What are some ways that parents could help their students to succeed?
following is paraphrased from a posting by Vickie
Welsh-Huston at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis
on an advising listserv)
never made a handout for parents but I do give a presentation
to parents on the academic program, and at a reception we have
during orientation, I have time to speak individually with some
parents. Parental support comes from challenging the child but
reinforcing support as well.
think faculty ought to adopt this philosophy as well.) Parents
need to express THEIR fears and apprehensions to the child, never
assuming the child knows what's on the parent's mind. There's
an awkwardness at this stage: the child is assumed to be independent
and on one's own, so the parent must do the difficult dance on
the sideline, ever ready to lend support but always knowing when
to butt out. I'd reinforce that we administrators/staff/faculty
appreciate the difficult position of the parent.
reinforce that the parents must insist on open communication with
the child since FERPA won't allow us to give much to parents.
And WE shouldn't give much anyway. The parent and child ought
to have an open dialogue that does not rely on us too heavily.
We can be a mediator to a point, however, as parent and child
establish this new (again awkward) relationship.
I don't know how valuable this is, but from being in teaching
and advising for ten years, I've come to appreciate the tough
parental role. Imagine paying big bucks and not getting enough
feedback. If all else fails, the parent can stop writing the check
(if applicable) but I seldom meet a parent who wants to do that.
might find something useful on the " For Parents" chapter of CollegePrep-101.
are my two cents to add to the list:
should talk about expectations that the parents and child each
- How often to contact home
- Dating/Relationships in conjunction
and teaching in everyday items are forgotten and often "bleed"
into academic deficiencies:
- teaching how to balance a check book
- clean the bathroom
- do laundry
- organizational skills
- calendar skills/time management
- talk about money, budgeting, credit,
scholarships, grants, loans
- ensuring that their supplies are taken
care of i.e.: Not necessarily those new expensive jeans, but
how about a computer and a scientific calculator? Microwave
instead of that new expensive perfume?
currently teach a freshmen seminar question and what I think the
students would like to tell their parents is related to time:
Even though I may not be in class as many hours as in high school,
I have many more study hours. I want to still help out at home
(?) but I can't (fill in the blank, for my students it has been
everything from clean my room to baby-sit the younger siblings
so parents can work). Another topic would be that the student
would like some interest in the studies but not to direct the
choice of major/career. Allow the student to apply their values
which the parent has taken the time to nurture.
first things that came to me were:
- Help your student understand that
coming to this university is a major transition, and parts of
it will be easy and parts of it will be difficult. This is normal--everyone
experiences some challenges with transitions.
- Encourage your student to ask for
help. Learning is a cooperative effort, and asking for help
is a vital part of the effort.
- Students are not expected to find
all of the answers for themselves; faculty, staff, and upper
class students have lots of knowledge and they enjoy sharing
- Not directly related to advising...
but a great book that I have used in putting together information
for parents is, The Parent's Crash Course in Career Planning
by Marcia Harris and Sharon Jones. Marcia is the Career Services
Director at UNC-Chapel Hill. The book has one of my favorite
"If you would be happy for a day, go fishing
If you would be happy for a month, get married
If you would be happy for a year, inherit a fortune
If you would be happy for a life, love your work."
-- Chinese proverb
- Another one of my other favorites
(not in the book... but from a great philosopher of our times)....
"If you have dug yourself into a hole, quit digging & throw
away the shovel!" -- Paraphrased from famous saying by Tom Grites