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University Counseling Center

Tips for Parents

1. If you were puzzled by your children in high school, you will certainly be confused by them when they are in college; if you were not puzzled by your children in high school, you are in for a real experience while they are in college.

2. Be prepared for differences in your relationship with your son or daughter.

3. Home visits will be very different than when the student lived at home.

4. Learn to let go. They are making their own way and will make mistakes.

5. If your student is living at home while in college, learn to let go and make sure you give your student his or her own time and space.

6. Learn to listen to your son or daughter. Try to understand their point of view, even if it changes back and forth right before your eyes.

7. Talk to and with your son or daughter, not at him or her. Afford your children the same respect that you expect and require from them.

8. When your student calls home unexpectedly and in a panic, don’t panic yourself. Give it a day and call back.

9. Keep your son or daughter informed of happenings at home. And, if there are problems at home, assure your child that it is not his or her fault, or that being away from home did not contribute to the problems.

10. During the first year or two, try not to press your student about what he or she is going to do after college or with the rest of his or her life.

11. If your son or daughter decides to change majors, be supportive and helpful. Recommend that your student makes the most informed decision possible, using all manner of resources at his or her disposal.

12. If your student stops or wants to change schools, talk to, assure, compliment, and help him or her make the most informed decision.

13. Please do not compete with your student or have your student compete with his or her peers.

14. Don’t blame the University for your student’s behavior, and we at the University will try not to blame you for your student’s behavior.

15. Keep in touch. Write your child a letter or send a funny card when least expected or for no reason at all. Email, if you have it, is wonderful.

16. If at all possible, visit your son or daughter during Family Weekend. Enjoy the opportunity to experience your student’s life at the university.

17. If you intend to visit campus, let your student know you are coming. Surprises can work both ways, and usually not for the better.

18. Understand the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, and its impact.

19. If you have questions, need information, or are confused, call the Counseling Center at (585) 275-3113 or the Director of Parent Relations at (585) 275-4085 and let us help you get the information you are seeking.

20. Working together-student, parents, family, staff, and faculty-we can achieve and accomplish the most out of a University of Rochester education for everyone involved.

Quick Tips

Trust that you have given your child the roots to grow and the wings to fly…

Remind your student that the door to your home is always open.

Even though your student is now in college, s/he still needs and wants your opinions.

It’s normal for your own emotions to go up and down during this time.

Care packages that can be shared with friends are always appreciated.

If you bombard your student with questions when they call home, they might stop calling.

Remember that your child’s siblings are also experiencing transitional feelings and may need you to understand what they’re going through.

When your student comes home for a visit and is acting like an adult, treat him or her like an adult rather than the child who used to live in your home.

Remind yourself that if your student doesn’t call home often, that might just mean that they’re busy, not that they have forgotten about you.

Sometimes no news is good news.

Don’t jump to rescue your student the minute they call saying they hate it here. A call the next week might be the complete opposite-they love it here and can’t imagine being anywhere else.

Even if this is your second child going off to college, you may still go through all the emotions you faced the first time around.

Remember that you’ve worked hard raising your child to get to this point in her or his life. So, now would be a good time to give yourself some TLC as well.