Parenting During the College Transition

As a student prepares to leave for college, it is common for parents to worry about their son or daughter being on their own for the first time. Once your student leaves for college, it can become one of the most challenging times as a parent.

Here are some tips to keep in mind on how to successfully parent your son or daughter through the college transition:


  • Talk about finances before your student leaves for school. Every family handles college finances differently, but no matter who is paying for books, room and board, and tuition it helps to talk about budgeting with your student before they are on their own on campus. Encourage them to download a budgeting app to help them track their spending. Check out Mint, Wally, and PocketGuard to see which one fits your student's needs best.

  • Meet the roommates and their families. When you are moving your child in, do not hesitate to introduce yourself to your child's roommates and their parents. It may be helpful down the line.

  • Stay in touch, but do not overwhelm. After leaving, allow your student to have the time and space necessary to adjust and immerse themselves in college life. Make sure that he or she knows you are always there when they need you. Check in every so often and schedule your visits ahead of time.
  • Do not pressure students to come home. If your son or daughter wants to come home frequently on the weekends, encourage that they stay on campus instead. Students who stay on campus for classes only and return home each weekend tend to enjoy college less because they are not as tied to the campus community. Encourage him or her to join a campus club or activity to get to know some other students.
  • Send a care-package. Consider creating a care-package your college student can enjoy with others. Gift cards, movies, a long phone charger, holiday decor, a diffuser, snacks and games are a few items you could include.

  • Pray. The most important thing you can do for your child after dropping them off at college is praying for them. They will be faced with new decisions and challenges that they have never come across before. By lifting your heart up in prayer, the Lord will draw you nearer to your child even though you are miles away.