student parents

student parents

Five Ways to Banish Homesick Blues when Returning to School

homesick boyIt’s that time of year again. Your bags are getting packed. You’ve started reconnecting with your roommates and you’ve already hit IKEA three times. But leaving your parents after a summer of fun, a fully and always-stocked kitchen, and a few laughs shared with mom and dad over grilled burgers, you might be feeling a little melancholic about leaving.

Take this as a sign of maturity and growth rather than of regression and to keep your feelings of homesickness in control and in check, here are five things you can do:

1) Be Honest: A few days before you head back to the dorms, take some time to tell your parents just how much you have enjoyed their company this past summer. Show them your gratitude for not just their hospitality, but for their friendship by cooking them dinner or taking them out to dinner as you share some of your happiest summer of ’09 memories with them. Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping the Peace with Parents Before College

mom and sonWhile counting down the days until college, living under their roof can become super-stressful for both you and your parents. You may be nervous (normal) or ripe-and-ready to spread your wings, or maybe a bit of both. Meanwhile, your parents are equally nervous with the overwhelming urge to rein you in. It’s a touchy place, and bickering can turn this bittersweet time into just plain bitter. Plus, a rocky relationship with the ‘rents can make your transition to school, and school breaks thereafter, really freakin’ miserable.

To avoid turning your childhood home into a war zone, try these five ways to tame the tension and keep the peace:

  • Respect their rules – promise to follow them and follow through
  • Negotiate if needed – prove your older and more mature and can handle a later curfew at the very least
  • Lend a hand – pick up some extra responsibility around the house
  • Make suppertime civil – before long, you’re really going to miss this evening ritual of family fun
  • Giving up the grudge – make sure all the rough patches are smoothed before leaving home

Read on to get more advice on how to have a positive student-parent relationship.

10 Ways Parents Can Help Teachers During Back to School

Teachers are some of the hardest working professionals around. Most are grossly underpaid, under appreciated and over worked. It’s often a thankless job that they do year after year because they’re passionate about educating the next generation and helping children find their own talents, interests and skills.parent teacher relationship

As the parent of a child in your teacher’s classroom you should feel a responsibility to help him or her in any way you can. Recognizing that many parents have full-time jobs and commitments too, there are still small things that will not go unnoticed by your child’s instructor.

Help everyone start the new school year with gold stars by taking some of these tips from educators:

1. Teachers always need helping hands as there is always something extra to be done. Parents (or grandparents) with free time and a willingness to help at the school are more than welcome! They appreciate having someone to do cutouts, distribute snacks, monitor lunch and recess, prep projects, or even tutor.

Read the rest of this entry »

Parents’ Education Influences That of Children

A recent study conducted in Salt Lake City showed that the level of education a parent has is directly related to how much education the children will likely have.parents

The study compared high school rankings with parents’ education levels. The highest ranked high schools were in census areas where parents had at least some college education and the lowest ranked high schools were in census areas where parents did not have any college education. The study found there was a very strong correlation between the levels of education that a parent and child have.

In fact, State Education Superintendent Larry Shumway said he expected some correlation but “was surprised to see… almost perfect correlation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Are Professors Willing to Accommodate Students with Children?

Let’s face it—some professors and college instructors are more eager than others to help out the parents in their classrooms. Some professors are completely understanding when a student is late or absent because of a child’s needs. After all, many college teachers have children too, and even if they don’t, most of them have a clue about how real life works.

Unfortunately, some of your instructors really don’t get it. When I was a professor, I heard way too many of my colleagues whine about the “special accommodations” needed by a student with a sick child. And no, it wasn’t only men who had this attitude.

So what’s the best way to approach a classroom situation when you know you may be absent, late, or in need of some extra time for deadlines because of a child? One of the best things to do is to talk to the teacher. Instructors want to know that students are serious about their classes, so if a student demonstrates they are serious, a teacher is much more likely to allow reasonable accommodations. Say something like, “I’m really excited about this class and am a serious student. I wanted you to know that I’m the single parent of a four-year-old, and I may be a little late because I have to get her to preschool in the morning. I’ll try my very best to get here on time.”

This professional approach will go a long way—and if you’re professional and ask, you may just find that the instructor is more than willing to help you out.

In one case, I had a student who was often quite late to my early class because she had to take her son to school. I invited her to sit in on my later class when necessary, and that solved the problem. In a few cases, I invited students to bring their children to class on days when child care glitches occurred. While this was sometimes a minor distraction to the class (although most were delighted to have a cute little kid around), I felt it was important to demonstrate that children should not be seen as a burden, and that society needs to do what it can to accommodate parents.

So what happens if you encounter an unsympathetic teacher? First, try to have a friendly conversation, and reiterate that you are a serious student who needs just a bit of extra consideration. If your instructor is simply unreasonable, complain—either during or after the semester. Familiarize yourself with the grievance procedure in your school. You may not know it, but many schools have an office of equal opportunity and diversity that handles issues such as this one. Visit them and discuss your options. In addition, look for resources on campus for nontraditional students and parents. A network of people in a similar situation can help you navigate the system.

Remember, you’re not doing anything wrong. Going to school and being a parent at the same time is an accomplishment to be proud of, and any reasonable instructor will respect you for this. I know how much I respected my students with kids—both before and after I became a parent—and you’ll find that this attitude is not unusual.


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