Information for the parents of college students
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Posts from — June 2012

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.

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June 30, 2012   No Comments

Helping Your College Student Feel in Control of His College Experience

We’ve written several posts about college parents as “helicopter parents” and about college parents’ important role of coaching from the sidelines.  We still have an important job, but not the same role we had when our student was in high school.  We’ve also used the analogy of teaching our teenager to drive a car.  We need to get out of the driver’s seat and allow them to get behind the wheel.  It’s a disconcerting, and sometimes terrifying, proposition for many parents.

We think this is good advice for parents.  We need to assume a new role.  However, this only works if your student is ready to take control.  One of our tasks as parent is to help our student get ready for college.  This means more than helping to pack the boxes and making trips to the home store for dorm furnishings.  College readiness requires academic readiness, but also “life” readiness.  Your student needs to be ready to take control when the time comes.  You will feel better, and so will he.

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June 24, 2012   3 Comments

The Summer Before College: How Eight Questions Can Help Your Student Reflect – and Help You Know Your Student Better

The summer before your student heads off to college is an interesting, exciting, and stressful time – both for your soon-to-be college student and for you.  It is a time of beginnings and endings, of leavings and goodbyes, of new adventures,  of things to do, people to see, decisions to be made, and time to be spent dreaming and reflecting.  It all adds up to a good bit of tension and stress.

For many college students and their families, the stress comes, in part, from the unknown – or from the imagined.  As parents, we wonder what our students are thinking and planning.  Students may wonder what lies ahead, but not be sure what kinds of things they need to be thinking about – or how to plan.  We’ve written an earlier post about students’ goals and action plans which may help give some students direction.

Sometimes it’s all about asking the right questions.  We’d like to suggest eight possible questions for parents to ask their college bound students over the course of the summer.  We have some additional, more practically oriented questions in earlier posts, but these questions are more reflective.  Of course, we don’t recommend that you sit your student down and hit him with a barrage of questions.  And most parents may not want or need to ask all of these questions.  But consider weaving some of these into your summer conversations as a way to help your student reflect on some key issues, think about how to be in control of his college experience, and as a vehicle for you to get to know your student in a new way.

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June 13, 2012   2 Comments

Twelve Reasons Why Your College Student May Want to Stay On Campus for the Summer

You’ve been waiting anxiously for your college student’s semester to end so that he can return home for the summer.  It has been a long year, and although you know that his return home may come with some issues, you’re looking forward to spending more time with him.  But he calls, or writes, or shares during a visit home that he plans to stay at college for the summer.  Why, you wonder, would your student rather spend his summer away at college instead of returning home?

There are varying reasons why some students choose to stay at school over one summer – or several summers.  It may be important that you help your student explore her reasons to be sure that she is making a wise decision – and so that you will be able to understand her reasoning.

June 7, 2012   No Comments

Roundup of Helpful Posts for the Summer Transitions

There’s lots for college parents to think about and do in the summer. Summer often becomes a time of transition.  Perhaps your student has just graduated from high school and will be heading to college for the first time in the fall, or perhaps your student has completed college and is looking ahead to graduate school or early career.  Your responsibilities and interests as a college parent will change as your student’s stages and needs change.

But this is still early summer.  There’s time for all of the transition work ahead.  Your high school student may not have graduated yet, or has just graduated.  Your college student has only recently graduated.  There’s time as the summer progresses for additional things to consider, but we’d like to suggest a few things to get you started with the summer season.  As you enter those “lazy, hazy days” of summer, here are some college parent articles to get you thinking about the changes ahead.

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June 4, 2012   No Comments