College Student-Parent Communications 101

TORONTO, July 29 (UPI) — Parents of students leaving home for college need to show interest without seeming to interfere, a Canadian psychologist suggests.

During this time of transition into autonomy, parents need to understand excessive interest may be taken by the child as a lack of trust, Dr. Jesmen Mendoza, a psychologist at the Center for Student Development and Counseling at Ryerson University in Toronto, says.

Mendoza — along with Rosemary Volpe, a counselor at the center and Aishah Nofal a fourth-year undergraduate student and residence advisor at Ryerson — agree parents should keep on writing and sending pictures and news items from home even if their children do not write back.

Parents need to realize there will probably be more bad news than good news from their college students — at least at first — and parental support will be needed as students go through numerous changes in dress, interests and level of academic success.

A lessening in communication frequency, the Ryerson experts say, is a good sign and means a new college student has made a successful transition. However, a sudden drop-off in contact warrants a “calm and tactful” inquiry if things are OK, the researchers recommend.

Parents, should avoid responding to student stress by saying, “but these are the best years of your life,” the experts say.

“Don’t make surprise, unannounced visits,” the researchers say in a statement.

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