How Your Parents Can Help You!
college years are a time of transition for parents and young
people alike. Your parents can help you transition to postsecondary
education. They can encourage you and share knowledge about
college options and challenges. These steps can help to motivate
you to think about and act on your college decisions.
I was a boy of 14, I thought my father was one
of the stupidest mortals to walk the face of the
earth; when I turned 21, I was amazed how much
the old gentleman had learned in seven years."
transitioning from high school to college, a complex process
for many students, requires a structured plan and effective
time management. All too often, students delay their college
planning until their senior year in high school. You and your
parents should participate in transition planning beginning
at age 14 or in the eighth grade, as mandated by IDEA, and
throughout your high school years. Your IEP transition plan
is your road map through high school that will help you reach
your destination of postsecondary education and eventual employment.
parents have the same hopes and goals for their children as
they have for themselves. The trouble is that the specific
notion of what constitutes success or self-reliance is often
very different for parents than for their offspring. Students
need to know that their parents are "there for them"
but are not pushing them toward a particular college or program
of study to satisfy their parents own needs. They often worry
about pleasing their parents rather than freely exploring
their feelings and options.
spirit with which your parents offer advice should always
allow for your individual choice and build a mutually respectful
parent-child relationship. While impartiality and objectivity
can be very difficult to offer, if students are to become
independent, they must take responsibility for their own academic
goals and the consequences of their performance.
parents may serve as a resource about "real world"
experiences and possibilities. Discuss the reality of choices
and decisions with them within the context of college life,
independent living, and future careers.
know their offspring well and may be able to assist you in
recognizing your strengths, talents, and abilities. They should
stress your positive points, which gives you the self-esteem
and positive mental attitude needed to explore new ideas and
opportunities. Your parents will encourage your interests,
help you develop your skills, and identify your values.
the notion of networking early. Perhaps your parents can introduce
you to friends and colleagues associated with postsecondary
settings and programs and to those working in career fields
of interest to you. These contacts may be helpful throughout
the college process and may eventually serve as an essential
link to jobs after graduation.
parents can encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunities
and support services available on campus and in the community.
Much "learning" takes place outside of the classroom
environment. They can encourage you to join campus clubs and
activities and participate in workshops offered throughout
the year. Their job is to support you and lead you to take
advantage of the rich pool of resources available at the college.
They can help you deal with discouragement and stress by listening,
talking, and acknowledging that what you are going through
is tough. They can show you how much they care and how important
your happiness and well being means to them.
from Virginia's College Guide for Students with Disabilities