Advice for Parents, From Parents
- Don’t let you child know how sad you feel.
- I was surprised how often we received a phone call on the weekend inviting us to take her to eat. Apparently a break from dorm food is welcome.
- Sign up for Instant Messaging. But let your student initiate most of the conversations.
- I think this is a hard subject to give advice on but maybe some advice on how to address respect for “home rules” when students are home.
- Winter vacation will be different and challenging. Your son or daughter will NOT want to be with the family primarily, but rather with all of the friends left behind, and he/she will expect to play by the new college rules rather than the traditional rules of the house. A FAR different vacation for the family than we had imagined.
- How difficult it is to adjust to not having your child, especially if it’s your first, at home.
- Bring your own dolly if you have one because there are not enough to go around and they cost money to rent.
- It is harder for the second child to leave that it was for the first—not for the student but for the parents. The house feels way too big.
- The social fabric of the university is interwoven with Instant Messenger (IM) and email. IM has become the preferred method of communication for this generation. Sharing the freshmen experience with high school friends at other colleges in real time via IM forms a virtual support group whose benefits cannot be underestimated.
- It’s harder than you anticipate.
- Learn to let go. You don’t have the control you did in high school.
- Book everything at least 6 months in advance, especially if an event is going on!
- Have a subscription to the Michigan Daily. I find it an excellent way to feel in touch with what’s a part of my daughter’s world without infringing on her independence.
- Parents and students should do as much of the adjustment in the ‘life skills area’ as possible before September. Several months before September, open the bank account, balance the checkbook, do the laundry etc. There’s enough new stuff going on in September, so try not to have these things added to the list.
- Prepare yourself for the first vacation home and the student’s ‘re-entry’ into your world, and visa versa. Have common rules of respect before the vacation starts.
- As hard as it is—let go and trust your child to make the right choices.
- I wish I had been told that the tuition bills will go to our student, and wish we could have changed that immediately.
- Not to expect frequent e-mails or contact with your child. He’s off on his own now.
- That the degree of activity decreases at home. It is an adjustment. Get used to quiet time and the phone ringing less.
- Parents should NOT expect their child to call home so much, but that their children enjoy hearing from them via phone calls or mail.
- The feeling of emptiness eventually goes away.
- This year I sent my third student to college. Of the three, he seemed the most mature and needed the least advice. However, his adjustment has been the most difficult. I needed to remember I have done this before, but the student’s experience will be unique.
- You will really miss him when he is gone.
- I thought I would cry more, but once I saw him settled, it wasn’t so bad. I knew it was a grand new beginning for him.
- More information about the registration process and preparing students for many, many back upclasses.
- Pre-arrange a weekly time to talk via phone with your child. You’ll both feel better.
- A friend recommended a book called, Letting Go—A Guide to Parents, offering insights into the wisdom of not holding on too tightly and allowing your adolescent enough room to grow while maintaining a nurturing relationship. It was very helpful to us.
- Be sensitive to your child’s needs (for visits, mail, contact, calls); don’t ignore your own. Trust what you know to be true about your son/daughter and your relationship with them.
- How quickly our children become independent. Communication with parents will be infrequent and typically when something (usually money) is needed. We had received this advice, but were amazed at how quickly it happened!
- He is so happy and that is the key to my adjustment.
- No one has ever really shared with us about the conflict of emotions that come from missing your child at home, and yet the overwhelming feeling of pride as you watch them grow in independence away from home. Also, the turmoil that a sibling who is left at home without her older brother will experience.
- Be prepared for your sophomore to move off campus. They make that decision in November of freshman year.
- I wish I had been more prepared for dealing with my daughter’s “hard times” over the phone and realizing that I couldn’t do much over such a long distance—sometimes listening didn’t seem like enough.