Congratulations! How proud are you? Your wonderful offspring are about to start college or university; or re-commence term and you could not be more pleased. All those years of cajoling them to do their homework and gain great grades have finally paid off!
So, that’s ‘you’ as parents sorted then! How are the kids – the students feeling?
Well, you saw their faces when they learned they had been accepted. You beamed at how well the first semester went last year, the first year, second or even third years. They are soooo lucky, huh!?
But is all well, can you see the wood for the trees?
Many of us proud parents DO continue to worry and be concerned for our protégés welfare and will be diligent, keeping in touch, making ourselves accessible and ensure our brave kids know they can tell us if they are anxious about stuff or feeling low!
But sometimes, just sometimes we are so lost in our individual business of life; we trust our kids are well, unless we hear to the contrary! Letting go is a good thing of course, as is letting the guys make mistakes…
But it is possible kids fail to let us parents know – because they would prefer us to think all is well, they wouldn’t want to disappoint, or worry, or think any less of them; or because they and you haven’t always been the best communicators, it happens. But unlike at home, where you can see and feel ‘something’ is not quite right, when they are away it is of course less obvious.
Student anxiety and depression is unfortunately rife in my experience. Luckily many parents have established communications and stay in touch; I mean really stay in touch! When trouble is sensed these parents make contact with people like me for advice and to seek the next step. They may talk with me first, and then will ask the troubled one if they will talk with me, just talk…on the phone, or by email; and almost exclusively the issues are resolved within 2-3 sessions.
Expectations are high of students, today as much as ever, and this brings much emotional turmoil and pressure. Add in the homesick issues, worries about finance, potential for drink, drugs, social problems and, oh yes the studies themselves, it is perhaps little wonder our students are sometimes emotionally challenged just as we are in the workplace and home at times, it is only natural.
If you are concerned for your son or daughters emotional wellbeing, please do consider providing an option to engage with me wherever they are. I conduct sessions successfully via online mediums or telephone. Call or write to me without obligation, and in confidence.
Bob Brotchie is a British counsellor providing private services to clients in the privacy, and comfort, of a truly welcoming environment at his company office. He can be found at Anglia Counselling Ltd, located near Newmarket in Suffolk (GB). Bob also provides counselling, online, for international clients all around the world. Therapeutic models are often centred around mindfulness, with clients finding 'peace' via the integration of Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) principles.
As of 2016, Bob has also made available a free guide entitled 10 Steps to Conquering Your Anxiety for those who subscribe to his blog.