Dr. Debi Yohn asked:
Parenting college students is as important as parenting our younger children. The influence of the parent can have a profound effect on their emerging adult. In parenting college students, Moms and Dads deal with power struggles and emotional volatility that are challenging. This is all part of the maturation process. There is also job uncertainty after graduation which escalates the college students’ anxiety. Effective parenting reassures our children that their education is their best preparation for their future. Parents can also encourage their student to seek leadership opportunities.
Job recruiters search each year for college campus leaders. When parenting college students, parents need to stress the importance of social organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, as a way of developing leadership and responsibility traits. During the launching years, parental controls ease, and hopefully leadership begins to emerge.
Parents can share with their student that college is the practice ground where leadership qualities are honed. Social organizations are good for leadership development but also an excellent way for students to make friends and sharpen skills that will be useful later in life.
Parenting College Students – Leaders Emerge from Within Organizations
In discussions with their college student, parents should encourage their young adults to join social organizations like fraternities and sororities. Students network in these groups, and make contacts and endearing friendships that may last a lifetime. During the college years, emerging adults need to push their boundaries and discover who they are and discover their own wonderful attributes.
College Students may not realize the importance of taking a leadership position in a social organizations. In these organizations, the student will develop the leadership skills they will need to enter into the world with confidence after graduation. Moms and Dads can point out that skills such as learning to work with people of different cultures and diverse backgrounds will help them in the future.
A documented history of leadership adds to your student’s resume, and building a resume is an on-going task that should always be first and foremost. The goal is graduation. With graduation, there is independence.
Parenting College Students – Leaders of the Future
When parenting college students, a good correlation can be made between adults who as students held leadership positions in social organizations and the positions they hold in society today. These leadership lessons should be offered by parents in a spirit of support and encouragement.
Leadership is expected in these social organizations and the student learns by doing. The student may be an officer, have the responsibility for an event, or participate on a committee. Students learn budgeting, they learn how to run an effective meeting, and they learn how to participate in an effective meeting. The student often finds that they can speak in front of a group and motivate others. This is the type of experience you might not get in a classroom.
Even the famed film classic, “Animal House,” recognized this connection. At movie’s end, the last scene showed the positions that the fraternity leaders held in society some twenty years later. When parenting college students, parents can remind their students that leadership in college reminds employers that the applicants are more than just students.
Leadership emerges from within college social organizations, and our emerging adults will utilize this burgeoning talent in the real world upon graduation. In parenting college students on the importance and relevance of social organizational leadership, we are grooming the leaders of tomorrow right here and now!