How you can help your son or daughter tackle the challenges of university life

Becoming a university student brings with it a series of challenges. For example, whether to apply for an Erasmus grant to study abroad or to undertake a placement that can help them gain useful professional experience are not easy decisions. It’s to be expected that doubt may creep in. Therefore it’s important to take these decisions in the right frame of mind – confidently, but not too much.

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Here are some tips you may find useful when helping your son or daughter to take a difficult decision at university:

1. You can provide support during the decision-making process while encouraging them to stay motivated. By showing enthusiasm and maintaining a positive attitude, you can help to assuage their fears. If you think there’s some room for criticism, try to make this constructive. Always with the aim being to stimulate their capabilities.

2. Put the emphasis on their strengths. Their ability to adapt to change, to learn from their experiences, and to fulfill their potential in a new environment which will shape them both personally and professionally. They will learn things at University that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. If you believe in them, it’s a short step for them to believe in themselves too.

and highlighting strengths always generates self-confidence to face new challenges.
Partnering and highlighting strengths always generates self-confidence to face new challenges.

3. The aim should be for your confidence to rub off on them. The key to this is to create a constructive climate of dialogue, facilitating communication. If you as their parent and touchstone can give them the support and confidence they need, this will have a positive effect on their self-esteem.

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