How can I support my child?

Building strengths

  • Urge your child to have realistic expectations about their university performance. High distinctions are nice, but not always necessary for your child to reach their goals at university.
  • Having a strengths focus and encouraging this in your child. Try to praise for effort rather than talent.

Coping skills

  • Help your child by encouraging them to try and resolve problems themselves rather than reactively picking up the phone and giving that professor a piece of your mind. Remember, university is all about developing independence skills
  • Encourage your child to strike a healthy study/life balance by getting involved with campus activities. Visit the Sports Union and Clubs and Societies pages for more info.
  • Be there as a supportive ear for your child when they get stressed. But try to push the message that they can get through the tough times by learning the skills to cope with change and challenge.
  • Be ready to talk about any changes that your child may go through at university. Acknowledge how they feel without trying to solve their problem yourself. Research actually shows us that most children will resist imposed solutions by saying things like “I’ve already tried that.”
male student

Practical help

  • Encourage your child to access university services when things go wrong.
  • Encourage your child to develop the research and essay writing skills required for university by visiting the Learning Centre.
  • If your child is living away from home, care packages are always appreciated and can lift their mood.
  • Try to stay informed about where your child is up to in the university year. Download our Parent Calendar for more specific monthly information.

Stepping back

  • Try to remember that your experience at university (if you attended) is likely to be very different to your child’s experience. Systems have changed a lot in recent years
  • If you child is living away from home, agree beforehand how frequently and by what means you’ll be communicating with them. Involve them in this decision
  • Don’t panic when they panic!
  • Trust them! You’ve done a great job of parenting to get them this far, now it’s their turn to show you what they are learning and stretching to learn.