Diane Sasser | 9/21/2005 1:53:23 AM
Being the parent of a college freshman can be challenging. College students undergo many changes as they begin their journey to independence, says LSU AgCenter family life professor Dr. Diane Sasser.
Freshmen face many developmental challenges such as living with others, making decisions for themselves - like when to eat, sleep and study - not to mention the decision of what to do with their lives.
Sasser offers tips about understanding your college-bound child.
• Listen. The young adult turns to you for support and encouragement during the sometimes rough transition. Exercise nonjudgmental listening, and try to understand what your child is going through.
• Stay informed. Learn when major exams or midterms are, and expect some stress or edginess on the part of the student. Consult the university’s online calendar to find out about other important dates and events.
• If your child is away at school, send e-mails or newspaper clippings to keep your student up to date about what’s happening back home. College is a time your child needs family support more than ever. Getting hometown news from family and old friends can really help the student still feel important.
College changes many people. You may notice this with your child’s change in behavior, fashion and new friends. Getting out on their own can have positive and negative impacts on the young adults, and you should let them make their own mistakes. They will learn from their mistakes and will be more confident when dealing with them again. Changes are normal, and you should trust your child to deal with this new environment.
Most college students love visits from home, especially if they can get a free meal and/or shop for a few necessities. Announced visits are much better for both parties, because the students will have time to tidy up their rooms, and parents will have more time to visit.
For information on related family and consumer topics, click on the Family and Home link at the LSU AgCenter Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.