A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Tips for Parents

Tips for Parents of New Students

  • Understand that the first few weeks or months may be rough on you and your student. Your student is experiencing a lot of changes in his or her life. Expect a period of adjustment. Be supportive.
  • Pray for your student daily.
  • Encourage your student to get to know a diverse group of people. Taylor University students have the opportunity to meet students from all
  • over the world.
  • Encourage your student to become involved in activities. Involvement will allow your student to grow academically and socially and help him or her identify with a smaller group on campus.
  • Consider the calendar your student is experiencing. The first week of school, midterms, and final exam week can create a lot of stress. Your encouragement can be especially important at these times.
  • Listen to your student and wait to offer advice. Students often call home to “vent” and need their parents to listen to their problems, not solve them. Ask open-ended questions that help your student discover a solution on his or her own.
  • Show your support and encouragement and emphasize that you are confident that your student can make the right choices. Your student will develop more independence and maturity from making his or her own decisions and his or her own mistakes.
  • Carefully decide when to intervene on behalf of your student. College students are in the process of becoming adults - you don’t want to risk implying that your student can’t manage without your help.
  • Visit your student – but please, no surprises. Homework, jobs, and social activities tend to fill up a student’s schedule. Allow your student time to plan ahead.
  • Come to Parents and Family Weekend! It’s a great chance to see your student all settled into his or her life at Taylor. Let your student take the opportunity to teach you something new, a bit of a role-reversal.
  • Don’t be surprised if your student expresses an interest in changing majors. Your student will be exposed to a variety of academic areas and career possibilities, especially during the first year. As your student discovers new opportunities, his or her focus may change.
  • Inspire your student by showing interest in what he or she is learning. Demonstrate the joy of being a lifelong student.
  • Talk about money with your student. Mutually understood budgets will help your student with spending and saving expectations. Make it clear if you are expecting your student to work part-time to help meet college costs.
  • Don’t make assumptions about breaks and where your student will spend them. Your student may wish to return home for breaks or vacation, or he or she may want to spend time with college friends. Clearly communicate any family expectations regarding holidays and vacations well in advance.
  • As a university student, your son or daughter will be accustomed to a certain amount of personal freedom and may expect the same degree of independence at home. Your student will feel more positive about spending time at home if you work together to make adjustments to family rules when he or she comes home.
  • Give your student a tremendous amount of grace and always lots of love!

If your student is having a difficult time

  • Try not to panic; it’s common for students to go through highs and lows during college years.
  • Students are more likely to share their lows with you, their parents, because they feel safe and secure with you. Students don’t always call back to say everything is better.
  • Encourage your student to seek the advice of a Personnel Assistant (PA), Residence Hall Director (RD), academic advisor, or a professor.
  • Encourage your student to stick it out, at least until the end of the semester.
  • Remember that lack of sleep, anxiety about exams or papers, and even developing friendships can be seasonal and may improve with time.
  • If you are really concerned about your student’s health or mental well-being, encourage him or her to go to the Health Center or Taylor Counseling Center.
  • If you suspect your student is in a serious crisis and may need intervention for his or her own safety, immediately contact the student’s Residence Director or Campus Police.