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Tips for Parents

Parent Orientation 2014: “Just for Parents”

  • Show your confidence in your student by allowing them to learn from their mistakes, own and celebrate their successes, and fight their own battles
  • College is a time of self-preoccupation which can sometimes appear self-centered and oblivious to the feelings and needs of other family members.  This, too, shall pass!
  • Be a “safety net” not a “safety harness”
  • Help your student remember to put the inevitable ups and downs of college in perspective
  • Remember that they are still practicing to be full-fledged adults.  Achieving maturity is a long process
  • Keep phone calls brief and non-prying.  Listen more than talk
  • Encourage your student to get involved in at least one extra curricular activity in the first semester
  • Early homesickness does not predict poor adjustment to college
  • Encourage your student to stay on campus most weekends, especially during the first semester
  • Surprise visits to the residence hall room are seldom welcome
  • Help them stay connected with events going on at home – keep them in the loop
  • Try to ignore changes in clothing, hair, or language; these will eventually pass
  • Keep his/her room the same for at least a semester, if possible
  • Find new interests yourself or pursue old ones
  • Keep the communication channels open.  Discuss difficult topics (e.g., alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, future careers) prior to coming as well as throughout college
  • Familiarize with campus, community and online resources.  There are many!
  • Remember that developing independence is crucial and requires efforts from both parents and students.  Resist the urge for multiple contacts per day, limit advice giving/seeking for small problems of daily living