We’ve written many posts about important skills for college students. We’ve suggested that you discuss these skills with your student and that you do whatever you can to help your student develop many of these important skills. This is an important way that parents can help their students without ”helicoptering” inappropriately.
We’ve also written several posts about your role as a college parent and many of the skills that you need in order to do your college parenting job well. We hope that these posts help you as you settle into your role as college parent.
In many cases, the skills that college students need and the skills that parents need are certainly different. However, several of the skills that we’ve suggested for students might also be helpful for parents — or for any of us — to develop. Turning the tables and adopting the skills you discuss with your student might be an interesting experiment.
We hope that you will find this list helpful as you review these skills for your student, but we’d also like to suggest that you, as a parent, think about your own development of these skills. Might you learn along with your student? Could you adapt some of these skills for your own benefit?
As our students head off to college, we are faced with new roles — both with our students and at home. Perhaps this is an ideal time for you to allow yourself to grow as well. Enjoy the process of taking some time to think about your own development as well as your student’s.
Let’s face it. We all procrastinate. Some of these suggestions may be helpful for parents as well as students.
No one likes making mistakes. But mistakes are the way we learn. We try to help students understand this, but do we listen to our own advice? Think about how you feel about making mistakes.
Some of this advice may need to be modified since parents are obviously not in college. But think about how you can take the activities you now participate in — including your work — and make them just a little bit better and more interesting. Small changes might reap big benefits.
As we send our students to college — and begin to receive those tuition bills — we may pay attention to our finances differently. If you don’t already keep a budget, you might find some of these suggestions helpful as you work with your own income and expenses.
Do you challenge yourself to do difficult things? Whether it is a new hobby, a new area at work, or just attempting to try a new, difficult recipe, doing difficult things can give us great satisfaction — whether or not we succeed.
Those finances again. This time, thinking about the little pictures rather than the big picture may be helpful. Where are those areas where you can save a few pennies or dollars — and how can you do it without making it feel like a hardship?
We’re all stressed. We know it, but we often don’t know what to do about it. This is only a start, but dealing with your own stress may help you help your student deal with his.
We know college age students need to think about their goals, but when is the last time that you revisited yours? And if you discover new — or old — goals, do you have an action plan to achieve them? As you send your student off to college, this may be an ideal time to revisit your own goals.
Whether at work or in other areas of our lives, some of us find it easier than others to advocate for the things that we need. Being able to advocate begins with being able to identify those needs.
It is likely that you already have a job/career. But now might be a time that you either consider a change or that you think about a new area or interest. Think like a job applicant again for a little while and re-energize your work life.