Be Their Parent Not Their Friend
You have just sent your child off to college. Whether it is 45 minutes from home, a few hours, or in another state, they are now homesick. They are traveling home every weekend and are considering transferring to a college in their hometown or dropping out all together. As parents, if you are supporting their continuous return home, you are enabling your child to make poor decisions. At first, it is OK to comfort a homesick child. But when you allow them to come home every weekend, or make a big decision that can change their life forever, you will hurt them or let them hurt themselves in the long run.
You and your child have already made a huge decision by deciding which college to attend. It is obvious that you chose the school for reasons. Whether it was purely academic or based on the culture at the school, you and your child liked the school a few months ago when you came for orientation in the summer. Don’t let yourselves forget that.
When your child packs up and comes home each Friday night, you must analyze the situation. Primarily, they are not getting the college experience they deserve. It is impossible to make friends during class. Yes, they can meet people in class, but when they reserve no time to get to know these potential friends, there will be no friendship formed. Additionally, by enabling your freshman, you are encouraging them to give up when things get tough.
Hold Strong and stay the course
Do not let your child hurt themselves and their future by switching to a lesser college. Instead, encourage them to hang with it by sending them care packages or notes from home. Teach your child to stand on his or her own two feet. After all, they are adults and they will appreciate it in the end.
Instead of letting your child come home and return to their comfort zone, go visit them in their new surroundings. Encourage your child to stay and get involved in the things that the area has to offer. College campuses always have events for the students to participate in. Ask your son or daughter about these events. You may spark their interest.
Of course, not everyone is comfortable leaving their hometown, and there is nothing wrong with this. However, it is a bad idea to give up on a college out of town too soon. If after one school year your child is still not happy with their choice, allow them to find a suitable alternative closer to home. So, if your college freshman is unhappy where they have chosen to spend their college years, console them, but also encourage them to face their fears. Don’t let them give up to soon.