Sending your son or daughter off to begin their higher education at Union College can be stressful and bring about a wide range of emotions for you. It might help you to know that there are many offices here at Union to help your child succeed. The Counseling Center is just one of the resources that will help your child adjust to the various stresses and demands that they will face. It is also important that you address your own feelings about this transition. Doing so will help everyone in your family adjust to the many challenges ahead. Below are some coping strategies that may be of some assistance. You might also find the book, Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years, by Coburn and Treeger, to be particularly helpful.
Strategies for Parents
Don't Ignore Your Feelings
Allow yourself the opportunity to experience your feelings. It is normal to have confusing and conflicting emotions when a child leaves home, especially if it is the first or last child. Feelings range from sadness to relief and from apprehension to joy. Whatever the feelings are, there is little benefit to ignoring them. A healthier approach is to talk about these feelings with family, friends, spiritual leaders, and/or a professional.
Make Your Own Health a Priority
You will not be able to help your child adjust if you do not take care of yourself. Try to get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and exercise regularly. Do things that you have enjoyed doing in the past or pick up a new hobby.
Remember Your Part in Your Child’s Success
Your child has made it to college with your help and guidance. Now they must transition into becoming an adult. Give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself on the success of your family