The duo also offers encouragement for parents. As families navigate their “new normal,” there’s a period of adjustment that’s needed, says McCarthy. “New boundaries are being formed, new patterns for how the relationship will work. There will be lots of trial and error in this phase, which can be very frustrating for parents and students.”
The final part of orientation for parents includes homework. They’re encouraged to discuss certain topics as a family before their child arrives on campus.
Those discussion topics include:
- Having a plan for academic success that includes class attendance, study hours, academic integrity, available tutoring options, connecting with professors
- Managing time and freedom
- Navigating new relationships
- Using social media
- Being involved on campus
- Making smart and safe decisions, especially concerning alcohol, drugs, sex. Regarding sexual misconduct, parents learn that all incoming students at North Central are required to take an online training module, which makes clear that the College does not tolerate sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence and sexual assault.
- Agreement on frequency and methods of communication between parent and child, access to grades and student information, and who to contact when help is needed
Bottom line: The transition to college for parent and child can be both unsettling and exciting. But with thoughtful preparation, support and guidance among all members, it can be smooth and successful.