Beyond Parents Weekend: Why College Parent Engagement Matters

We are not advocating parent helicoptering. Engagement is not hovering.

College students need to practice their independence, make their own decisions, take responsibility for their education, and begin to lay the foundation for their future. But when you drop your student off on Move-in Day, your parenting job doesn’t end – it simply changes. (Actually, it’s not simple, but it changes.) When your student graduates from college, your parenting job doesn’t end – it changes once again. You are a parent for life.

However, there’s a difference between checking in with your student and checking up on your student. That can be the difference between helicoptering and engagement.

Why are parents so involved?

Throughout most of our student’s school years, the messaging has been that parental involvement correlates with success.  We’ve been told we need to partner with the school to support our students and to send them the message that their education matters.  Students are used to us being involved – and many, perhaps the majority, want it to continue. Why should we believe that things will change when those same students head to college?

But it does change. Parental engagement on the college level needs to look different.

Read moreBeyond Parents Weekend: Why College Parent Engagement Matters


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Internet Gaming and College Students

Screentime of all kinds can be a problem. Note how much time your college student spends on video games and determine whether you need to talk to them about it.

How Practicing Kindness Can Enhance Your Teen’s Wellbeing

We could probably all use a little bit of this. Share the idea with your student.

Michelle Obama Gets Real with College Freshmen: Eat Veggies, Don’t Blow Financial Aid on ‘Bad Shoes & Nice Nails’

This contains essential advice for all students to consider.  That first semester can be hard.

Should You Live On or Off Campus?

This is an important decision and can have a major effect on success. But each student is different and will have different needs. Consider this choice carefully.

Want to Help Your Kid in High School? One Teacher Shows How

We all want to help our students make the most of high school and college years. Here are some great suggestions.

Six Essential Campus Resources: Hints for Wise Students

Many students know what campus resources are available, but they don’t take advantage of them. Make sure your student acts wisely.

Should College Students Have Credit Cards?

The answer to this question will be different for different families, but this is definitely a conversation you and your student should have.

Don’t Be Silent – Preventing and Standing Up to Bullying in College

Share this with your college student.

Conquering 13 Common College Freshmen Fears

Talk to your student about these. It helps to know you’re not alone. And then talk about 1 thing that your student can do to combat each of these fears.

Leaving My Pet Behind

Sometimes we forget how important these bonds can be.

Find these articles from around the web interesting and useful?  Sign up for our mailing list (below) and receive a new list in your inbox each month.  The more you know, the more you can help your student.

 


Addressing College Freshman Fears Requires Action

A recent article by Kelci Lynn Lucier on Thought.com about Conquering 13 Common College Freshmen Fears points out some of the insecurities many new college students feel. We recommend the article as it helps students understand and combat some of the questions that may be in their minds.

We’d like to build on this good article and suggest some additional actions that students can take, as well as consider the parent perspective. Knowing how to talk to your student about their concerns will arm you to help.

Sometimes the best approach to addressing any challenge may be simply doing one thing – taking at least a single small step. It can overcome potential paralysis when students don’t know where to begin.

  1. I was admitted by accident.

Many students share this fear – that the college made a mistake when they sent that coveted acceptance letter. Remind your student that there are likely students all around them that feel exactly the same way – and that it is a perfectly normal feeling. Reassure them that this was not a mistake.

Read moreAddressing College Freshman Fears Requires Action


Parenting Students with Learning Differences – Dealing with our Own Anxiety

This is the third article by College Parent Central contributor Dr. Lynn Abrahams.  Lynn specializes in college transition and success for students with learning differences.

Julie Lythcott-Haims, in her book How to Raise an Adult (2015), reports that American parents are depressed at twice the rate of the general population. There is no question about it, parenting can be stressful, challenging, and anxiety provoking.

As parents of students with learning differences, we have watched our kids navigate years of school experience. We have been with them through neuro-psych testing, diagnosis, meeting with teachers and special educators. We have shared both the success stories and the brick walls with them. As their parents, we know more than anyone else where the pitfalls could be. This is probably why our own anxiety can swell to explosion when they take that leap to go to college. In fact, it is possible that we could be even more anxious than they are!

I speak as both a parent and as a learning disability specialist, who has worked with college students for the past 30 years, when I say that we need to find healthy strategies to deal with our own anxiety. We will not be able to be supportive to our students if we don’t take care of ourselves first.

There is a reason airline personnel instruct us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before helping others – if we run out of oxygen we are of no use to anyone else.

Read moreParenting Students with Learning Differences – Dealing with our Own Anxiety


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


Book Review: Collegiate: 7 Big Ideas to Make College Awesome

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. See the Recommended Reading section of our Resources page for more suggestions.

In this review, we take a look at a book that is not technically for parents, but for their students. Reading this book may give parents a clearer vision of college, but the true benefit of this book is as a gift for your student.

When we first considered the book Collegiate: 7 Big Ideas to Make College Awesome, we’ll admit to being skeptical. The book is small, has simple graphics, and was written by two college students. How much wisdom can two college students share? The answer is – a surprising amount.

Collegiate would make a great gift for any student heading to college. The book is written, as the authors put it, “from the trenches” by “two regular college dudes” who share what they’ve learned through their college journey. The book is written by students for students and is filled with stories and anecdotes, and sometimes the mistakes, with which students can identify. It isn’t preachy and full of practical study tips by the adults who know better, it is filled with advice from students who’ve lived it – more recently than the rest of us.

Read moreBook Review: Collegiate: 7 Big Ideas to Make College Awesome


A Summer Reading List for Parents of High School and College Students

Parenting is hard work.  Those of us who have been parents for a while know how difficult it can be.  And as parents, we sometimes seek advice from the “experts,” whether those experts are our friends, our own parents, our medical providers, our counselors, or the authors who write books. Remember reading all those books before your baby was born?

We all need a little advice – and a little perspective.

There are lots of great books (and blogs like this one!) out there to help parents as they approach and live through the college admission process and the college years. We’ve reviewed more than thirty of them and we think many of them provide parents important guidance and food for thought. You can read some when your student heads to college, but we suggest that you start even earlier.  Many of these books help you help your child to start laying the foundation for future success.

So we’re offering a summer reading list of our current top ten favorite books.  Start here. Click on the titles to read our reviews. Pick the ones that speak to you. Read one or two or three. Share them – with a friend or with your student. Form a book club.  Start conversations.

Read moreA Summer Reading List for Parents of High School and College Students


College Parent News & Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

How to Help Your Child Reduce Their Stress and Thrive During College

Stress among college students is at an all-time high. Understanding how to deal with it is important for parents. If it’s not your child, it may be the child of someone you know.

Read moreCollege Parent News & Views


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