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updated: 8/13/2013 3:47 PM

Parents, share your best back-to-school advice

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  • It's back to school! Parents, share your advice.

    It's back to school! Parents, share your advice.


Get the phone number of your college freshman's roommate.

That's my advice to parents of new college students, learned the hard way after spending too long imagining what bad things might have befallen my temporarily incommunicado 18-year-old.

She was fine, of course. And after two college freshmen, I've never actually used the roommate phone number. But it's nice to know I have an alternative to calling campus security to check on a "missing" student.

Moms and dads, you've surely learned a few things the hard way, too. So let's pass them along.

What's your best piece of advice for parents newly embarking on the college years? Or the high school years? Or that first big step -- elementary school?

Share it in our comment section below or email it by Thursday to We'll include the best tips in our back-to-school coverage.

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