Undergraduate Degree Program

Tips for Parents

You are entering a new phase of your relationship with your child. There is a leap of faith that you must make to know that your child is receiving good advice.

  • Help your child move into the college environment and attend the opening orientation.  But be prepared to leave right after that.
  • Stay interested in what your child is doing, just don’t expect them to remain in constant contact with you.  In fact, make a plan as to how many calls or emails are expected to be sent and/or received each day.  Make this a re-negotiable agreement. 
  • Because your child will be creating a new identity for him or herself, listen to them without judging when they talk about current events or the future.  They may just be trying out new ideas and looking for support.
  • Ask open-ended questions about their plans and activities, such as: “Tell me more about how you made that decision?”  “What do you think is important in making this decision?” “What is the best thing I can do to help you in this situation?”
  • Allow you child to ask college faculty and administrators both routine and important questions before you think it is necessary for you to do so.  On the “how do I do this” highway, they may take a wrong turn but they won’t get lost.
  • Take the time to ask three key questions that, if you simply do what they tell you, will improve your relationship with your child in college:
    1. What is the best thing I can say or do to motivate you to do well?
    2. What is the best thing I can say or do to give you feedback when I disagree with an action or decision?
    3. What is the best thing I can say or do to recognize you when you do well?
  • For the majority of your child’s life you have been right there to help make decisions and choices.  As a college student, your child will need to be more independent and elf sufficient.  Empower your child to solve his/her own problems by offering guidance, encouraging independence, and trusting their decisions.  Handling difficult situations for them only impedes their development.
  • Encourage you child to become involved in at least one club, organization or activity on a regular basis on campus in order to feel a part of the college community.