Perhaps you have a child leaving the nest this coming fall and heading off to college, or perhaps you have one not leaving for a few years. In either case, an academic advisor from the University of Vermont has 12 things college parents should know about how to support their child when they head off, including some things you can do long before they leave to help prepare them.

The author notes that parents need to be aware that the college experience today is not the one they had. Academics have changed, parenting styles have changed, and how our kids interact with the world and each other has changed. Many of her suggestions echo those of former Stanford Freshmen Dean Julie Lythcott-Haims in her TED talk on how to raise successful kids. Here are her 12 suggestions to help your child while they’re away at college:

  1. Your teens need to learn how to solve problems on their own.
  2. Do not text your child hourly. Or even daily.
  3. Please use the parent page of your child’s university as it was intended, as a means of getting basic information.
  4. Encourage them to join clubs and professional societies.
  5. Tell them to treat college like a job with a 40+ hour work week.
  6. If your children need academic accommodations of any kind, make sure they are registered with the student services office.
  7. Encourage your kids to engage with their professors.
  8. Tell them to get help.
  9. Tell them to schedule their downtime.
  10. Tell them to be open.
  11. Hold them accountable.
  12. Normalize failure.

You can find more information about each of these suggestions in the article. Make sure that kid leaving the nest is ready to go (and that you are too).

Photo courtesy Tulane Public Relations under Creative Commons license.