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Dr. B's Blog

Helpful Tips For Parents With Teens Going Off to College

Helpful Tips For Parents With Teens Going Off to College
It's that time ofthe year again when teens all across the country, begin to prepare to head off to college
for the first time. This rite of passage conjures up mixed emotions for both teens and their apprehensive
parents. Fortunately there are many reputable experts that parents can turn to for advice on how to
best handle the important transition for soon to be college students, from dependent to independent
living. According to Dr. Marshall Duke, psychology professor at Emory University, there are 7 particularly useful guidelines for parents to follow.
1. Parting words are important- Be positive and supportive and choose your words carefully
before leaving your teen at college because they will likely remember your words of advice.
Consider writing your thoughts down as a way of communicating to your teen.
2. Home life will be different -There will be a new normal for younger siblings who remain at
home and a new dynamic with their older college siblings. For parents without younger siblings at
home, there will be an adjustment to a household without kids.
3. Expect an adjustment period for college students -Don't expect incoming college students to
become college students overnight. Be patient and supportive as your teen figures out how to
make the transition from HS student to college student including how to study, eat, do laundry,
handle money and socialize. Offer advice but don't dictate how things must be done. Try to not put too
much pressure on students to keep in touch, but working out a plan ahead of time about how often to
call/text, etc can be helpful. Try to keep conversations as positive and supportive as possible.
4. Don't rush to problem solve-It may be tempting to intervene when a college student calls home
with a problem. Express support but give your teen time to solve their own problems because that will
benefit them in the long run. Colleges have safety nets and many resources available to their students
so teens should be encouraged to make use of those available resources.
5. Know when to intervene-Parents know their teens best so if you really sense that your student is in
trouble, it is appropriate to reach out to the college to voice your concern. A good place to start is the
Residence advisor or Faculty residence advisor in the student's dorm or the Office ofthe Dean of
Students or the Dean of the College because they have experience dealing with most college issues.
6. Don't change your teen's room -Most teens will become nostalgic for home while they're
away so try not to alter their rooms too much so that they can have a familiar place to return to when
they return from college on school breaks.
7. There will be a new normal when they return home-When teens arrive home from college they
may have a whole new set of habits, especially involving eating and sleeping. House rules are important
but try to respect their independence too. You might even be surprised at how much more appreciative
they are towards their parents!
Utilizing these tips as well as other useful parent resources including those provided by the College
Parents of America, @ can make the transition from high school to college
much smoother for parents and teens.
Dr. B
Posted: 8/7/2017 12:43:42 PM | 0 comments