For most parents, it is a proud moment when their children start attending college. It is exciting, but also nerve-racking, time for students as well as their parents. It doesn’t take long to discover that college and high school are very different situations. More demands are placed on college students, and the transition can be difficult for many to bear.
There are numerous ways that parents can help make the transition and acclimation to college life more comfortable for their children. The five ideas that follow are some of the easiest, but also most significant, and ways parents can lend support and assistance during this challenging period.
Be part of the process, but don’t hover. Young people need to have the opportunity to develop good habits without assistance from Mom and Dad. If they have already learned and developed good habits for study, time management, and socialization at home, those learned behaviors will translate naturally to the college environment.
It’s silly to think that college-aged students will never need parental advice. They will likely need parental input at this point in life more than ever. Encourage behaviors that make the student more self-sufficient and responsible, but don’t pull away from their support base. It’s okay to ask how the school is going, for example, but try not to micro-manage. If the student raises specific concerns or worries, it’s time to play the parent card. If not, leave as much space as you can for the student to stretch and grow.
Identify Academic Struggles
Keep lines of communication wide open and make sure the student is comfortable confiding in you when things get difficult. Help him, or she gets the help needed to succeed. That could mean coaching the student on how to approach a professor, academic advisor, or dean. It can also mean helping him, or she gets help with difficult writing assignments by procuring term paper or essay help by this site.
Support Tough Decisions
Some students who transition immediately from high school to college find it difficult to acclimate. If your student’s grades are not up to par and it is apparent that the transition is too overwhelming, it might be a good idea to look at some other options. Taking a semester or year off can help the brain cells reset enough to handle the demands of college life again. Alternative certificate programs might also be a better option than a degree.
Be a Source of Encouragement
Students with supportive, encouraging parents tend to do better academically than those without. Always encourage your student to work and achieve to his or her full potential. Helping him or her to become success-minded will make achieving academic excellence easier, especially if your support doesn’t waver. When things are going well, offer praise. When things get tough, offer assistance. Always maintain positivity and try not to let emotion govern how you deal with individual situations.
Past, Present, and Future
How we raise our children and the values we instill in them when they are young can have a significant impact on how they deal with changes, transitions, and challenges. There is no right formula to follow; every student has his or her own unique set of needs and abilities. Commit to always bringing out the best in your student(s), and they will make you proud, not just as students, but as well-rounded, productive, and successful adults.