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Tips for Parents

Tips for Parents

The most important thing families can do to support their Alverno student is to remember that this is her experience.  This is her time to separate from you and become a mature, independent adult.

  1. As much as possible, families need to let go and let their Alverno student experience successes, failures, mistakes, choices, and consequences.  Let her choose where she wants to go to college, her major, her friends and be prepared to not like everything she says or does.  When she does something that is not what you would have done, or would have wanted her to do, be prepared to have your circle of support – people you can vent to.
  2. Refrain from moralizing and preaching – this will only serve to push her away.  You do not have to like what she is doing.  Remember what it was like to be 18.  You have the right to disagree, but you will feel better if you have friends that you can talk to about this.  And your daughter will appreciate the objectivity.
  3. Define for yourself what it means to be a family member of a college student.  What can you afford to give the student – money for tuition, books, transportation, spending money, time, energy, space.  Before coming to campus in the fall, talk to your student, adult-to-adult, about financial expectations and budget management.  Make sure she understands the concept of budgeting and maintaining a balanced checkbook. 
  4. Keep the lines of communication open.  Arrange times that you will call each other and how you will pay for that.  Talk via e-mail.  Don’t panic if your student doesn’t call home often during the first few weeks of school.  This is a very hectic time of year on campus, particularly for a new student.  The lack of communication from your student probably means she is adjusting well to campus life.  Then again, don’t panic if your student does call home often.  Some students find the transition to college life more challenging than anticipated.  They may need some verbal encouragement from home. 
  5. Visit your student at Alverno, but make sure you call in advance and don’t arrive unannounced.  Meet her for lunch, dinner, or a special event.
  6. Invite her new friends to come home with her for a weekend.
  7. Every student loves receiving mail.  While e-mail and phone calls may be quick and easy, nothing beats a letter from home.  Care packages containing favorite snacks, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other odds and ends are guaranteed to brighten up your student’s day.
  8. Respect her need to be with her friends.
  9. Listen and be supportive, but realize you can’t fix everything, so don’t try!  This is the time for your student to take on the responsibilities and freedoms of campus life.  Let your student learn to resolve her own problems.  Refer your student to campus resources.
  10. Ask her how you can be supportive.