Being a parent or guardian to a student preparing for higher education isn’t as plain sailing as some may think. Whilst you may want to be extremely involved in the decision process, it’s important to understand it's your child's decision on where they want to go, what they want to do and if they even want to go at all.

What to do

A black-and-white shot of a woman putting a finger over her lips in a gesture of silence
Photo by Kristina Flour / Unsplash

  • Listen- This is the most important thing to do. Listening to your child's worries, being a sounding board for anything they may want to talk about. This will give you the best opportunity to know what they’re thinking and will help you to help them.
  • Research- If you have questions that your child has not answered but you want to know about, do your own research. Universities usually have dedicated parent/guardian newsletters and sections of their website to help you.
  • Ask- If you don't have experience of a child going to university - why not ask a friend or family member? Whether it's the clearing process or a general application - they'll be able to talk you through the process and tell you about their experiences.
  • Availability- We know that as parents it’s hard to be flexible with work and committmens but it's really important for you child to visit - whether it's an Open Day or a Taster Day. These events are the perfect opportunities for them to experience life at the university and to see if they can see themselves studying there. It's also a chance for you to look around and chat to tutors or the admissions team.

What not to do:

  • Pressure- The last thing your child wants is to be pressured into something they don't want to do or somewhere they don't want to go. You’ll find that if they are completely happy with their own decision, they will perform better when it comes to their grades.
  • Guilty- We know you’ll miss them but please try to remember to not project the emptiness that you might feel when they’re gone onto them. This is a great time for them to grow as adults, become independent and to flourish. They’ll come back to visit you once in a while. Don’t worry!
  • Worry - They might not get the grades they had hoped for but this could be a positive thin - so try not to worry and instead be positive and try and find different doors that might be open to them.

To find out more about Pearson College London and our courses, visit our website.