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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 daughter serious about her studies?
  • Will college be an opportunity for too much partying?
  • Is she mature enough to choose trustworthy friends and/or dating partners?
  • Can she handle the realities of city life?
  • Will 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 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 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 daughter to make wise choices for herself. Unfortunately, growth has its moments of anxiety, fear, depression. Each student will find her own way to manage these emotions. If you have any concerns about your daughter's development, please call us for consultation: 617-521-2455.

Due to confidentiality, we cannot release any information about a Simmons student's attendance at the Counseling Center.

The following may provide additional insight, reassurance, and guidance in parenting your daughter.


When Kids Go to College: A Parent's Guide to Changing Relationships. Barbara and Philip Newman. Ohio State University Press, 1992.

Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years. Coburn, K. and N. Treeger. Harper Perennial, 1997.

See Also


One Palace Road
Room P-305
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02215


For Counseling Center inquiries, please send your questions/concerns to

Phone: 617-521-2455
Fax: 617-521-3091


During the academic year, the Counseling Center is open during the following hours:

Monday through Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm