This character trait will serve your student well in college, too. Here are some strategies to use now and during the summer that can help prepare your student for the self-responsibility required during the academic year—and beyond…

  • Questions. If there is a question about financial aid, a housing issue or some other campus concern, encourage your student to call that office directly to straighten things out. You can help by role-playing the conversation ahead of time to help him prepare what to say.
  • Planning. What will your student need to prepare for her living space next year? What paperwork needs to be filled out? What medical appointments need to be squeezed in this summer? Make lists with your student to help plan ahead—and then let your student take care of the details.
  • Follow-Through. Although your instinct may be to check in with your student about every detail, it’s important to give some independence. Perhaps you can check in every other week to see where important issues stand and hold your student accountable without hand-holding every step of the way.

This approach allows parents to support students from the sidelines by teaching them to take responsibility in incremental steps. By doing so, you’ll be preparing them for self-directed action in the year ahead and a lifetime of self-responsibility.

“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” ~ Ann Landers