As a parent, you only want the best for your kids. It really doesn’t matter what age they are, you never stop worrying about them. We ask parents all the time, “What do you want for your student?” Almost always, we get a variation of this answer, “I want them to be happy and safe.” So do we!
That’s why over the next few posts, we’re going to be doing a series around some of the top College Concerns that parents have. First up – the transition to adulthood and being safe.
The Transition to Adulthood
One of the greatest concerns college-bound students’ parents have is helping them transition from an adolescent into an adult. While this is not easy, it is SO crucial for our student’s long term success in their education and in life. But, how can you help them make this transition?
Open up the conversation:
Before your student heads off to school, help open a healthy dialogue about responsibility, class schedules, balancing work and fun, and more. Helping your students to start thinking about these things before they head off will have them thinking ahead and creating more independence.
Support, don’t coddle:
College is a massive time of transition and it won’t always go as planned. There will be bumps in the road and difficulties for your students. While we should always be supportive, we don’t need to coddle our students either. It’s crucial they learn to problem solve and “figure it out” for themselves while having a great support system in you.
This is possibly one of the hardest things you’ll ever do as a parent, but it is critical for a healthy transition. Remember, experiences and situations are often our greatest opportunities for learning and growth, especially when they don’t go as planned. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the ability to reflect upon the experience, capture what went well, identify what didn’t go well, consider what they might have done differently. This is part of becoming an adult, and while they have to do that on their own, conversation and guidance is immensely helpful.
Last note – Don’t hover. Let go and let them spread their wings!
Not only do we want our students to be happy, fulfilled adults, but maybe most of all – we want them to be safe. In our experience, most students don’t consider safety a whole lot before heading off to school, so this is a very important conversation to start. Here are some safety tips to share and discuss with your students in preparation for when they head off to school.
Lock your doors: As your student has been living at home the past 18 years, they may not have considered this a whole lot. You lock up at night and they don’t have to worry about it. This is simple but important to stress.
Utilize campus security: If a student has to walk home in the dark, especially a female student, they shouldn’t think twice about getting a ride from campus security.
Keep your eyes up: Don’t bury your face in your phone everywhere you go – especially at night. Be aware of your surroundings so you’re not surprised by any potential danger.
Stay in groups: There’s strength in numbers. Don’t walk alone at night ever. Make sure someone knows where you are and when you expect to be back as well.
Learn your campus: This goes hand in hand with keeping your eyes up. Get to know your surroundings so you can be more aware of them.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but will give you a lot of great conversation starters to have with your student and could lead to some deeper conversations as well.
If we can stress anything about helping your students transition into adulthood and helping them learn to be safe, it is simply opening up a conversation about it. Speaking of conversation, always make a conscious effort to have a dialogue…meaning a conversation that includes and engages them rather than at or to them. This will help set them on the right track and set them up for a lifetime of success.
Have questions about helping your students thrive in college and beyond? We’d love to chat with you!