to find a solution. - Dana
  • We always celebrate the firsts, and often forget the last- when was the last time you carried your child inside when they fell asleep in the car? The last time you see them stomp in puddles, or help put in braids... Those bittersweet lasts are just as important to you as the firsts, don't be afraid to celebrate them also. - Dee Dee
  • Support and listen to their teachers. Get your children involved with other adults and children in activities that help them see outside the four walls of your home. Use your friends to help them mature and do the same for your friends. It truly does take a village. - Patti
  • Listen with open ears and open heart at the end of each day, even if it's just to witness their body language. As a mom of four boys, that was often the only communication I got. If you listen without judgement or criticism (tough for me) and engage in their life as they grow, you will be rewarded later with them approaching you for advice on bigger issues. Let them know you will always be there thru good or bad. - Pam
  • I hope kindergarten parents cherish every moment cause as my mom always said, "it's best when they're all little under your roof!" This way you know where they are and what they're doing. - Janice
  • Stop rushing and listen to their stories while they still want to tell you everything. I used to say if my house is messy I hope I am off doing something fun with my kids instead of cleaning. - MaryCarole
  • You've got about 13 more years to fully let go of the steering wheel...today is a good day to let him/her go a tiny bit more into his/ her own becoming. - Allison

Most moms admitted that they cried ever harder dropping their kids off to college than they did on the first day of kindergarten...so that's good news, right?

What's your best advice for kindergarten parents?

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