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Exploring Parenting Challenges by Age: College-Aged Children

Has your child entered the college years (ages 18 to 22)? Congratulations! This is an exciting time, but it can also bring a whole new set of challenges for parents. Here are a few of the issues that parents commonly face during this stage:

  • Long distance – If your child is going away to college, you might find yourself missing them and worrying about them, especially if you haven’t spent a significant amount of time apart from them in the past. Try to keep yourself busy with hobbies and friends, and before you know it, your sadness will turn into pride and excitement.
  • College freedom vs. house rules – After your child has been at school all year, you’re probably thrilled to have them return home for the summer, but you might encounter some issues when they move back in. When they were on campus, they had much more freedom than they ever did growing up, so it might be hard for them to readjust. You can still communicate your expectations as far as chores, usage of the family car, and what to do if they’re planning to be home late, but try to be flexible and remember that they’re adults.
  • Academic stress – It’s not uncommon for kids who excelled throughout grade school to become overwhelmed once they enter college. College classes tend to be more difficult than high school courses, and students are also more tempted to go to parties and hang out with friends without their parents’ supervision. Don’t feel like you need to fix every problem—after all, your child needs to learn to figure out solutions on their own—but be sure to teach them time management and self-care practices, and watch out for signs of anxiety and depression.

Learn More About Effective Parenting

Would you like to receive parenting tips from a professional who specializes in managing children’s behavior? Contact us today. We’ll be happy to schedule a therapy session so that we can begin to discuss the challenges that you’re facing with your college-aged children.