Parenting a College Student
Watching your child transition into adulthood might not be the easiest thing in the world. Often, we spend time discussing the transitional issues for students, but we sometimes neglect to comment on the sorts of questions, transitions and developmental stages parents go through! It is true that you will notice changes and growth in your student through the collegiate years. After all, those years provide opportunities for significant development, not only intellectually, but socially, vocationally, emotionally and spiritually. At the University of Saint Francis, the Office of Student Life works to provide programs for students to connect the dots inside and outside the classroom and prepare for life after college.
However, Student Life is here for parents, too. Whether your first or fifth child is entering college, we hope the following information is helpful for you.
Now that your child has seemingly grown up, your role as a parent may shift from that of a primary caretaker to that of a confidant, mentor and/or refuge. This shift can bring on a variety of emotions. For some, this is an exciting time. For others, this role change can create separation anxiety and even identity confusion. Don’t be afraid to talk through your emotions, and be confident that you have done a good job raising your child (they’re going to college, after all!)
Our Office of Student Life has put together a list of books and websites that might help you through this period:
- “Letting Go: A parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years,” by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger
- “College Survival Tips for Parents: Fostering Growth and Independence in Your Kids,” by Ceil Hall
- “Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years,” by Hellen Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller
- “When Kids Go to College: A Parent’s Guide to a Changing Relationship,” by Barbara Newman and Philip Newman
- “You’re On Your Own (But I’m Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During College Years,” by Marjorie Savage
One last thing you should know about parenting a college student: FERPA.