Parent's Guide to Letting Go

During their four years in college, your students will master a wide range of skills and graduate from Purchase as young adults having mastered their disciplines and having acquired the maturity and personal skills to become fully independent. This requires hard work on all fronts. We recognize that one of the most difficult parts of this transition is allowing students the freedom to succeed, as well as the freedom to learn from their mistakes.

Letting go is an important process in allowing your student the opportunity to acquire new skills, explore new ideas and opportunities, and grow in maturity and self-identity.  Parents' interactions with their students are an important part of giving them the freedom to spread their wings and learn the most possible from their college experiences.  In order to facilitate this, you may need to change your style of parenting and interact with your student in new ways.  Although students still need your love and support, you will need to become less involved in order to allow them to take on more responsibility and learn self-discipline and independence.

The information and links below will help make the transition smoother:

Assist your student in planning to move to the college.  Learn how to get therewhat to bring, and what not to bring.  Learn about housing opening and closing dates and times, (including vacations and breaks that students need to vacate their on campus housing for), and encourage your student to become familiar with the academic calendar.

Discuss financial and credit issues.  Have plans in place to address every day expenses, beginning of the semester expenses (i.e., books and supplies), and other financial issues that may arise throughout the course of the semester.  Talk with your student about credit cards, the importance of good credit, and debt management.  Stress the importance of developing a sticking to a budget, and assist your student in addressing these issues prior to them coming to college.  It is also a good idea to establish a bank account in the area of the college.  If your student will have a checking or credit account for the first time, teach him or her how to maintain a budget and a checkbook.  Also, stress the importance of keeping financial documents safe and secure.

Help your student understand how to stay healthy.  Discuss health-related issues with your student, and encourage a healthy life-style and responsible choices.  Encourage balance in your student's life, and discuss healthy dietary habits, getting sufficient sleep, playing too hard, seeking appropriate medical attention when ill,  keeping up with their class work to avoid stress wherever possible, exercising, and other habits that form the basis of a healthy life-style.

Discuss how to stay safe with your student.  Review tips on personal safety with your student such as looking doors, walking in groups, blue light phones, and campus resources.  Encourage your student to use discretion about posting campus addresses, cellphone numbers, class schedules, and compromising photos on social networking websites.