CollegeFreshSept18Graduating high school and going to college can be an exciting and difficult phase for both parent and child. It’s a whole new chapter in life and a whole new world. For parents, it’s hard to let go and let their child exercise their independence. To help make this transition easier, here are tips for parenting a freshman.

7 Tips On Parenting A College Freshman

Your kid is going off to college and you’re either excited to book that cruise or you’re sitting there biting your nails. Either way, your parenting will, and should, change to that of parenting a college student.

Here are seven tips to successfully doing just that:

RedCircleWithNumberLet Go (But Don’t Lose Connection)

You’ve probably heard the advice of “Just let go,” in response to your child leaving the nest. And while this is partially good advice, there’s more to it.

Of course, your child needs to have independence more than ever at this point in his or her life, but you also don’t want to make him or her feel as though he or she has lost connection with you.

As Psychology Today notes, “No connection is just as unhealthy as too much dependency.”

That brings us to the next points about establishing healthy communication with your college kid.

RedCircleWithNumberKeep A Balanced Way Of Staying In Touch

There’s such a thing as communicating too much and communicating too little.

Because your freshman wants to be independent (and should be), that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t want to know you’re there in the background.

The key is balance, and understanding how your child would prefer to stay in touch. Text? Phone call? Skype? Making the effort to communicate in the manner your child would like to will help open the lines of healthy communication.

Once a week might be a good frequency. You’re not bugging your kid but you are showing him or her you are standing by for support and encouragement. Think, balance.


RedCircleWithNumberEncourage Independence

Your college kid might express to you that he or she is having an issue with a roommate – and your first instinct might be to jump in and help resolve the situation.

Instead, listen to your child talk about the problem and be there to coach him or her about solving it by themselves, but don’t rush in to solve the issue for him or her.

Letting your college kid experience some stress and then deal with it without your help is healthy for development into adulthood.


RedCircleWithNumberShow Your Confidence

In a society that values talent, many people assume only those with superior intelligence or ability are the ones who succeed.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As Scientific American points out, “More than three decades of research shows a focus on “process” – not on intelligence or ability – is key to success in school and in life.

That’s why you need to focus on your child’s efforts and small achievements, and avoid pressuring him or her to live up to your expectations.

Share with your child the value of having a growth-mindset; that focusing on personal effort, effective strategies and a joy of learning are the real ingredients to succeeding in school and, ultimately, life.


RedCircleWithNumberNever Say “I Told You So”

If you were 18 again and someone said this to you, how would it make you feel?

Discouraged, likely.

Better to tell him or her that everyone makes mistakes and share a story about a time you made a mistake when you were his or her age.


RedCircleWithNumberPay Attention To Signs Of Trouble

Going through college without having any rough emotional moments or struggles is pretty much impossible.

Remember, college is an experience your child has never encountered before, and therefore it’s inevitable that growing pains will arise.

But the gravity of situations will vary, and it’s your role to recognize when something deeper than a minor issue is going on with your child. Personality changes, eating disorders, dropping grades or drug and alcohol abuse are things to look out for and may require adult intervention.

Keep in mind that any kind of intervention is not treating your college kid like a child again; it’s making sure he or she gets the help he or she needs.


RedCircleWithNumberEmbrace The Change

When you look back and remember your child’s childhood, what do you remember the most? The challenges or the happy memories?

Okay, maybe both come to mind, but certainly the latter comes first.

The point is, embrace this shift in parenting and enjoy the new relationship you’re establishing with your child.

He or she won’t stay this age forever either. So, embrace the change and enjoy it.


Bio for Justin Lavelle

Justin Lavelle is the Chief Communications Officer for BeenVerified is a leading source of online background checks and contact information. It helps people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives and can provide peace of mind by offering a fast, easy and affordable way to do background checks on potential dates. BeenVerified allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses and property records.