Advice for Parents & Guardians

Once they leave, your worry will really begin! Parents may experience a sense of helplessness because they don't know what is going on with their son or daughter. The best you can do is to expect and accept those feelings of helplessness.

It is not a passive position. (You are actively turning over the reins of responsibility to your son or daughter.)Young people between the ages of 17-22 are facing one of the biggest developmental hurdles in their lives. Many people look at their college years as some of the most formative years of their lives. That's because your son or daughter will learn to assume the responsibility for his or her own life. That's it, that's exactly what you worry about isn't it? Will they do their laundry? Do they even remember how to do their laundry? Will they only eat pizza, or salad, or potato chips? What kind of decisions will they make for themselves? What about sex and alcohol?

In the first weeks and months of college, young adults typically have one foot in and one foot out of their home. They want you to take care of them and they want you to let them do it themselves. Knowing when and how you can be helpful fluctuates constantly. That's where your patience comes in. There is no specific how-to manual. And the only wrong answer is you choosing to do it all for them. You need to let them experience college for themselves. It may be frustrating, but both of you will benefit.