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Tips for Parents and Families

How to Support Your Student

Parents always want to support their children, and that desire doesn't leave when the kids go off to college. Here are some ideas about how you can support them while they're away.

Be clear. Be specific about your expectations with them as they start college. This includes topics such as alcohol and drug use, sexuality, budgeting and finances, and academics. These conversations should be ongoing, and ideally start before they move away.

Be flexible. Expect your daughter or son to change. Developmentally, the college years are times of changing viewpoints, diet, lifestyle, friendships, and dress.

Be a parent. Empower your children to make sound judgments about sex, drugs, alcohol, safety, and health. Share your values and beliefs on these topics and try to help and guide them as they make decisions.

Be open. Don't impose your dreams on your children; they have their own dreams and hopes. Allow them to be who they are and to explore their own interests.

Be trusting. College is an important time of self-discovery. Part of that is a bit of trial and error. Trust that your children will find what's best for them.