5 Parenting Tips to Help Your Teen Through College

26 Aug, 2014

Female college student with parent
hhgregg teamed up with iMOM to help you engage with your college-bound student. Below are some tips for parents to get started:

I’ll never forget the first time we dropped a child off at college, I cried almost all the way home. My fourth child left just yesterday for his sophomore year—he drove himself! I no longer panic when my kids leave, thinking “What will he do without me?” I have learned from experience that he will be tested—academically and socially, but we will talk and he will learn—academically and socially. It is all good because college is a time of great opportunity for personal growth!

It is important for me, parenting from a distance, to make sure we talk, and most of the time that requires prompts from me. Below are some ways you can engage your college student – even from a distance. Select one per week to discuss with your student when they “phone home”:

1. Ask about their time.

Is he/she struggling with time-management skills? Discuss how much time should be devoted to school, work, and fun. Suggest a task management app such as Any.do or Wunderlist to help keep it all in balance.

2. Ask about money.

Does he/she have enough to last the month? Where are they spending? Evaluate changes that may be needed for money management and work together to establish a tentative budget.

3. Ask about class.

Is he/she actively participating in class? Remind your student that regular class attendance is important, whether or not it is required.

4. Ask about grades.

Did he/she get off to a good start? Do they need tutoring? Many colleges have online tutoring programs like StudyEdge.com. Encourage your students to meet with their professors during office hours to get assistance.

5. Ask about loneliness.

Is your child making friends? Who are they hanging out with? Most kids don’t want to admit to being homesick, so you may have to ease into these questions. If your student experiences severe homesickness, encourage him/her to get involved with a campus organization and/or local church, volunteer in the community, or seek a part-time job.

The first year of college need not be a traumatic experience for either you or your student. With open communication, understanding, and love, this transition can be smooth. And, from my experience, my kids have a greater appreciation for home when they are away at school! So spoil them when they come home for break!

Is your child ready for move in day? If you haven’t moved your child to college yet, check out these dorm essentials tips from College News. Or, if your student is commuting to school, send them our guest post from Uloop on how to adjust to college as a commuter student.

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HHG

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