In August comes the time not only for young children and youth to get back to studying, but also those young adults who are attending college. Whether your student is going to college locally or away from home, there are always concerns that parents have. Here are some suggestions to help both you and your student adjust:
- Talk WITH them not just at them. Listen to what they have to say and ask open ended questions to get at what they are thinking. “What are you excited about?” “What are you anxious about?”
- Share stories of what was good about your school experience. Share stories about what was bad about your school experience – as well as what you would have done differently. Look for stories of other people’s experiences and share those stories – both good and bad. Our kids can learn from the experience of other people and our experiences without actually needing to go through it. Use the news to explain how great and how negative choices impact not only the person making the choice, but their family members, workplace and school.
- Remember your job as a parent is to get them ready to go out to be adults. Your actions and words have been the blue print for them to follow. If you feel you have done a great job then try to relax and let them know you will be available with suggestions if they need it. If you feel you have not done a great job, then be honest and help them to find resources in other adults or other services that can fill in the gaps of where you have left off.
- Encourage them to find resources on campus – tutoring, career centers, social groups that will help them to navigate the every changing world in which they will function.
- Be prepared to see them grow up into the cool adults they will be… Check out the site of the college where they are heading so that you know what resources you can send them to. Become educated yourself.
Take a big breath and try to relax and adjust. This is a big step for you as well as your student.
Director of Curriculum & Education and Mother of Six