This holiday season, who really needs another scarf, candle or tie?
Parents are hotwired to do things for their sons and daughters that make their lives easier. But at this phase of their development, it’s more effective to empower these young adults by giving them the tools to help them take better care of themselves and make their own important decisions.
Since the holidays are usually a time when students are back home with their families, it may be the perfect time for parents to have a conversation with them about campus safety and preparedness.
Below are five simple tips for parents on how to talk with their college children this holiday:
- Set a time. Pick a specific date, time and location, helping to ensure the conversation takes place and creating an atmosphere of seriousness.
- Do your research. Learn more about campus security at your child’s college, or download the Umergency app, which offers critical resources for 1,200 colleges and universities.
- Explain the need for safety readiness. While many 18- to 22-year-olds feel invincible, discuss why being prepared is important.
- Have an adult conversation. Avoid excessive advice and lecturing. Listen carefully to your child and acknowledge any concerns or reservations.
- Explore technology. While some parents may be more tech savvy than others, discover new safety technologies that may be suitable for both you and your child, such as the Umergency app.
It’s not about scaring children or giving them a list of worst-case scenarios, although more than one in five college students visit the ER every year due to alcohol poisoning, car crashes, medical illness, accidental injuries, and drug overdoses, among other reasons. Rather, it’s about both of you having the necessary resources at hand when and if an emergency occurs.
Parents should speak honestly with their children about what they want for them in the year ahead – to be empowered, confident and prepared, while getting a little peace of mind for themselves.