Give the gift of self-reliance – Help your child learn to rely on their own instincts, thought processes or crisis management. Be a sounding board through their brainstorming and help them become their own problem solver.
Admit to not knowing the answer – Most parents have a hard time saying, “I don’t know” to their kids. There are many situations your college student will face. And in some instances, a parent’s best response is, “I’m sorry I can’t help with this, but I know you will make the right decision.” Children need to learn there are issues we can’t solve for them and they will find other mentors and support groups for help.
Listen to what they’re asking – Parents tend to over-solve for children in an effort to be helpful. Listen carefully to determine if they are venting their frustrations or asking for advice or assistance.
Most often college students just need a parent to listen to their thoughts and decisions. Learning to relinquish control and provide acceptance is not easy, but doing so is the next step for this stage.
By // Dr. Lisa Strohman, JD, Ph.D.
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