Parent to Parent Advice

Having a student in college is a transition not just for them—but for you too! Hear from our campus experts—faculty and staff in the same boat as you—who are navigating and supporting their college students and recent college graduates.

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Kim Robinson poses with daughter and son in Widener gear
Advice from Kim Robinson, Director of Graduate & Adult Student Success

Appreciate Your College Student Follows Their Own Road

Before move-in agree upon a plan to stay connected to your college student during those critical first few days/weeks and then agree to communicate again how to change that communication plan; perhaps to not be as often but a scheduled time to communicate about all the wonderful, scary but exciting life changes happening. 

Do not ever be afraid to ask the university a question (or several questions) about how the university will help guide your student's successful journey to degree completion. There are key milestones, even performance predictors within the college student career, that can help students. Encourage your student to ask questions to the various campus resources.

This is your student's experience. Try not to compare their journey to what you read or see about other college experiences. Every student experience is going to be unique and in four years you will see their personal transformation and appreciate your college student followed their own road, even those bumps along the way.

Kim Robinson is pictured with her son, Adam, a recent Widener business marketing major ('22) and current Widener MBA student ('23); and daughter, Emma, a Widener psychology major ('24). 

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Myra Legg with two sons and husband
Advice from Myra Legg, Executive Director of Individual Giving & Stewardship

Empower Your Student to Do It Themselves

Support your student in finding solutions to their problems, but don't try to fix it for them. Empower your student to do it for themselves.

Widener has lots of resources available for students, but they need to learn to be a self-advocate. Your student has many faces across campus cheering them on and ready to support them in their journey. Encourage them to tap into their support networks like their academic advisor, student success and support professionals, and even searching for what they need directly on myWidener.

Myra Legg is pictured with her husband and their sons—Wilson an undergraduate history major at the University of Delaware and Tommy a graduate student pursing a master's in business/art direction at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Advice from Donna McCloskey, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, School of Business Administration

We Still Have So Much to Give to Others—Consider How to Share Your Time Now That Your Nest Is Newly Empty

After years of bedtime stories, car seats, homework, carpools, chores, lessons, laundry (so much laundry!), and chaos—our nest is now empty. And it's kind of fabulous!

We have to remind ourselves that it's time for our children to fly. Instead of offering advice, as parents, we try to listen first and then ask, "What do you think you should do about that?". Now is the time for them to learn from other mentors, like roommates, professors, coaches and employers.

We've also learned that we still have so much to give to others. My husband is coaching a youth sports team and I'm volunteering with an organization to help first generation students navigate the college application process.

If you are looking for ways to share your time now that your child is out of the nest, consider partnering with the university. If you're interested in providing an internship or co-op experience, mentoring, participating in mock interviews, or speaking to a student group, I would love to connect.

Also, I'm thrilled to no longer have to wash sports uniforms!

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