Families: How to Stay Connected to Your Student
While your student may promise to call home every day as they say a tearful goodbye their first day at Azusa Pacific, once classes begin, new friendships are formed, and events fill up schedules, frequent phone calls home may become an afterthought. This can be a difficult transition on both sides as families and students navigate this new journey and find ways to keep in touch. It's important to keep communication open, discuss expectations, and find ways to stay connected. Here are a few tips to help with the transition:
Technology offers numerous ways to keep in touch. It’s important to manage technological connections in a healthy way, finding a balance of staying in touch without flooding your child with too many calls, texts, or emails.
Texting vs. Phone Calls
Text messages allow your student to respond on their own time, without feeling pressured to talk to mom or dad on the phone all afternoon. If a serious conversation needs to be had, a phone call is the way to go, but for a lighthearted or encouraging message, send a text instead, giving your student the freedom to respond when they can.
Video calling applications and programs, such Facetime and Skype, make face-to-face contact easier than ever. Schedule a time to call and interact on a more personal level. Video calling provides you with a glimpse into your student’s life at school, enabling you to see their latest dorm decoration or even meet one of their friends. Alternatively, your student will feel more included in at-home life when the family takes the time to meet for a video conference call.
Encourage your immediate and extended family to send your student mail once a month. Whether it’s a letter from a little sister or a gift card from grandma, college students agree that getting mail is a welcome surprise.
The only thing better than a letter from home is receiving an alert from the school post office that a package waiting for you. Especially if home is far from APU, student will appreciate the sentiment of a care package filled with their favorite things.
If you are able, join APU students, families, and alumni for Homecoming and Family Weekend. This event provides an opportunity for family members to see what life is like on APU’s campus. Attend chapel with your student, have lunch with the family, and finish off the weekend at the Homecoming football game!
Check out additional parent and family resources available through the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family.
Posted: July 29, 2014