10 tips for parents sending students to college

HARRISONBURG, Va., August 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Like teaching a child to ride a bicycle, sending a student to college requires a delicate balance between knowing when to hold on and when to let go. DR David OnestakDirector of James Madison University The Advice Center shares advice often heard from “seasoned” parents on how “new” parents can help students navigate the turbulent waters of first year.

  1. convey trust. The bravery of students when they go to college usually masks fears and doubts. Parental encouragement is more important than students typically acknowledge.
  2. Avoid New Leaf Syndrome. Instead of turning to a new page, old problems often resurface during the transition to university. Students with a history of mental health problems should maintain relationships with their providers and continue prescribed therapies. Help your student take better control of health-related matters like taking over-the-counter medication, scheduling an appointment, and learning the basics of health insurance.
  3. Keep the lines of communication open. If parents react too harshly to a student’s mistake, the student can no longer provide important information about grades, roommate problems, or dating relationships. Small problems can turn into big crises.
  4. Don’t rush in and solve problems. Pupils often only assume responsibility when their parents step down. Students need the experience to solve problems independently.
  5. Be realistic about grades. The students are confronted with difficult and demanding academic achievements. Not every straight-A student in high school will be a straight-A student in college.
  6. Use technology to connect, not monitor. Talk to your student about how and how often you should contact them. If you use tracking devices to monitor your students, consider not using them. This conveys that the world is not always dangerous and that you trust them to make good decisions.
  7. Don’t push your student into a major or career. Most 18-year-olds don’t have the wisdom to be sure about such an important decision. Pushing them into a major or career they aren’t interested in is a recipe for trouble.
  8. Talk about finances. Let your student know what you will and will not contribute to college expenses. Help them develop a budget. If your student requests an “emergency” credit card, a good rule of thumb is that if you can eat, drink, or carry it, it’s not an emergency.
  9. Let your student know about important family matters, even if the news isn’t good. While it is not necessary to share all family matters, presenting developments to students can make them anxious as they imagine what else could be happening at home unbeknownst to them.
  10. Keep in mind that the character you worked on developing will continue to guide you. Students often experiment with values ​​that might be more permissive than those at home; This is a normal part of developing identity and independence from their parents. Try bending a little.

SOURCE James Madison University

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