Tips for Parents
With so much focus on your college student, it can be easy to forget about the impact that her leaving can have on younger siblings. Sibling relationships can be enduring, and a sense of loss can be felt in a number of ways when an older sibling heads off to college.
- Take the time to talk with younger siblings. Ask them how they are feeling about the upcoming transition and explain some of the ways things might change at home. Consider discussing...
- How family dynamics might change
- How resources such as transportation and bedroom space may need to be reallocated appropriately among those still at home
- How the cost of sending a student to college may change your family's financial situation and that might impact day-to-day functioning
- Be careful not to send a "guilt trip." Consider...
- Allowing connections among older and younger siblings to happen naturally, rather than forcing them to spend time together. This will lead to a long-term renewed relationship, rather than resentment.
- Not making your college student feel guilty about wanting to spend time with friends and to do the things he enjoys before leaving home. Bringing some closure to these aspects of his life is really important too.
- Involve younger siblings in planning and preparation for your college student's departure. Consider asking younger siblings to...
- Help in picking out items for a residence hall room.
- Put important college dates on their calendar, such as family weekend, homecoming and more.
- Come with the family to any campus visits that are taken.
You know your family best, so you'll know what the best way is to involve everyone in the upcoming transition. Working together during this tricky transition will build lasting memories and could help make the process go smoother too.
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