What parents should expect in their children’s first year in college
August is right around the corner. There are growing appeals to assume that college students are the only ones who undergo significant changes. However, freshman year students’ parents also experience great emotional changes.
If you do not find a balance, it is easy to be thrown off by these many changes. There are some things that parents need to expect and some of the changes they will experience as soon as their children join college. Significantly, parents and child have to share the information with each other about all things that happen to them to have a trusting relationship.
Never ask if they are homesick
There is an excellent power in the association between children and their parents. Most students will not even think about being homesick because of the plenty of new things on their way. However if a parent asks whether they are homesick, they will be. Their first days are filled with endless activities.
They meet new people, learn how to create budgets for themselves, find scholarships for college students, try to navigate the campuses and manage their time so they can study and still have time for fun. Unless they are reminded of it by their parents, they have a great chance to escape the severe bouts of homesickness. So, get away with knowing that they miss you a lot even if they do not tell you that as a survival mechanism.
Always Blame the Roommate
Your support is of paramount importance for your child on this responsible step. Even if children can’t fina d common language in the new environment try to explain that it is not their fault and they just need some time to get used for overcoming problems according to friends or roommates in the dorm.
Do not get carried away in hysterics
Transitioning will be terrible and difficult. It is especially hard if your child did not attend boarding school. Remember that your child does not need to deal with the stress of a hysterical mom.
Do not cry, or fall to hit your head and be carried away in an ambulance. It will make it even more difficult for your child to cope. What you need to do is make sure that you avoid causing stress to your child. You also do not want to appear too cold and unemotional as if you are happy they are living. Find a balance that will assure them of your love and support without being too emotional.
Also, avoid trying to be your kid’s alarm clock. Sleeping through a test is also part of learning. So stop calling too much and trying to control them from a distance. Give them the time they need to learn and change. It is normal to be alarmed about their absence but trust that you have raised them right. They search for online jobs for college students and look for custom writings. Moreover, they seem to be responsible adults in the future even without your close supervision.
Never call their teachers
The parent-teacher conferences are over. This is a university and not colleges. That is why there are rules that keep teachers from sharing the grades and performances of students who are over 18 years of age. If your child has a problem, they must fix it themselves. There are deans, academic advisors, department chairs and office hours where your child can get help. Trust them to do all the talking unless they are ill or will be absent for prolonged hours.
Do not threaten them
Now that your child is all grown up you cannot threaten them. You need to learn to be their friends now. The last thing you want is for your child to be distant, to avoid you, and start keeping secrets. Asking questions is a great way to know what is happening with your child.
However never starts with statements like “I have a right to know,” or “I am paying the bills so tell me.” Honest inquiries will encourage them to make independent decisions and build a better relationship with them.
They will change, but not too much
You have known your child for 18 years. You probably know everything there is to know about them. When they join colleges, expect them to change but not too much. While change is natural and often inevitable, it is beautiful and inspiring. However, it will be frustrating for both you and the student.
Your girl who once loved long hair may prefer short hair. You may not understand it, but you must accept it. However, the change will not be too much. They will still love the same food, same movie genres and may have the same old habits. Be patient and love the changes.
Expect the depressive phone calls
The calls you will get will not always be positive and happy ones. Sometimes when things are not working so well, your child will want to talk to you about it. They will call home and talk to you. After a failed exam, broken relationship, shrunken t-shirt ordeals, and other issues, the best place for them to call is home.
When they call to unload their troubles and find a shoulder to cry on, be there for them. It is not the time to advice and questions them. Your job is to be a sympathetic listener and be patient with them. With time they will figure things out, and you will be the first to know when they are happy. If you notice anything unusual, talk to them and be try to listen without judging or criticizing them.