Student Independence

Perhaps you are a family member who worries because you don’t often hear from your student.

If so, you might feel rejected because your student seems not to need you, your advice, or your “helicopter landings” any longer.

Maybe you’re a family member who receives texts all day long from your student with play-by-play reports of every challenge and decision they are facing.

Both situations are very common. Although it can be painful for family members who want to remain as involved as ever in the lives of their student, they must realize that the student is becoming an adult and needs to exercise an evolving sense of independence in order to experience true growth. As such, they need to develop independent-thinking and self-reliance.

Of course, even the most prepared students make poor decisions, stumble, and struggle with the consequences of their newly independent (but maybe not-yet-so-wise) thinking. If you fear your student is making poor decisions that threaten his or her well-being (as well as satisfactory academic standing), you must intervene.

But also realize that some poor decision-making is normal and is part of the learning experience. It is yet another unavoidable marker on the journey to adulthood!