Tips for Parenting ESU Students
Laundry — A Resident Student's New Chore
This is a basic and important skill for a new university student. Your tutoring is encouraged before your student leaves home. You may want to make sure that your student packs laundry detergent and fabric softener that you use at home. This will give them a scent of home that they can have at the university. They may need to know how much detergent to use (one capful of detergent usually does the job in the university washers), when to add the fabric softener and what constitutes "a load." This is one way to help make your student's transition to college comfortable and successful while fostering his or her independence.
Healthy Eating-The Student's Food Choice Dilemma...
Research has shown that first year university students tend to gain weight in their first year for a variety of reasons.
Some reasons include:
- Making unhealthy food choices at university eating establishments
- Overeating due to stress
- Sedentary lifestyle in front of the computer
- Lack of exercise
To help your student get a healthy start, here are some tips for preparing your student to make good food choices and take care of their bodies while they are at the university:
- Meal planning practice — let your student plan meals once or twice a week. Explain the food pyramid and make sure that they choose nutrient-rich foods that are low in fats. You may even want to give them an opportunity to practice cooking, too!
- Suggest an exercise plan. Help your student plan times during the day to break away from the computer or desk to "run around!" Find different activities that your student likes to do and get your student moving before they begin their university experience. This will establish a healthy routine that they can take along for the university journey. Once on campus, joining intramural sports or frequenting the recreation center is a great way to meet new people.
- Stress Management — brainstorm ways that your student can reduce stress at school. Some good ways may be for them to develop positive relationships and interactions with others on campus, exercise, take up a craft or hobby, and try yoga or other relaxation techniques. Tell them that you are only a phone call away if they need to talk. All of these strategies will help them realize that there are ways to curb stress without turning to food or fatty studying snacks.
Spending Habits — Help Your Student Stay in the Black!
Being away from home can bring with it a newfound freedom to purchase novelties that may be unnecessary and expensive. It would be wise to help your student plan to use his or her money wisely before school starts. Have them develop and keep a budget. Teach them to balance their own checkbook. Help them develop a record of income and expenditures and a spending limit for different areas of interest, such as supplies, transportation, entertainment, school, food, etc. This will help them conceptualize how much money they have available and what their spending priorities will be.
Wake–Up Call — Being Responsible and Using the Alarm!
For many students, the temptation to "sleep in" often overrides the importance of going to class, especially if the classes begin early. Help your student develop an independent morning routine of getting up and getting ready for classes on time. Let them get up independently and motivate themselves to get to school; this way they will not rely on anyone but themselves to get them to class awake and refreshed.
Freedom–Friend or Foe?
Giving your student complete freedom at the university can come as a shock to them. It forces them to make decisions independent of you. Have a talk with your student to remind them that the decisions they make can impact the near and distant future. Planning ahead and setting priorities will help your student realize that impulsive and seemingly fun and alluring activities that last for a few hours can bode consequences that can last a lifetime.