10 Tips for Parents of Medical Students
University is a time of transition not just for the child, but also for the parents. The role of the parents is to find a way to be supportive, loving and help the children with their problems. Here are some helpful tips on how to make that change easier.
1. Learn new ways to stay in touch
When a call or a visit is not possible, you should consider newer, easier and cheaper ways to communicate with one another. Make it easier for your children to stay in touch with you. Try texting, e-mailing, or instant messaging. Young individuals already use the technology to communicate with their friends, so it won’t be a problem to communicate with you in the same way. If you insist on calling, pick one day a week that you will regularly call them and make that a weekly habit.
2. Learn to let them go and give them space
Your child is going to be very busy: harder academics, new social opportunities and especially more stress. In the first few weeks after their departure from home, keep phone or email conversations brief and motivational.
3. Help your children
Listen carefully to your child. Feeling homesick and wanting more comfort is normal for new students. In such cases, give them your support and advise them to consider academic services such as academic advisors and student counselors.
4. Send them food and care packages
Students love to receive care packages from their families. Make a list of what they would need at school – food, more money for campus activities, coffee. If they are far away, send them things typical of their hometown such as home-made cookies or cakes.
5. Talk about their academic scores
Make sure that you know what classes your child is taking at school and ask them how they are progressing from time to time. Communicate but do not pressure them to tell you all about their lectures and practices. If you want to be a part of their lives in the medical field, ask them and they will be happy to share their experiences with you.
6. If you plan a visit, consider their time
Talk to them before showing up on campus. You should be well aware of their schedule and not be intrusive.
7. Meet some of their friends
When you visit, ask your child to invite a few of their friends over so that you can get to know them better. That way, you will be more connected with their social circle.
8. Do not be so quick to judge
Honest conversations about alcohol, partying, and how to balance campus life with their private life are always welcome. Advise and encourage your child to maintain a social life.
9. Use your free time for new hobbies
When your child leaves home for university, you will have more time to get involved in new hobbies and more time for your partner.
10. Have regular conversations with other parents
Share advice, ask questions or ask for tips from parents of other medical students. You will probably find that you have a lot in common with them.