Ten Ways to Support Your Child’s Development through College
- Expect the unexpected.
- Expect the unexpected to become the new normal.
- Embrace the unexpected; knowing it produces learning and growth for your child.
- Discard the expectations you have of your child, allowing your son or daughter to develop their own life and career goals.
- Always be there to listen, support, and encourage.
- Give your expert advice and feedback only when invited. (They will ask for it!)
- Encourage your child to seek support from other adults. Non-parent mentors are critical during this period of development.
- When your child faces challenges and obstacles, encourage them to think through the steps to overcome them rather than giving them your answers. (Your answers don’t work for anyone else but you!)
- Challenge yourself and your child to think critically! This is one of the most important skills your child will cultivate during late adolescence. And it is a skill that is also developed over a lifetime! A critical thinker raises good questions, understands relevant information, comes to well-reasoned conclusions, thinks with an open-mind, and communicates effectively with others. When children and parents communicate critically with an open-mind, both evolve as human beings.
- Accept that your child will think and do things differently than you. As frustrating as that can be, it works out best when your child discovers the beauty of who they are, separate from their parents. You wouldn’t want it any other way!