Tips for communicating with college students (without being overbearing)
For students, college is the time to explore, discover new things, experiment, build relationships and do other fun things. They see this as a time of freedom and no restrictions whatsoever. So, when the parents call them every other day demanding to know about every second of their day, most students feel suffocated. They start ignoring the calls and make excuses like they are busy or the class is about to start and they have to go. So, who is at fault here? Who is to blame for the souring conversations? Technically neither of them. Students need some space but the parents also have the right to worry. In today's time however both have been presented with a unique opportunity to stay in contact with each other even when they are in different cities or even countries altogether. But one should be mindful not to overdo this facility. Here are some tips to for parents to communicate with their college child without being too overbearing.
Establish some ground rules
Every child is different and they might react differently to different approaches of communication. Especially if you are sending of your second child to college remember that the methods that might have worked with your first kid may not be effective this time. You need to establish some ground rules for your ways of communication with your child. And it goes without saying that these rules should be acceptable to both. Like some students might be comfortable with having their parents in their Facebook friend list while others might be totally apprehensive of it. You need to work in the comfort zone of your child or you risk pushing them away and start keeping secrets from you. If they are not comfortable having you on their Facebook friend list talk to them about other platforms where you can keep in touch, like instagram or so.
Respect your child's personal space
Going to college is a big step ahead in any child's life. It gives them the feeling of being an adult and take up responsibility of themselves and their actions. It also plays a big role in shaping your child's personality and determining the kind of individual he would go on to become. Allow your child some personal space to grow and develop. Let them take their own decisions. Also, don't be very intrusive in their personal lives for example, if they are in a relationship don't push them to share every detail with you but be aware of the name of the person and have to share some details occasionally so that you are in touch with their lives and can keep them away from going down the wrong road. Also, if there is something that they have posted on social media and you don't approve of it do not reprimand them in the comments for everyone to see. Talk to them over phone or personal chat.
Explore new platforms for communicating
Facebook and twitter though are the most popular social media platforms and great means for staying in touch with your child without even having to directly communicate with them. Sometimes it's good to branch out and try other means of communication. Try video calling them every once a while, there are even some great apps for the purpose like Google Duo for android and Facetime for the iphone users. Also try dropping a text on Whatsapp instead of calling them every moment of the day. Follow their instagram accounts if are active on that platform. If possible let your kids initiate the calls. Or set apart some time every week for calls.
Avoid Over Communicating
Lastly, technological advancement of today's time surely allow you stay in touch with your child 24/7 but that doesn't mean that you should. The reason being not just that your child doesn't appreciate it but also because it hampers their growth. Remember college is a place meant for their growth. It's the time for self exploration, self-discovery and the road to becoming independent. Leave them with some personal space to grow and learn what it's like to take decisions on their own.
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