We’ve written some earlier articles about what to do when your college student is on Academic Probation or is even Academically Dismissed from college. These are disturbing or sometimes even devastating situations, and knowing what to do next is important. But equally urgent, and sometimes even more important, may be considering what you say to your student if they find they are in one of these difficult situations.
Of course, knowing exactly what to say to your student has to do with who your student is, what your relationship with your student is, and why they are in this situation. Chances are, however, that you will struggle for the right thing to say, the right words. You may be angry, disappointed, shocked, sad, or just plain overwhelmed. Being honest with your student may be the simplest and best start.
Remember that your student may also be struggling with what to say to you. They may have known this was coming, or it may have taken them by surprise. They may have shared their fears or concerns with you earlier, or they may have been afraid to tell you they saw this coming. Remembering that this is happening to all of you, as a family, may help everyone. Taking time to let the news sink in before sitting down to discuss next steps may be helpful as well.