Parent and Family Programs

Parent and Family Handbook

Supporting your son or daughter

Tip # 1: Don't Ask Them If They're Homesick
A student once said, "The idea of being homesick didn't even occur to me, with all the new things that were going on, until my mom called one of the first weekends and asked, 'Are you homesick?' Then it hit me." However, if a bout of homesickness strikes, keep in mind that numerous programs and services exist at BGSU to assist new students throughout their first year of college.

Tip # 2: Write (Even if They Don't Write Back)
Although new college students are typically eager to experience all the away-from-home independence they can in those first weeks, most are still anxious for family ties and the security those ties bring. Students love to receive mail. Clippings from the hometown newspaper, packages of cookies and even postcards can be shared with their newfound friends.

Tip # 3: Expect Change
Your son or daughter will change. College and the experiences associated with it can effect changes in social, vocational and personal behavior and choices. It's natural, inevitable and it can be inspiring. Often though, it's a pain in the neck.

You can't stop change, you may never understand it, but it is within your power (and to you and your son or daughter's advantage) to accept it. Remember that your son or daughter will be basically the same person that you sent away to school, even if he or she returns for Thanksgiving break with a different hairstyle, eats different foods or discusses a lot of new ideas.

Tip # 4: Don't Worry (Too Much)
About Stressed-Out Phone Calls or Email Messages Parenting can be a thankless job, especially during the college years. When problems become too much for a first-year student to handle (a flunked test, ended relationship and shrunken T-shirt all in one day), one place to turn, write or dial is home. Unfortunately, this may be the only time that the urge to communicate is felt so strongly that you never get to hear about the "A" paper, the new friend or domestic triumph.

Be patient with those "nothing-is-going-right-I-hate-this-place" phone calls, letters or emails. You're providing a real service as an advice dispenser, sympathetic ear and punching bag. Sometimes it's a service that makes you feel lousy, but it works wonders for a frustrated student.

Tip # 5: Trust Them
Finding oneself is a difficult-enough process without feeling that the people whose opinions you respect most are second-guessing your own second-guessing. One of the most important things one mom ever wrote to her son in his four years at college was this: "I love you and want for you all the things that make you happiest; and I guess you , not I, are the one who knows best what those things are." She wrote that during his senior year. Certainly, a note like this would mean as much to your son or daughter now as it did to this student during his senior year.