Being a Supportive Parent
Don’t rush in and “save the day.” Encourage your student to work through the inevitable adjustments every student has to make.
Don’t worry (too much) about the grades your first-year student will earn.
Don’t worry (too much) about the career consequences of a college program.
Don’t insist on a commitment to a major, now.
Do take the view that college is just one more milestone.
Do express belief that your son or daughter will succeed.
Do keep your perspective and a calm head. Your son or daughter may act a little impulsively during the first year, until he or she finally feels settled.
Do focus on the satisfactions that the many facets of the college experience can bring.
Do keep the lines of communication open. While your son or daughter is away at school, try to breathe a little life back into the art of letter writing.
Finally, take care of yourself.
Your daughter or son may have filled more hours than you realize, and even if all of those hours haven’t been pleasant, there may now be a void. Find something to do to fill the emptiness.
When he or she does come home, take care of yourself then, too. If you’re looking forward to some good family time, say so. If your son or daughter wants to dump his or her laundry and spend all the time with friends, and you’re unhappy with that, say so. If you’re thrilled with the growth and the progress and the maturity you see, say that too.
Stay connected, but let go.
“Being A Supportive Parent: A Few Tips”adapted from Beymer, Lawrence, and Richard C. Nelson. 1990.
Parenting a College Student: Do's and Don'ts for Making Effective Choices (West Lafayette, IN: Nelson Communications).
An additional resource for parents is the book: Letting Go, A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years. (Coburn and Treeger, Quill, 2003).
Contact the Office of DevelopmentCall the Office of Development at 800.622.6072.