Top Ten Thanksgiving Break Tips – #9

The upper class families were generous in their shares, when asked what advice they would give the parents of USAFA Class 2021, about the cadets’ first break. The overall theme was to be flexible . . . no two experiences are the same and most expectations should be left behind.

TIP #9

Prepare for “Goodbye”

“USAFA Shutdown”

“Be prepared for what we call the ‘USAFA Shutdown.’ Our son cycles from quiet when he first gets home, to the boy we know and love, back to quiet a few hours before he leaves again. We see it every trip home or trips we go to him – a way of preparing for goodbyes and for the hard work ahead.” ~L. Ramseyer

“Do expect some stress on the day they return as they are going back to finals etc., and don’t know what to expect yet.” ~ T. Washer


USAFA Cadet hugging sibling as he heads to the airport after the Thanksgiving Day Break
Photo contributed by Lynn Schumacher

“If they have younger siblings the goodbye is SO VERY hard the first Thanksgiving” A. Casey

“Saying goodbye to an older brother or sister can be heartbreaking for some kids. Find out how you can support your child through this transition,” writes Ann Matturo Gault in her article, Helping Younger Siblings Cope When Your Child Heads to College


Sending our cadet off, or greeting them back at USAFA, with a little something to help them transition, or get through the days between visits is a great way to ease the angst of ‘goodbye.’

We posted a blog yesterday about the 21-day treat box.  You can read it here.

“. . . baked a ton of stuff for him to bring back” ~R. Watkins


I always try to give a quick hug and a tear-less goodbye as I part from my cadet. Whether you walk in with your cadet or just drop off at the curb, whether you stone face it, smile, let the water seep into the eyes, or give it an outright down pour, you know what is best for your cadet in that moment.

No matter what we say here, what advice we give, the “goodbye” is going to be hard for all involved.

Thank you for taking the time to read.  Please share any helpful tips that have worked for you in the comment section below.