Of course, you are still a parent to your almost-adult, and he or she will still need your support and guidance during the college years. Here are some ways you can express your caring and enhance your child's experience at Loyola.
Stay in touch! Even though your child is experimenting with independent choices, he or she still needs to know that you're there and are available to talk about both everyday events and difficult issues. Make arrangements to write or call your child on a regular basis.
Allow your child to set the agenda for some of your conversations. If he or she needs help or support, the subject is more likely to come up if you aren't inquiring pointedly about what time he or she came in last night!
Be specific about financial matters. Most students come to school with a fairly detailed plan about how tuition, fees, books, and room and board will be paid for, and what the family's expectations are about spending money. Being specific at the outset may help avoid misunderstandings later. Students can tend to spend a fair amount of money on social interactions. It may behoove your family to be aware of how much your child is spending, to set reasonable limits, and to monitor any credit card usage so that large debts are not incurred.
Be realistic about academic achievement and grades. Loyola attracts bright students from all over the world, but not every first-year student who excelled academically in high school will be able to earn straight A’s here. Developing or refining the capacity to work independently and consistently and to demonstrate mastery can be more important than grades, as long as the student meets the basic academic requirements set out by the University. Again, these are choices that each individual student makes, though certainly it is appropriate to help your child set his or her own long-term goals.
If your child does experience difficulties at Loyola, encourage him or her to take advantage of the wealth of resources available for students. For academic issues, talking with the professor or academic advisor is probably the first step, but the Study, the Write Place, and the Career Center are also available to help. The offices of the dean of students and the dean of first-year students can assist with a variety of concerns. If your son or daughter could benefit from counseling, the Counseling Center is available on campus. You can help your child by reminding him or her of the many resources available on Loyola's campus.