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Tips for Parents & Guardians
During months of summer break (May – July), parents and guardians of college students may find these tips useful:
Talk about money with your son or daughter. Help prepare them to budget for the coming school year. Be sure that both you and your student have an awareness of their upcoming Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and costs for travel, books, deposits, etc. Talk about where the money for your EFC is going to come from.
Clarify or reinforce the boundaries at home in light of the expanded freedoms experienced at college.
Balance your support of your student with their need to grow independently.
Your student’s experiences and expanded knowledge will result in growth and change. The length of time between visits will make these changes especially pronounced for you. Your observations can and should be opportunities for meaningful discussions. Showing respect during this time of exploration is far more productive than comments of the “wow, this sure is a change!” variety.
Talk about communication and the importance of reciprocity. Make sure that both you and your student are comfortable with the expectations you mutually agree to uphold.
Recognize that you can’t say everything during a brief visit. Write letters and email to your student to maintain regular communication, reinforce your support and love, ask questions about their progress (good and bad), and provide encouragement.
The end of any academic year is a perfect time to help your student evaluate and reflect on what went well, along with the lessons learned from what went didn’t go so well. Take the time to express your pride in their accomplishments and progress, in both academics and personal growth.
- As your student prepares to return to classes, reiterate your expectations for the coming year, make sure they have everything they need to meet those expectations, and let them know they have your confidence and that you believe in them.