5 Tips for parenting your college freshman

The only constant in life, they say, is change. College is a time of many changes, which can be both exciting and intimidating for students and parents alike. You may not be sure about what is the best way to deal with your college freshman’s new changes in life, and mixed feelings of pride and anxiety are common. Help your children make the most of their college experiences by giving them the love and attention they need during their freshman semesters.

1. Send Care Packages Many college freshman have trouble adjusting to life on their own, and it helps to let them know that you’re still around in tangible ways. Sending a care package once in a while is a great way to let your kids know that you are still thinking of them while they’re away at college, and it allows you to do so without being too overbearing. Encourage them to succeed in this new chapter of life while reminding them that they’ll always have a home with you.

2. Don’t Ask About Homesickness Asking your kids if they are feeling homesick is the only surefire way to make sure that they start feeling homesick. The early days of college are so busy and eventful that new students often don’t have a chance to feel homesick unless they are asked about it. Check in on them once in a while, and be prepared for upset phone calls, but if they don’t express feelings of homesickness, don’t bring up the subject.

3. Make Occasional Visits Whether your kids admit to it or not, they are going to miss you. College is a time in which many new students try to declare their independence as fiercely as possible, but almost all of them miss their parents and families. Try to make visits to campus once in a while. Making visits every weekend might not be feasible, and it might not be good for the children either, but dropping by occasionally is a great way to stay connected while they are away.

4. Prepare for Change Your kids are going to be learning and experiencing many new things at college, and you may be surprised to see how much they change in such a short period of time. Be prepared for change. Anticipate and embrace new developments in life as your children take their first steps into adulthood. If you can offer both support and guidance in this time of changes, your kids will be well on their way to successful lives in the years to come.

5. Give Them Room to Grow Whether the kids are staying close to home at Portland State University or venturing to schools across the country, you may feel reluctant about letting go. This is natural, but being to clingy and overbearing will only hamper your child’s progress. Offer help and support when they need it, but give your kids room to grow when they leave for college. They will become stronger people as they learn to deal with their problems head on, so don’t let your concern smother them. Keep a close watch, but let your freshman children live their lives with room to grow.

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