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My Advice To College Parents

By Fran Gragg
Fran Gragg is the coordinator of the parents association of a major university in the Midwest. Ms. Gregg submitted this piece to us, which provides great advice for college parents.

My advice to college parents is three-fold. First, trust that you have done a good job raising your children and that the values and skills that you have instilled in them so far will continue to serve them well as they enter adulthood. Of course you can still be available for a face to face visit but if you let go a little bit more each day and support them from a distance with a phone call, text, e-mail or letter you’ll be amazed at how well they manage their own lives in their own way using your solid foundation and their own wits.

Secondly, remember yourself as an eighteen-year-old and think back on the joy you felt when you did something new on your own for the first time. Yes, mistakes will be made and they are some of the best teachers that young adults will ever have. College students’ lives literally unfold before them day by day and can be exciting and terrifying. Your reassurance that they can achieve their goals, even when they make mistakes, is very important to them.

Lastly, what goals have you always wanted to achieve and how can you start writing the next chapters in your own life? This is a time of new beginnings for everyone so take advantage of the extra time you may find yourself with to start or restart your own college career, travel or find a new hobby. After all, why should your student have all the fun?

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