Watching your children leave home and start their lives as adults, especially during their first year of college, can be a difficult time for many parents. On one hand, parents are often very proud of their children and want them to go to college and be successful, productive adults capable of making positive decisions and taking care of themselves. On the other hand, it's sometimes difficult to accept that our children are no longer our little girls or boys in need of our regular monitoring and connection.
Most parents are trying to find the balance between staying involved and aware of what's happening in their college student's life and allowing them to learn what it means to be an adult by taking care of things on their own and learning to make important life decisions, even if they sometimes end up being mistakes.
Though you are helping your student learn to be independent and live life as an adult, it's also important that you make a point to stay connected to him/her. Set up a time every week to talk with your student about their life. Try to spend time listening and being curious about their life but also leaving room for your child if there are things that they don't want to talk about with you. If they are having difficulties, try to help them consider their options and make the best decision they can for themselves, instead of just telling them what you would do. There's nothing wrong with giving your child advice, but try to leave room for them to use that advice as a piece of the information they use to make their decision.
If you get concerned that your child is having difficulty at school, please encourage them to access the resources that are available on DC's campus. If you are concerned and want help figuring out the best way to provide support to your child, if you need help knowing what resources to encourage them to seek out at DC, or if you think they might benefit from coming and talking to someone at the Counseling Center, feel free to contact Lynn Braun, Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services.
Lynn Braun, M.A., P.C.C.-S.
Assistant Dean of Campus Wellness
Director of Counseling & Accessibility Services