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  • Writer's pictureJulie Osborne

Communicating with College Kids

Empty Nesters

Updates are usually brief. Contact can often be infrequent. And if they’re boys, an SOS occasionally may be required. Yes I’m talking about communication with your college kids. While it’s a time to give them space to fly, remaining in contact is important. The question is, what’s the best approach?

Getting a life after your kids leave (preferably even before) should be at the top of your list. And I believe creating a Bitmoji should be next. What’s a Bitmoji, you ask? It’s an app that enables you to design a character for texting and emailing that looks just like you. You choose the eyes, hair, size of your nose, color of your skin, shape of your face, trendy outfit – each detail to make the icon come alive. It’s every college student’s dream – an image of mom or dad popping up on his/her cell phone!

Once created, there are hundreds of Bitmoji characters with messages from “Happy Birthday” to “What’s Up?” – each delivered with your personalized avatar. You need not say a word.

Here are a few of my favorites: (with hypothetical situations that would likely never occur, of course)


When I learned my son decided to major in philosophy instead of pre-med.


When my daughter’s friend crashed her car just hours after I had suggested they delay their trip over my concern of night driving on slippery roads.


Before renting two moving trucks to pick up Craigslist furniture and then items in storage the next day to move my son into his Boston apartment.


After renting two moving trucks to pick up Craigslist furniture and then items in storage the next day to move my son into his Boston apartment.


My favorite morning greeting, especially on the weekends. 


My favorite late night text.


When my son returns home for summer break and tells me he’s a vegetarian as I am firing up the grill for our favorite barbecue chicken. (Then, one week before school starts, he decides he’s not.)


When my daughter won’t carry a small cake onto a non-stop flight (that I paid for) to surprise her brother on his birthday weekend. Emergency cake was ordered in Boston and was apparently delicious. 


Said emergency cake was later charged to daughter

Various responses during conversations concerning school classes, relationships, careers, decisions, ideas, worldviews, etc. (not in any particular order).




These discussions are usually followed up immediately with a text to a girlfriend.


With a single download and a creative design, you will be on your way. While the intention in no way is to annoy your kids, there is a distinct possibility this may happen. But it’s all in good fun and can break the ice when difficult situations arise. At the very least, you’ll likely have a “Bit” more communication!


*To create your own Bitmoji, go to the App Store and download "Bitmoji - Your personal Emoji." It's free!


Meet Author Julie Osborne

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