The period when a child goes off to college poses challenges for both the parent and the young adult child.
Parents can feel left out of their child’s life, particularly if they’re dealing with the first to leave the nest. Realizing that relationships grow and change as children grow and change is one of the trickiest issues to negotiate during this timeframe.
There are ways to cope, though.
Three of the biggest rules of the road for surviving—and thriving—this complex chapter in your life are:
- Plan ahead. Remember to have those difficult discussions about values, money, and expectations prior to the day you drop your child off at the dorm.
- Guide rather than pressure. Communicate your expectations but respect your child’s own interests. College is a period of self-discovery as well as a time to prepare for the future.
- Allow for mistakes. Encourage and accept your child’s independence and remember that making mistakes is a form of learning.