Tips for Parents
As your student acclimates to campus, there's a powerful force at work. He wants to belong to something, whether it's a group, a community or a cause. This can lead many students to make great choices about how to spend their time and who to hang out with. Yet, it can also lead some students astray.
Belonging might pan out in a variety of ways, including…
- a student finding a group of hallmates to have dinner with most nights
- a student pledging a fraternity or sorority
- a student attending a hall council or student government meeting to see what the issues are
- a student inviting others over to play video games in his room
- a student participating in risky drinking behavior because she is invited out by other students
- a student joining a campus organization that he is interested in
- a student attending a program sponsored by her RA
- a student accepting an invitation to watch "Grey's Anatomy" with new friends
- a student doing someone else's academic work for them because it's a way to be accepted
- a student finding a workout partner
- a student participating in vandalism or other negative behaviors because that's what the people he's spending time with tend to do
- a student doing community service with others
Talk with your student about where he's finding his sense of belonging. Many times, you may be able to tell, just by virtue of the people and events he discusses. Positive belonging is a glorious thing, something that we all need to experience. And negative belonging can be rectified through communication and care.
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
Copyright 2006, 125 Paterson Ave., Little Falls, NJ 07424