Thursday, August 19, 2010

How to parent a college student

“It’s a wonderful and sobering experience,” Emory psychologist Marshall Duke says of the rite of passage when parents help a freshman move into a college dorm. Each year, Duke gives a popular Emory orientation seminar on “Parenting a College Student: What to Expect.”

“You’ve brought a treasure to us and you’re going to leave this treasure with us, and you’re going to go home,” Duke tells parents. “Something has happened that you have anticipated, even looked forward to, but also dreaded. That is the moment when your child goes one way and you go another. And that moment of separation is extremely powerful and important. It’s a moment that is so invested with power and emotion that whatever you say is elevated to a level of importance rarely achieved. You have more to do than to simply say goodbye. You have to take that moment and use it. What is it you’re going to say, that will be elevated to this level of importance, that will stick forever?”

Watch the video to learn Duke’s advice for navigating the complex changes in family dynamics.

Parenting a college student

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