Preparing for college is daunting! Starting this new phase of life means change for both you and your student. For them, this is their chance to spread their wings. For you, you have to learn to let them. How can you help your child make this transition? Here are some suggestions for parents to consider.
A Parent’s Guide to Preparing for College
Always keep in touch with your child. Whether it be through an email or a phone call, talking can only strengthen your relationship. Typically, contact will be a lot at first, as home sickness may kick in, but don’t get wary when it starts to taper off after a few months. This just means your child is getting used to his or her new surroundings. Ask questions, but don’t pry. Talk to them like an adult by having friendly discussions with simple inquiries.
Its important to know whats going with your teen even though they are away from home. Be involved, but not too involved. Learn the basics: what classes they are taking and when. Most schools have a parents day or weekend, where you can see first hand how campus life is for your son or daughter. Let them show you around and tell you what they have been doing. Your child will appreciate the effort you are making to be involved.
Challenges will be faced everyday, but letting your child know you respect their decisions will go a long way. Support their independence by allowing your student to develop at their own pace. Give positive feedback and suggestions as they grow into young adults with their new found freedom.
With a new place to call home, new surroundings, and new people, change is expected. Guide your teen into young adulthood with communication, support, and encouragement. Good Luck!
You might also want to read this article about questions to ask during a college visit!