Missouri-based professional ‘second mom’ reveals how to support kids during the college years

Read the full article as published in Fox News by Brittany Kasko on October 4, 2023

Sending your child off to college can be a tough time for parents — and students.

And one mom perceived a need — and filled it.

A Missouri-based mom founded a professional parenting company to serve college students living far from their families. Mindy Horwitz is the founder of mindyKNOWS and shared with Fox News Digital some of her best tips for helping guide a child through the ups and downs of college life.

Horwitz’s No. 1 tip is simple: Encourage your child to try new things.

College can be a hard transition for many students as they leave their hometown, friends and family — but Horwitz recommends encouraging them to keep pushing to find new, exciting things to do. “Suggest that they join a club, take a class on a topic that is not in their field of study — or try new foods,” she said.

The mother of three said it’s important to allow kids to explore in this unique time of independence.

Horwitz’s second tip: Give kids the space they need — when they need it.

Often, students can either take one of two approaches to communicating with their parents throughout the college years: constant communication or ghostly silence.

“Let them know that you are happy to talk with them at any time, but follow their lead and don’t be that parent that calls every day or even every week to check up on your child,” she said.

She recommends that parents let their young people drive the communication patterns based on their particular schedules and changes at school.

“Send them a treat or special note to make them feel good and supported by their family.”

Mindy Horowitz

Although communication can be different for all, Horwitz said to make sure you’re celebrating your child’s accomplishments no matter what.

“Even when kids are far away and doing their own thing, parents can show love and support by sending an occasional treat and message of love to support their child,” she said.

Horwitz said this could be for doing well on an exam, getting a Greek life bid or making a competitive club group, among other things.

“Send them a treat or special note to make them feel good and supported by their family,” she said.

MindyKNOWS began in 2019 after Horwitz’s son went to college nearby.

She began to notice, she said, that other parents were worried about their students who were attending college far from home.

“Every day … they’d ask where to get a birthday cake for their student or where to get chicken soup if their student was sick,” she said.

“It occurred to me that as local parents here in St. Louis, we had an opportunity to help.”

Among the services the company provides: picking up prescriptions, assembling furniture, offering advice to parents about the best local doctors and restaurants, ironing sheets, decorating dorm rooms — and more.

MindyKNOWS memberships range from monthly payments of $49 to all four years of school for $1,850, according to the company’s website.

The service is right now offered at Washington University in St. Louis, Northwestern University, University of Hartford and Skidmore College.

The company mindyKNOWS is the only college parent support service of its kind that supports more than one campus, Horwitz said.

Fox News Digital’s Megan Myers contributed to this report.