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For Parents

For most students, college provides an unprecedented opportunity for intellectual stimulation, increased autonomy, self-exploration, and social involvement. Similar to the pathway of all developing human beings, this process encompasses successes, mistakes, and extraordinary occasions to grow and learn.

Help me/Leave me alone

Recognizing when to jump in and give advice or help versus when to be quiet is a skill essential to the development of your child’s independence, and one that few parents acquire smoothly or naturally. 

Tips for Supporting Students

  • Listen well and quietly.
  • Show interest in your student’s studies, social life, and personal growth.
  • Allow your child to make mistakes. (remember how much you’ve learned from yours?)
  • Step in only when invited, or in the instance where your child may be making self-destructive choices.
  • Leave the lectures to the professors.
  • Send care packages.
  • Collaborate with them to set realistic expectations.
  • Recall that pushing, blaming and criticizing invite either outright rebellion or silent resistance.
  • See your child as a person in progress, not a final product.
  • Encourage your child to take advantage of the many resources, clubs, and activities available here at CSI.
  • Remember it takes time and work to develop new friendships.
  • Express appreciation of their new skills.
  • Show empathy for struggles.

Signs Things May be More Serious

  • Tearful calls outnumber cheerful ones and last beyond the first few weeks of school.
  • Weight loss.
  • Frequent illness.
  • Failing grades.
  • Excessive fatigue.
  • Significant changes in behavior or appearance.
  • Talk of hopelessness or lack of purpose.
  • Isolation from friends or family.

Early intervention can avert a crisis. Encourage your child to make an appointment with CSI Counseling Services (208) 732-6260. The steady, supportive home base you provide will go a long way towards helping your child adjust in a healthy way

Adjusting to the First Summer Home

Upon returning home from college, your student will have become accustomed to increased freedom and a different schedule. Communicate about your expectations, but realize things will never be the same as they were before college. Seek to find a balance between honoring their needs for independence and the family’s needs. Also, don’t take it personally if they talk about missing their life at CSI or their friends. That means they’ve successfully transitioned to the next phase of adulthood!

What Parents may Experience

Sending a child off to school brings a variety of emotions to most parents. Many parents feel excitement, anticipation or pride when their child leaves, as well as sadness, emptiness, fear or concern.

How to Support Yourself

  • Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions arise during this adjustment period, recognizing that these are normal reactions to this transition. While sometimes unpleasant, these usually mellow over time.
  • Develop and maintain your support systems.
  • Find ways to grow and re-create yourself and others
  • Congratulate yourself on getting your child off to college—you’ve worked very hard to reach this milestone!!
  • Enjoy a new-found sense of relief and freedom that you are no longer responsible for meeting all of your child’s needs.
  • Practice letting go.
  • Pay attention to your child’s siblings’ reactions to the missing child.
  • Visit your child at school.
  • Maintain your sense of humor