As your student goes to, or returns to, college everything changes. They are taking on adult responsibilities as well as experiencing new people, places, and situations. Your role as a parent is changing too, and it can be hard to know what to do. Students need you to support their growth, development and independence. Learning to navigate these changes can be difficult, so below you will find advice to help you through this challenging time.
Who Are You?
Growth comes from trying new things. This often means trying new behaviors and flexing the boundaries of identity. So your child may do and say things that seem totally out of character. Don’t freak out and don’t address every change you see. Unless their behavior is harmful to themselves or others let them grow and change with the knowledge that you love and support them no matter what. Rest assured that some of the changes you see are a phase and self-correct.
Studies show that parents influence their child’s behavior regarding drugs, alcohol, and risky sexual behavior even after their child leaves for college. Provide your student with the facts on these issues, and empower them to distinguish between good and bad decisions when it comes to their behavior, health, and safety. Create an atmosphere of open communication, and your student will not only appreciate that you respect him or her as an adult, but he or she will also be more likely to turn to you for guidance.
Support your student by staying connected. Communicate via phone, e-mail, IM, cell phones, and ‘snail’ mail. Students love to get real mail and our friends at Love From The Nest have great care packages. Expect that your student will not respond to all of your contacts, but know that he or she appreciates hearing from you.
CareerPrep is a career-coaching firm working exclusively with young adults to help them successfully transition from college to career. Through private coaching, workshops and boot camps we help students explore potential careers and build career readiness skills so they can obtain a meaningful job after college.