Worcester State University


Parenting from a Distance

Students handle the demands of college life in many different ways. Some thrive in the face of new challenges; others react cautiously or fearfully. Parents too, react with a range of concerns.


  • Is my son/daughter serious about his/her studies?
  • Will college be an opportunity for too much partying?
  • Is he/she mature enough to choose trustworthy friends and/or dating partners?
  • Can he/she handle the realities of city life?
  • Will he/she make wise career choices?

For both parent and adolescent, college is a transition towards adulthood. The transition can include the following developments:


  • Leaving home
  • Meeting diverse peers
  • Testing values and expectations
  • Sampling freedom and independence
  • Looking to adults outside the family for guidance/support/direction


  • Exploring a major and/or career
  • Doubting choices
  • Deepening relationships with others
  • Questioning self
  • Exploring a new identity


  • Greater comfort with career choice
  • Less dependent on family for support
  • More self-reliant
  • Values and lifestyle choices becoming clearer


  • Transition from college to graduate school or first job
  • Increased uncertainty in regards to the realities of supporting self, finding new friends, and finding a new place to live
  • A time of leaving the many securities of college life

Development milestones are characterized by a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Your son/daughter may feel overwhelmed at times and call home for support and understanding. Sometimes these concerns will pass with patient listening and reassurance on your part. Sometimes professional help may be needed. Careful listening, raising options about what is helpful, and providing support can assist your son/daughter to make wise choices for herself. Unfortunately, growth has its moments of anxiety, fear and/or depression. Each student will find his/her own way to manage these emotions. If you have any concerns about your son/daughter's development, please call us for consultation: 508-929-8454.

Due to confidentiality, we cannot release any information about a student who is being seen at the Counseling Center unless they have signed a release of information to speak with a parent.

Related Links
  Sexual Assault Policy
  Sexual Assault Information and Resources
  Active Minds
  WSU's Active Minds on Facebook

DataBridge © WSU, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602
Phone: 508-929-8000