Resources for Parents and Families
The resources on this page are meant to help you support your student’s wellbeing during both their transition to college and time at MIT.
- Familiarize yourself with on-campus student support resources – Encouraging your student to seek out support is one of the best ways you can help them transition to college. Sharing what you know about the support resources with your student will make them more comfortable reaching out for help .
- Establish a routine for checking in with your student and then know that this routine will change…a lot – When trying to establish a routine for checking in, ask your student what works best for their schedule. Some students check in with loved ones daily, some weekly, others less often. Some students communicate over text, others use social media, and some even use the phone! What’s important is to be flexible. Try to adapt to their schedule and mode of communication.
- Allow your student to make their own decisions and learn from their experiences – You have less direct influence on your student now that they’re away from home. This can be a difficult transition for a parent. You should continue to share your views and perspectives on important topics. However, it is almost guaranteed that your student will make mistakes and decisions that you disagree with. This is part of development. Trust that your student is considering and thinking about all the values you taught them before they came to campus.
- Anticipate that your student will grow and change as a person – Your student will change. We can promise this. This change is natural, inevitable, and usually positive. It can also be unnerving. You may not understand these changes as they happen and you may be tempted to intervene. You can’t prevent your student from changing or growing, and resisting it may cause friction that leads to you and your student feeling less connected during this exciting time.
- Know that conversations with your student won’t always be easy – With your student making a lot of their own decisions and changing as a person, sometimes difficult conversations are going to happen. To help these conversations be productive, spend a lot of time listening, ask questions, and give advice sparingly. Your students will be more likely to talk to you if they feel heard, understood, and respected.
Know that support resources are here for you too
Don’t worry alone. Explore the resources on this website. If you are ever worried about your student, please do not hesitate to contact the Institute. For urgent concerns outside of business hours, on weekends, and when MIT is closed, contact any of the resources that are available after hours or 24/7.
If you’d like to talk with a staff member regarding a non-urgent concern, email email@example.com. Please note that, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), we are restricted in what information we are able to provide about a student without that student’s prior consent.
- A Parent Handbook for Talking with College Students about Alcohol
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions regarding individual or general student concerns.
- Resources for Students & Families
- What to do if you’re concerned about your teen’s mental health (JED Foundation)
- Parents can influence kids’ drinking in college, research finds (American Psychological Association)
- 9 tips on how to be a good college parent (The Washington Post)