“Letting go. Are there two more painful words in the boomer-parent lexicon?”*
**What Can I Do to Support My Student in the First Year?
- Join the Missouri State Family Association! – You can gain valuable information regarding our student and your family. Also, the Association provides a forum for fellowship and networking with other parents, and allows for communication between you and the University community.
- Write and Call – Even if your student doesn’t write or call back, a care-package or letter from home can make their day.
- Visit – But not too often, you don’t want them to think you are acting like a “helicopter parent”
- Expect the best – Trust that your student is ready to lead their life’s journey. They will make decisions that you might not agree with however, sometimes those poor decisions are the best life teachers.
- Let them solve their problems – At some point you will have the urge to “help” by making a call to campus. But before you pick up the phone, think of how you can help your student without doing in for them. Letting them solve their problems will allow your student learn independence and assume responsibility.
- Provide Encouragement –Although your student is solving their problems and making decisions on their own, encourage that process. If they discover that their decision may not have been the best choice, support them and encourage them to try again.
- Share Expectations – Continue to keep the lines of communication open. Just because you don’t want to control your student’s life doesn’t mean that you can’t be a part of it. You are still a role model for your student and research shows that your opinion will influence their future choices.
- Encourage campus involvement – Research has proven that students who get involved on campus have a higher retention rate and are more academically successful with their overall college experience.
*Quote taken from Newsweek (May 2006) “The Fine Art of Letting Go”
**Tips taken from Parent Pages (2007)