What can you
expect from your student and college life?
offer new opportunities and challenges not only for your
student, but also for your relationship. Below are some examples of what your
student may experience at college. They will help you understand the changing
nature of your relationship with your student.
In college, your student may
- new demands on his/her time,
- encouragement toward
independence and an increase in freedom,
- full responsibility of their
- frustrations with
- differences in course
scheduling (not in class all day or every day),
- desire to try something new
or radically different,
- significant differences in
relationships with instructors and their
- necessity to actively manage
(and increase) study time to achieve the same
- new anxieties about their
abilities or future,
- less interaction with you,
- changes in classroom,
testing, and grading procedures, and
- social adjustments required
by living with a roommate.
this impact parents?
experiences are a normal part of your student’s development and
because of them, the nature of your relationship with your student is likely to
change. While each relationship is different, you might be aware of some of
- As Saint Joseph’s encourages
independence and deals directly with your
student as an adult, you can expect to be less directly involved with the
- As your student begins to
become more independent, you may experience strong
negative reaction to parental suggestions.
- As your student faces new
challenges or defeats, you might see a need for
more verbal reassurance.
- In adjusting to the demands
of college, you might see differences in your
student’s involvement at home and with family.
- As your student finds
his/her own way, you may also experience an unusual
mixture of emotions: fear, pride, frustration, abandonment and joy.
What can I
do about it?
the changes your relationship may experience, your student needs
your continuing love, respect, and support. The challenge will be to discover
new ways to let the love and respect come through:
- It may take your student
time to adjust to new academic demands. Be patient
and assist in problem-solving as they are ready.
- Encourage your student to
discuss the decisions they face.
- Allow student to make their
own decisions and be supportive even if results
are not ideal.
- Try to take a “wait and see”
attitude toward any new venture.
- Support and encourage good
study habits without being too directive.
- Help your student view this
time of life as a discovery phase.
- Give freedom to learn how to
cope with all that is new.
- In the face of frustrations,
give encouragement and support to keep trying.
- Encourage your student to be
involved in a few leadership roles.
- Encourage your student to
network with a variety of people.
- Know the relationship is
shifting, and your best intentions to help your
child grow and take responsibility may sometimes overstep the line or be
ignored. The goal is empowering your college student — which involves
compassion as she or he learns to solve their own problems.
Some of the information was adapted from
Louisiana State University at