Helping from a Distance

 Of course, you are still a parent, and your child still needs your support and guidance. Here are some ways you can express your caring and enhance your child's experience at PBA.

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 over both normal events and difficult issues. Make arrangements prior to each school year, in agreement with your child, to write, e-mail or call on certain agreed-upon times.

Allow space for your college student to set the agenda for some of your conversations and interactions. It can even be normal and developmentally appropriate for some college students to want little contact with their parents. Some students choose their most important relationships to be with peers and/or significant faculty. This is an important part of gaining personal identity and autonomy and can assist the college student in being able to relate to you.

Be realistic with your college student 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.

Be supportive about academic achievement and grades. PBA seeks to attract bright students from all over the world, and not every first-year student who excelled academically in high school will be an all-A student. Developing or refining the capacity to work independently and consistently and to demonstrate mastery can be more important than grades, as long as your student meets the basic academic requirements set out by PBA.

If your child does experience difficulties at PBA, encourage taking advantage of the wealth of resources available for students. Our Student Success Center is a one-stop destination for most student issues including academic, career and counseling needs. Our campus pastor, or the Health and Wellness Center may also be appropriate places to suggest to your student.