As you enjoy the success of your Back To School marketing campaign to help students make a positive transition from their summer fun, don’t forget about their parents. Parents need help making this adjustment too. K-12 parents have to realign their schedules and get back in the swing of actively participating in their children’s education. But parents of college students have issues to cope with too. Their needs are often are forgotten, so remember to reach out to them.
Parents of outbound college students can experience difficulty coping with the first time separation from their children. Unlike sending their youngsters off to summer camp, they understand that this separation is different and possibly may be permanent if their children move on to another city to attend graduate school or to start a great job. Think about how your services can help them, and make sure you’re getting information about your practice out to them.
Warning Signs of Poor Adjustment
In addition to helping parents cope with the move of their children to college, you can help them learn how to identify signs that their kids are not adjusting well. While most campuses have great psychological services, students don’t always use them and end up performing poorly in school or flunking out altogether. Dissemination of tip sheets about the “warning signs” that kids are adjusting poorly can help parents a great deal, and can help inspire them to seek your support. Find ways to inform the community about how you can help.
The Empty Nest
Parents can feel great angst when their children go off to school and may not realize that they need extra support at this time. Help them understand what’s going on and how you can assist them. Many don’t know what to do with their time now, and are struggling to figure this out. Some hang on for dear life, communicating with their kids excessively and not giving them the space they need to establish themselves independently. Others respond with angry feelings of abandonment and retaliate by not staying in touch. Many couples suffer a rapid decline in their relationship once they no longer have the children around to shower their attention and affection on. You can benefit them in many ways, so let them know that you’re there for them.
It’s understandable to focus on students during your Back to School marketing efforts, but understand that parents have many needs too. Parents feel a great loss when their children head off to school, so think about the many ways you can help them encourage their kids’ independence, while helping them figure out a new direction for their interest and energies too.
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317