5 Ways to Involve Your Children in Your College Experience

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced as a mom in college has been finding a balance between time spent on my college responsibilities and that of my children. Basically, I often cut down on study time and spend more with my kids; however, sometimes I can’t cut down study time because I will fail my classes. Does this sound familiar? If you are a mom (or dad) in college, it’s probably an issue you struggle with all the time.

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve found ways in which I could allow my children to take an active part in my education. Here are five:

  1. Study together. Yes, you will have to stop often while doing your homework in order to help your kids, but it’s a good thing! You are sending your kids a great message: school is for everyone, it takes work, and it is worth your effort. You are also helping

    Studying with Matthew

    them accept the fact that they aren’t the only ones being “subjected” to homework. On that note, you are setting the example that homework is often necessary and almost always helpful when it comes to learning material taught in class. You are also giving them a sneak preview into what to expect when they go to college.  Here is a previous post I wrote that includes some research on this option.

  2. Take them along during non-class days when you need to go to the college library (or similar building on campus). The great part about this option is that you are encouraging reading (your school library might even have a children’s section where a book can be checked out), AND doing whatever it is you need to get done. In some ways, it’s like a pre-college tour for your little ones!
  3. Invite them to music, theater, or sports events on campus. No matter which it is, these options are fun, most times cheap or free, and educational. You get to spend time with your kiddos and you both will learn something! If it’s sports, they also get to spend time outside and can get a preview of what the sport entails if they are interested in it. For music and theater, you are exposing them to various cultures, depending on the production/music.
  4. Introduce your children to your instructors and advisers. I’m not saying take your
    kids to class. I could never do that as it would distract me, and probably my


    Elizabeth, consulting with Dr. Caldwell about her college plans. Or maybe just trying to steal her necklace! 

    classmates as well. However, I would imagine that many of the campus professionals
    you’ve worked with for some time, would like to meet your children, especially those who are interested in knowing you more or already have a strong professor-student relationship with you. By introducing your children, you make your kids feel important (because they are) and you are exposing them to the personalities and knowledge of college professionals – both great reasons.

  5. Discuss your plans. Children like to be involved in pretty much everything. While they shouldn’t be in the know with some things, your plans for college and beyond are plans that they should know about because they are members of your family. By discussing your plans with your kids, you are creating an open line of communication and, for your older children, an opportunity to discuss their plans, hopes, and dreams.

There are many ways to involve your children in this crazy college experience, these are just a few I’ve practiced often. I’d love to hear from you: what have you done to involve your children in your college experience? 

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