Many colleges welcome parent involvement and work hard to provide open avenues of communication. Recently, colleges have been utilizing online resources and social media to communicate with parents and help them with questions and concerns related to the college admissions process. Once the students are accepted, the colleges continue the relationship by providing parents with information related to college life and transitioning from full-time parenting to allowing their teens some independence.

Student role

The student’s role is to accept the guidance and encouragement from their parents, while learning to make their own decisions, fight their own battles, and make wise financial choices. College gives them the opportunity to learn, have new life experiences, and grow as an individual. It’s their responsibility to accept that challenge and move toward independence and self-reliance, while preparing for a future and getting that education that will help them be successful as they pursue a career.

College role

Colleges work hard to build relationships with both the parents and the students. They provide freshman orientation to help students transition to college life. At the same time, colleges are also creating opportunities for parents to learn about college life and know what to expect, as their teens become college students. Once on campus, students are encouraged by the college to become involved, seek help if needed and establish relationships with faculty and other students. Colleges strive to help students move from depending solely on their parents to becoming adults capable of self-sufficiency.

Parent role

Once their teens are headed off to college parents should become less involved and allow them to make choices, sometimes make mistakes, and learn to deal with conflict. A parent who constantly swoops in to rescue their child creates an atmosphere that does not contribute to self-reliance and independence. Colleges encourage parents to allow their children to become responsible, independent adults. It is sometimes hard to find that balance between over-parenting and encouraging; but parents should learn to take a step back and allow their child to find solutions to problems without taking control or interfering.

The ideal student-college-parent relationship should allow all three parties to be active participants in the college process and benefit from a productive outcome.

Are you a parent of a college-bound teen and finding it difficult to maintain a balance between offering help and becoming overbearing? Are you a college-bound teen that needs help but wants to maintain your independence? Leave your comment here and let’s start a discussion!

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