You may wonder what you can do to help your child when they are no longer living with you and of the legal drinking age. Building resilience — the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress — can help our young adults manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that your student won't experience difficulty or distress, but rather they will have the tools they need to manage stress without turning to drugs or alcohol.
They're out of the house, but that doesn't mean you can't help your young adult grow more resilient through their university life. Below are some tips to help build resiliency:
Don’t accommodate every need.
Whenever we try to provide certainty and comfort, we are getting in the way of them being able to develop their own problem-solving and mastery. Overprotecting young adult's only fuels their anxiety. Whether it be paperwork, roommate issues, or money issues- give them a chance to solve their own problems before jumping in and taking care of it.
Let them know failure is a part of life.
Failure is not the end of the world. It’s the place you get to when you figure out what to do next. Your student may be struggling with coursework or a certain class. Support them in realizing a poor mark is an opporuntity to learn and improve on the next project or exam.
Teach them to problem-solve.
If your student is anxious about school, help him/her brainstorm strategies, including how to manage their schedule in order to study anbd meet other obligations. In other words, engage your student in figuring out how they can handle challenges. Give them the opportunity, over and over, “to figure out what works and what doesn’t.”
Avoid talking in catastrophic terms.
Pay attention to what you say to your kids and around them. Anxious parents, in particular, tend to talk very catastrophically. For instance, instead of saying “You can't fail out of university, you'll never get a job," try "I understand that you're having a hard time but this is helping prepare you for the workforce."