Former Extension Educator, Family Life
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Thursday, August 20, 2015
It is happening. You have anticipated this day all summer long. It is here and unfolding before your eyes. The car is unpacked and your college student is settled into their home away from home for the next four years. You muster up a cheerful smile and try not to let them see you cry as you hug good bye. The college experience has begun…and so has your new adventure in parenting.
Most colleges anticipate the issues which arise during this time and offer some great advice. Here are just a few of the tips that I found helpful:
- Know that your student is well prepared for this experience and you have done a good job!
- Listen when your student calls you with a problem or struggle and try not to solve it for them. Many times they simply need to talk it through with someone they trust.
- Keep in contact with your student as much as possible through emails, texts and phone calls.
- Don't expect your student to respond to your texts or phone calls immediately. They will be busy. It may be a good idea to schedule a day when you both can take the time to catch up on things.
- Send texts or messages to let them know you are thinking of them. These do not require a response and go a long way to support your student. One student reported that she saved encouraging messages and looked back at them when she needed them.
- Use your smart phone or computer to Skype or FaceTime with your student. Your smile can go a long way to encourage them.
- College students love to get mail! Send letters, cards and of course…care packages.
- Encourage your student to become involved in student groups and activities and meet new people.
- Sign up to receive emails or newsletters from the college to stay informed about what is happening on campus. Don't rely on your child to tell you.
- Be familiar with the services available on campus where your student can go when they need assistance.
In talking with other parents whose nests are beginning to dwindle, I have come to one conclusion. The joy comes in watching your son or daughter become the person they were meant to be.
Source: "Parent Program." Every Parent Should... N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.