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10 Tips for Parents with a Kid in College

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  1. All Grown Up. Your role with your child will change, but your bond will not. You will still serve as the primary influence in your child’s life. Your relationship with your child as an adult will last for more years than when your child lived at home. The transition to this new relationship will take a while and may be challenging at times as your child establishes his or her independence. However, you will both benefit if you are able to provide appropriate challenges and support.
  2. Communication 101. You will be communicating less frequently, but keep the communication lines open. Use email or other social media as a resource as your student may be busy. Do not call every day.
  3. Keep them on Campus. Welcome your student home, but encourage him/her to stay on campus as much as possible. We work diligently the first six weeks to help students acclimate to campus, develop friendships, and get involved in campus activities.
  4. Avoid “managing.” Encourage your child to take ownership of his/her college experience. Rather than trying to solve her problems for him/her, guide him/her to make smart decisions and to talk to someone on campus who can help your child work through the problem. Resist calling to solve problems for your child.
  5. FERPA. When your child becomes a college student, he assumes the rights over educational information, even if you pay the bill. Your child will need to sign a FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) form in the Registrar’s Office or online to allow you to have access to their educational records.
  6. Applaud Academics. Encourage your student to keep in good academic standing and be understanding if he/she struggles in a class or two.
  7. Have a Discussion. Make sure you and your student take time to discuss the Community Life Covenant and Student Handbook.
  8. Make Connections. Encourage your child to know his RA, RD, ARD, and academic advisor.
  9. Celebrate! Try not to focus on departure or being away from your child. Instead, celebrate him or her college acceptance and be excited for him or her to enter this new phase of life.
  10. Keep them Updated. Talk to your child about what is happening at home. Nothing can be more shocking to a student than coming home to a place that doesn’t “feel” like home because of change. Keep him/her updated once in a while so your child still feels like part of the family even while away at college.
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