What to expect when your child heads to college — Part I

If you have a son or daughter heading off to college this fall or next, you’re going to want to know all you can about what to expect. And that’s where we come in. We’re here to help you get educated, just like your son or daughter.

Changing Roles

What does that mean? Well, as you may suspect, your role will change once again as your son or daughter becomes more independent. While you will continue to serve as his/her mentor and advisor, you may be doing it from a greater distance. Your son or daughter will start establishing a more adult identity and assume more adult behaviors. As college officials say, “It’s no longer being a parent of a child, it’s being parent of an adult.”

To help parents cope, many colleges and universities hold orientation for parents, including our university.

Helicopter Parents

This term was first used in the early 2000s as a way to describe those parents who are very involved and tend to hover over their children. However, newer communication channels have made it easier for parents to keep track of their children: email, cell phones, text messaging, Skye.

If you’re one of those helicopter parents it may be particularly hard to let go. If you find yourself hovering, ask yourself why and if that hovering is actually preventing your son or daughter from becoming a self-sufficient adult.

Communicating with your college student

Thanks to technology, there are many ways you can stay in touch with your son or daughter. College Parents of America offers six tips on how to make the most of your communication opportunities, including preparing for the conversation. Also, keep in mind that college students always seem to be busy with something, so you may want to arrange a specific time to call.

With all of this new technology don’t forget good old snail mail. Many students love to get mail and packages from home that include a wide assortment of goodies. Need more suggestions on what else to include? Here you go:

Stay tuned. More will be on the way.

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