Communication between parents and teenagers is often difficult. As parents of college students we have lived through most of those difficult years. Now that your student is headed off to college and you may not have the same kind of daily contact with them, you want to make good use of the times that you do communicate with them. Although you may not see your student for several weeks (if they are living away), you may talk more often. Daily phone conversations may not be the best way to encourage independence, but you may want to establish some regular phone contact to help you stay connected. You also want to take advantage of those conversations that happen when your student does come home for a visit.
So now that communication with your college student may happen less often, you want to maximize the opportunities that you have. What can you do? The short answer is to talk less and listen more. You may be surprised at how much you will learn about your student simply by listening. Here are twelve suggestions that will help you listen more carefully to your college student.