Tips for Parents
The invitation to campus has been issued: it's Family Weekend time! As you assess how to make this visit happen, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Talk with Your Student First. See what he's thinking about the weekend and how you can share one another's time. It's best to talk it out before you arrive so there are no expectations going unsaid.
- Make Reservations Now! If you haven't already done so, find a place to stay, as things book up quickly. You might even ask your student to make dinner reservations if there's a place she'd like to take you.
- Check the Schedule. There are many things happening on campus so, plan your time together. Express an interest if there's something that you or other family members would really like to do.
- See What Your Student Would Like to Do. Chances are that your student is excited to show you his campus in his own way! Ask him what he'd like to show you, what he'd like to do and what he's looking forward to. By letting him take the lead, you give him an opportunity to practice planning and decision making, while showing you his turf.
- Keep Siblings in Mind. Will there be enough to keep them occupied in a positive way? Do they have other commitments back home? Does your college student crave time with just you? Balance all of your family needs/wants to see what's doable.
- Carve out the Kind of Time You Need. Family Weekend is about campus happenings and is filled with lots of people. If you're craving intimate one-on-one time with your student, make sure that you let that be known. Maybe you can grab lunch together at a quiet spot or take a walk at the local park so you have some time to talk, away from the hubbub.
- Be Ready to Meet People! Your student will likely want to introduce you to her friends, roommates, faculty, people in her classes, in her residence hall, those on her Intramurals team… it'll likely be a whirl of names and faces. During a quieter time with your student, ask about some of the people you've met. That will help clarify their place in her life — and it may help your memory a bit, too!
We're looking forward to having you with us! And, we suspect, your student is, too.
A Family Weekend Checklist
Some practical things to discuss before you visit for Family Weekend:
- When do things begin and end?
- Is your student expecting that you'll bring certain things home with you (i.e. her summer clothes)? If so, you'll want to save space in the car!
- Where will you stay? Are siblings allowed to stay in the halls if they're of a certain age?
- What kind of accessibility is available for those needing special accommodations?
Thinking ahead can make the visit more enjoyable for all!
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