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Campus Life

PARENTS

How You Can Help Your Son or Daughter

 

STAYING IN TOUCH

Whether they are living with you or not, whether they let you know it or not, whether they are trying to prove their independence or not—your child still needs you to be available. If your student is homesick, be reassured that this is normal. Stay in close touch the first few weeks and let him or her know that you are there and willing to listen.

ALLOWING INDEPENDENCE

College students are moving into adulthood. You can help by giving them the room to take the responsibility that is necessary. Assist them in their own decision-making process. Share your wisdom, but don’t try to make decisions for them or tell them what to do. Remember, trusting them to make decisions for themselves lets them know you believe in them. When you are concerned with their recent choices, remind yourself of the foundation you have provided to them. You may need to accept changes in their values and goals, and to respect them for who they are becoming. Remember, CSU personnel will not be able to discuss your student’s academic or financial record with you unless you are listed as a contact on your student’s FERPA Waiver!

COMMUNICATION STYLE

Listen: take time to attentively acknowledge your student’s excitement as well as the difficulties, without offering solutions. Often, they are not looking for you to solve the problem, but to understand how they feel about it.

DON’T OVERREACT

This is a new world for your student. Ask questions about new experiences, friends and classes. If they don’t want to share all these experiences immediately, don’t give up. Often, students talk to their parents in their later years of college. Be willing to listen when they are ready to reach out to you.

BE ENCOURAGING

Encouragement means to give courage. You can offer your helping hand toward a successful college experience by reminding your student of his or her strengths, previous successes, and responsible ways he or she has handled things in the past.

BE FLEXIBLE AND PATIENT

Changes, mistakes, confusion, new identities—all of these are challenging and stressful for both you and your student. Your student is in a period of transition and things they are sure about one semester could change by the next. Be patient and understanding with both your student and yourself.

BE KNOWLEDGEABLE

We encourage you to take the time to look through the Student Handbook and the Academic Catalog. Your student will be held accountable for all published rules and policies. Ignorance is not an accepted defense!

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Whether your student has chosen a resident or commuter experience, the transition from home to college is both challenging and exhilarating! Our prayer is that your student will grow and develop into a responsible adult who is filled with anticipation to live out the unique plan God has especially prepared for him or her. We hope you and your student enjoy the journey!

FINAL TIPS

• Make a financial plan and discuss expectations with your child
• Encourage your student to begin early building his or her professional profile by participating in internship opportunities
• Talk to your child about how you'll keep in touch
• Be a coach rather than trying to solve your child's problems yourself
• Be an anchor: Pray for your child to have wisdom, discernment and success!

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