Tips for a successful parent /college student relationship
Finding oneself is difficult enough without feeling that the people whose opinions you respect most are second-guessing you. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to trust your student.
ASK QUESTIONS (BUT NOT TOO MANY).
Many college students think they are “cool” and may resent interference with their newfound independence. Most desire the security of knowing that you are still interested in their well-being. Parental curiosity may add more stress than relief, depending on the attitudes of the persons involved. Try to avoid “I-have a- right-to-know” tinged questions with ulterior motives or “the nag.” Honest inquiries, however, and the “between friends” communication and discussion will do much to strengthen the parent-student relationship.
Simply put: Be patient.
IT’S ALL PART OF GROWING UP.
The first year of college is full of discovery, inspiration, good times, and new friends. Students experience indecision, disappointments, and mistakes. It will take time for some students to realize that making mistakes and being happy, sad, confused, liked, and disappointed are all part of growing up. Parents need to understand that many college students do not earn good grades, know what major they want to study, have activity-filled days, or make lots of friends. While there are students who experience these things, many others undergo trials and hardships. Being college-educated does not mean one is infallible. Parents who try to accept and understand their student’s experiences are providing timely support and encouragement.
TAKE TIME TO DISCUSS FINANCES.
Discuss your family’s financial status with your son or daughter. Students need to know how much money will be available to them and how much of the fiscal responsibility is theirs.
IF YOUR STUDENT LIVES AT HOME, RELAX OR ELIMINATE HOME CURFEWS.
Commuter students may be on campus quite late to attend review sessions or to complete homework and class projects in small groups. Many professors create group assignments because collaborative work strengthens their students’ understanding of the course content and prepares them for teamwork in a professional work setting. Students also join campus organizations to develop friendships and to explore career, cultural, and personal interests. Organizational meetings are usually after 7 p.m.
Finally, students just need time to hang out and relax. Commuters are welcome to spend time in the Commuter Lounge in the 3rd floor of the Campbell Student Union. The lounge is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. And the USG GameRoom is located in the basement of the Campbell Student Union and is open from 12 pm - 10 pm on the weeknights.
If students are on campus at night, they may request an escort by calling Safe Escort Services by calling University Police (878-6333) or extension 6333 from a campus or blue-light phone.
After 5 p.m. on weekdays and anytime on weekends, commuter students may park their vehicles in lots close to the center of campus.
The cell phone is your way to stay connected and, at the same time, allow your commuter student to assert his or her independence.
Revised from the National Orientation Directors Association Director’s Manual