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Parental support is important to the success of students. So you may help your son or daughter achieve his or her best, we offer various tips.
Once a student leaves for college, life at home is never the same. You may experience a mix of sadness and elation. The roller coaster of emotion is common, especially when it’s the first child to leave home. If you have several children, by the time the last one leaves you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. Nonetheless, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge this change.
HELP TO PREPARE YOUR STUDENT
Even though he or she may not want to talk about it, your student is probably on an even larger emotional roller coaster. Some students are ready to leave the nest on their own and can hardly wait. Others may need a little nudge. After 18 years of parenting, you’ll know what to do; the best advice is to trust your instincts.
If your student is open to talking about the change, be a good listener and acknowledge the feelings. What is your student looking forward to? What is he or she worried about? See how you can help. Often there will not be any specific thing you can do about these feelings. Just listening to your student without feeling that you must solve his or her problems is often enough.
Send care packages of food and treats. College students are always hungry and often miss their favorite foods. A package from home is always welcome, and it helps to send enough so the student can share with new friends.
Also, make sure you discuss how and when you will communicate with your student. Will your student call hourly with updates (it happens) or disappear into a cone of silence, only to appear when needing money? Clearly set your expectations for the frequency and method of contact; this will help set boundaries for both parties. For example, one suggestion that experienced parents want to pass along is to never drop in for an unannounced visit. They recommend respecting your student’s need for space and privacy.
Research shows that 80 percent of college students will contact their parents once a day, either by phone or electronic message. Make sure you discuss cell phone minutes and text message fees. Yes, they can send over 500 text messages in a month to their new and old friends. Concerning what? Sometimes it’s better not to know. Students claim they use text messages to cut down on use of cell phone minutes. A review of past phone bills might find evidence of this claim a bit thin.
IF DISASTER STRIKES
Your student may run into problems or roadblocks that seem like disasters to him or her, even though you may consider the issue trivial. Or, he or she may have a genuine crisis while at UCM. Our Student Affairs professionals have had experience in solving a myriad of student problems (trust us; we’ve seen them all) and have a lot of resources available to help your students. If a problem arises, there is often a solution available through a campus resource. Many resources can be found on our web page Life@UCM, along with contact information. If you fail to find what you are looking for, contact the Office of Student Affairs, Administration 214, 660-543-4114.
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