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Launching a child into university is often a frightening situation for parents as well as the student. Faced with the sudden change in family dynamics and a sense of, “How will my child ever survive without me?” or, “How will I ever survive without my child?”, parents may worry about their child’s health, well-being, academic work, friendships, and a variety of other concerns.

We have good news for you: This is all very normal!  Plenty of parents deal with these same issues.

For parents, the best way to find out exactly how your child is doing is to ask them directly and be patient and loving in listening and responding.

Students typically seek counseling for several reasons such as stress, loneliness, family issues, eating disorders, relationship problems, and worries about a variety of other issues.  Often, students just need a place to safely vent frustrations, talk over concerns, and seek guidance for their continued well-being and emotional growth.  If your student seeks services from the Center for Counseling, he or she is covered by a confidentiality policy.  Because of this confidentiality policy, we will not be able to confirm or deny whether your child is attending counseling without his or her written consent.

Help your son or daughter by keeping your own perspective clear.  You should maintain your own support systems, allow yourself to feel the changing emotions that are likely to occur when a child leaves home to attend university, but continue or develop new interests and hobbies to maintain your own sense of well-being.  Your child needs to see you continue to live your life as fully as possible.

Launching your child successfully will require a lot of work, preparation, and finally letting go.  With this comes a need to trust that you have given your young adult son or daughter the tools he or she will need to face life’s challenges.  For more information on ways to maximize the successful transition of your son or daughter into college and adulthood, check out the following resources:

  • Set to Go – Your guide to the transition from high school to college and adulthood, an online resource center to help parents and students focus on emotional health before, during and after the college transition
  • The Transition Year – Returning Home from College