Tips for parents of college freshmen -

Tips for parents of college freshmen

Here are a few tips for parents who have children heading off to college:

--Talk about the transition -- and the contradictory feelings your whole family may be feeling (excitement, sadness, anxiety).

--Be honest about how you're feeling, but also be encouraging. Express excitement about your child's future.

--Give advice, but only when requested. Consider responding with "What do you think?" or "How would you do it?" Don't be in a rush to problem-solve for your freshman.

--Unless there is a serious emergency, let your child find and use the many resources on campus that will help him or her solve those problems.

--Remember that emotions are particularly cranked up during times of transition. Cut each other some slack.

--Talk about how home will be the same, yet different -- but don't be in a rush to take over your child's room immediately. Your freshman still needs to know he or she has a place at home, at least at first.

--Make definite plans to see one another and talk about those plans.

--Attend to the feelings of your other children.

--And remember: It's OK to let yourself feel miserable about your college student leaving home, for a while. Then remind yourself that your child is not responsible for your happiness.


(Sources: Linda Bips, Muhlenberg College; Marshall Duke, Emory University)

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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