• Internet at their disposal which connects them to UW-L.
  • enough money saved for emergencies that they didn’t anticipate.
  • access to their student’s bank accounts and credit card account. Set up the account before your drop them off. There will be less inclination for them to get a credit card on their own. Plus…when the student travels and needs assistance, you can easily transfer money, replace lost cards, etc. if needed.
  • the time to listen to your student. Let them use you as a sounding board. Many times they have concerns or problems about roommates and need to talk to someone to vent to without hurting a roommate’s feelings. Just getting to talk about it makes them come up with their own solution, and sometimes the problem isn’t really a problem—they just need to hear themselves talk about it.
  • a good cell phone plan and directions to the nearest UPS drop off site.
  • email, and use it often.
  • their student set up a checking account before they leave for college, or help them set up and learn to use an account as soon as they arrive at school.
  • a ticket for at least one Eagle game the first year. Take your student and his/her friends all out for lunch.
  • plans to go to Parents and Family Weekend. Meet some of their professors. Attend an event with your student and friends, and take them out for lunch afterwards.
  • the email address to sign up for the parent email listserv to receive information, because your student might not tell you anything.
  • open communication with your student. Ask questions about their classes and decisions they have made. Let them know you’re there if they need you.
  • a contingency plan in place for reaching their students in an emergency, and if they are out of state, a plan to get them home. In our post 9-11 world it is a good discussion to have. It might also be important in an emergency. You may want to have a phone number to reach the roommates parents, phone for an on-campus job, etc.

Every Parent Should Be...

  • happy that their child is furthering his or her education.
  • patient, Patient, PATIENT.
  • expecting that there will be setbacks—mistakes in your view, but try to capture everything in the best light and keep encouraging them. That’s the hard part. Try “Good news, I’m proud of you.” “Wonderful, I know that you were prepared for that exam.”
  • able to recognize that part of why we send our sons and daughters to college is for them to grow.
  • able to think back to your college days. What do you remember the most!
  • quiet! It’s hard to let go until they ask for help. By asking open-ended questions we can remain involved in their lives but not dictatorial and directional. If we don’t do this, it’s hard for growth to occur, and growth is one of our principal objectives.
  • willing to listen but slow to react.
  • supportive, listening, non-judgmental, and try not to map out their student's career.
  • in constant touch the first year with letters, goodies, little gifts, money, and a few phone calls.
  • sure to send “finals” goody packages.
  • willing to let go once their student goes to college. It's really quite a freeing feeling once you do.
  • prepared to let them determine their own future.