Communicating with your student through their transition to campus can be a challenge for many families, especially given the time we are in. Below are suggestions for effectively communicating with your student as the semester begins:
Discuss expectations with your student early. Many families feel that they are interrupting their student if they call or text. Setting clear boundaries and expectations of communication (how and when you will communicate, who will initiate it) not only shows respect for your student's space, but allows both parent and student to agree on scheduled times to connect.
Ask about your student's experience. This is an exciting time for your student; let them tell you about their experiences. Ask questions about what your student is involved in or how classes are going. Asking qestions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no ("What are you learning in class?" not "Are you going to class?"), allows your student to share experiences without feeling as if you are checking up on them.
Trust that your student is on track. With students out of the house after months of online instruction, it is an adjustment for you too. Trust that your students are managing their commitments well, and that they are the main agents of their educational experience. That being said, if your student is struggling you are always a resource. Offer advice and connect them to services on campus that assist with time management or academic tutoring. Show your student that you believe in them, then let them work through their experiences. This is beneficial to their development as young adults.
Try new forms of communication. Technology is ever changing in our society, especially during the past few months. Using new forms of communication such as Zoom or other video platforms is a great way to find unique new methods of communication.