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Parenting 101: The First Semester

As a new college parent, I am learning how to step back and allow my daughter to take control of her own. Just like any parent, I want the best for her but I understand my parenting needs to be different.

When you "hover" over your child you build a barrier between you and your college student. You give them the message that they cannot do anything on their own without their mother and father.

Here are some tips I found useful from an article I read recently:

1. Avoid too many phone calls during the week. Establish a once a week time to talk. Use this time to catch up with everything that has happened. It may be 15, 20, or 30 minutes. The point is, you are not there constantly hovering over your new college student. Let them know that if they need to talk, you are available. But don't just call to be calling. You may make them feel as if you're checking up on them.

2. Encourage your college student to seek available resources at school.
Make sure your child knows who their academic advisors are and encourage them to seek them out for the advice they need. Other resources include student affairs, career centers, medical clinics and other counseling centers. Your student should be familiar with these resources available to college students.

3. Encourage your child to get involved. Throughout their college years, your child should engage in their college's ongoing student activities. You can also suggest that they volunteer for charitable activities. Healthy activities help to combat some of the loneliness your new college student child may feel when they first go to college. And, it's a perfect opportunity for them to meet a diverse group of friends.

4. Let them be in charge of their own finances. Credit cards are disasters waiting to happen. Adults have issues with credit cards. How can we expect a college student to do better? Instead, you should be clear about their monthly living expenses. Use a debit card and each month deposit a set amount. Do not give ANY additional money, unless there is an emergency. This gets your child in the rhythm of budgeting and will teach them how to become more independent.

Comments

More great advice, Beverly. These tips are so important and I'm sure many parents of new college students will be grateful to have a list that's helpful, to the point, and so very true!
More great advice, Beverly. These tips are so important and I'm sure many parents of new college students will be grateful to have a list that's helpful, to the point, and so very true!
Betty Lynch said…
Thank you, Beverly, for your words of wisdom!

Blessings,

Betty
PopArtDiva said…
Beverly - could you please hop aboard the time machine, go back 39 years and send this blog to my mother?
These are such good tips, Beverly, most of all, I wish you and your daughter the best..I'm sure you must be missing her!!

God bless,
Claudia

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