The transition to college is challenging for parents too. Helping your student become an independent adult requires a delicate balance of support and challenge. Here are three tips for helping your student be successful at OU.
1. Typically the attitude of parents and close family is more impactful on the student than even that of their friends. So, be aware of the tone you may help to set as your student attends school.
Be positive and encouraging.
Be careful about complaining about things. (i.e. "Your room is small." "Books are too expensive.")
Last minute "helping" may not help. (Ex."Why did you bring that bedspread?") Use judgment when critiquing your student.
2. it is important that your student learn how to think critically and problem solve effectively. You can assist in this learning process by helping your student through this learning process. Helping your student learn to effectively problem solve is a process. Parents who solve their student's problems always do not allow for their student to learn how to problem solve.
"A child who knows his problems are the concern of others, concerns himself with none of his problems." -Anonymous
Teach your student to problem solve.
Address the 1st problem by empowering your student to problem solve by giving an example out outlining the process you would take. For example, saying something like "I would do..." or "I think you should...".
Address the 2nd problem by asking your student to identify the process they would take and walking them through that process. For example, if your student isn't sure about whether he or she should drop a course, asking something like "Who on campus do you need to discuss this decision with?" and "Where can you find out the consequences of dropping a course at this point in the semester?"
At the 3rd or 4th problem the student should begin telling you what they were thinking about doing and asking for your input, instead of asking you what they should do.
By around the 5th problem the student should be telling you how he or she effectively solved their problem.
3. OU offers many resources to assist your student in achieving success. As a parent, you may want to familiarize yourself with these resources in order to offer informed encouragement to your student to use these resources at appropriate times throughout his/her time at OU. For information on campus resources for students, click here.
*At the very first problem, think about where you want your student to be five problems from now and address the first problem with that in mind.