QUICK TIPS FOR PARENTS OF COLLEGE BOUND YOUTH
Many parents are seeing their kids off to college this month and some are quite anxious. Here are some quick tips for getting through the first few weeks.
1. Trust: You spent many years parenting your child. College is one of first big flights out of the nest. Trust that you did the best you could. Know that they are going to stumble and fall, that’s part of life and how we learn.
2. Let Go: If you have access to their social media accounts watch, don’t comment. If you have made a communication plan ahead of time great! If you haven’t, allow your child to make contact with you. Put your phone down. Do not text them on your way home from dropping them off. Do not ask them to text you. If you are able, allow your child the freedom to initiate contact.
3. Respect Their Path: It may not be a path that you would have chosen for him or her. This is your child’s journey and although the path may be different it doesn’t mean it is “bad” or “wrong” it means that it is different.
4. Demonstrate Care: When your child reaches out respond. Ask open ended questions (ones that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”). Send care packages.
5. Celebrate: Your child, with your help, has reached a milestone, CELEBRATE! Let them know how proud you are of them. Celebrate their independence and enjoy your increased freedom.
~Katherine Ryan is a LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor) and a family mediator practicing in Topsfield, Massachusetts where she enjoys helping adults, children and teens become unstuck.