Providing support

As a parent it can be heartbreaking if your child is unhappy. However, the vast majority of students settle in very well, make new friends and adapt quickly.

What can be difficult is knowing when to allow them the space to resolve their own difficulties and knowing when to ‘step-in’ and help them out. Before your child leaves for university, it may be worth going through some of the areas set out in the items listed on the right of this page and discussing what level of support you want to offer and how they should deal with any problems they are having  with either settling in or dealing with their accommodation provider.

The first few weeks can be critical and it is not unusual to have a phone call from a child in tears because it has all become a bit overwhelming. Freshers weeks can be demanding. The pressure to take part in daily (and night time) activities, the lack of sleep, the lack of a healthy meals and the apparent new freedom can eventually take its toll. The good news is that after some initial tears, most students settle into a routine and learn many new essential life skills. You should be aware that as a parent you will get the full force of any misery which may not be as long lived in your child’s mind as it is in yours. As a parent, it’s more important to support and offer advice during this process than it is to remove a child from a situation  - a course of action which may not allow them to learn the skills needed for similar situations in the future.

We have detailed some common areas of concern on these pages and have made suggestions about what support you can offer, preferably before they start university or college. While some of it may seem obvious, we are providing this information because it covers the areas where we see most students and their parents in difficulty.