Helping your child to prepare

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Talk to your son or daughter

Let them discuss with you how they are feeling about leaving home. Make sure they focus on the positives as well as the negatives but do let them talk about their fears and concerns. It is normal to be apprehensive about change and upset to be leaving home. It isn't wrong to feel that way, it is a natural part of growing into an adult.

Reassure them that you will be ok once they have gone

Many students worry unduly about their parents and this can add to their stress levels and make it more difficult for them to settle in to University life. It is good to know that you will miss them but that you will be ok and that they don't have to worry about you.

Give them some practical skills

It is always surprising how many students leave home unable to cook, operate a washing machine or structure their own day. Make sure they can cook a reasonable number of meals (there are some recipes on this site they can use) and can read washing labels. If you haven't already, give them some responsibilities around the home. If a student is confident in their ability to take care of themselves, they will find the process of transition to university life much easier.

Support at university

There is lots of support available to our students and Derby prides itself on being friendly and supportive. Details of the different types of support available can be found here.

Help them plan for success

Doing well can often depend more on how a student manages the move to university than it does on their academic ability. There is lots of advice on this website to help - you may also want to discuss with them the importance of balancing their academic work, paid work, social life, healthy living and time for themselves.

Don't make big changes straight away

For many parents it is tempting to throw themselves into redecorating the entire house as soon as their son or daughter has gone. Some may even talk about what they plan to do with their son or daughter's bedroom or will want to move house. It is important to recognise that, for a while, university will feel very transient for many students. They will look to home as the place where things are safe and stable. If you make big changes in their first term they may suddenly feel as though nowhere is stable and nowhere is home. Give them some time to settle in before pushing forward with those changes.