Tips for Parents & Guardians
During the fall term months (August – December), parents and guardians of college students may find these tips useful:
- If you are the parent or guardian of a freshman, allow them to establish their independence. Research shows that students who remain on-campus for the first 10 weeks of school (without going home for a visit) have greater success in college.
- Acknowledge the change and the separation that occurs.
- Send your student care packages. When in doubt, send food. Also, great times to send packages are holidays, mid-terms, and final exams.
- Discuss time management with your student. Be aware that the final month of each semester/quarter will be very tough, and that they may need both space and support.
- Parents and guardians can have trouble accepting separation from their son or daughter. Spend time with people you care about. You may want to reach out to other parents with students away at college for support.
- Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise. If it works for you, pass the suggestion on to your student in their stressful times.
- Avoid asking about homesickness (the power of suggestion works against them in this case), but support them if they offer that they’re feeling homesick.
- Set up a specific time to speak with your student by phone each week. It creates a routine, and you may want to make it clear that sticking to the plan is a sign of respect from both sides.
- Allow your student to take the lead during phone calls. It allows them to express themselves and share their feelings about life at college. It also means well-meaning questions from you won't "lead" the conversation, making it harder for your student to bring up topics they’re nervous about discussing.