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Supporting College Students In Dealing With Failure

How to support your college student in overcoming failure

The Importance Of Supporting College Students

College years are transformative, filled with challenges and growth. As students navigate this phase, parental support becomes crucial, especially when dealing with failures. Dr. Amy Baldwin and Dr. Laurie Hazard provide invaluable insights into how families can bolster their learners during these trying times. For parents seeking a comprehensive guide during this journey, ParentLingo offers a fully-hosted online orientation solution tailored to help families navigate their student's first year.

Normalizing Failure: A New Perspective

Failure is an inevitable part of life and college. Rather than viewing it as a negative judgment, parents should help their students see it as a growth opportunity. Students can approach challenges with resilience and a positive mindset by normalizing failure. One effective way to normalize failure is sharing personal stories of setbacks and how they led to growth. It's essential to reinforce the idea that everyone, even the most successful individuals, has faced failure at some point. Encouraging open conversations about challenges and celebrating the lessons learned from them can further help students embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. ParentLingo provides resources like instructional videos and discussion questions to help with these conversations.

The Role Of Reflection In Overcoming Failure

When setbacks like a poor test score occur, it's a pivotal moment for reflection. It's essential for students to explore what went wrong and seek ways to improve. Parents play a crucial role in this process. By setting aside time to discuss the experience and asking open-ended questions such as "What could have been done differently?" or "How do you feel about the outcome?", they can guide their students towards constructive introspection. Additionally, it's beneficial to encourage students to tap into campus resources like the writing center or tutoring, ensuring they have the tools to enhance their skills and overcome future challenges. ParentLingo offers additional resources that can complement these efforts, ensuring parents are well-equipped to support their students.

The Power Of Faculty Office Hours

Utilizing faculty office hours is a strategic move for students. Professors serve as invaluable resources, offering insights and guidance on academic challenges. By encouraging your student to attend these sessions, they gain clarity on their studies and foster a supportive relationship with the faculty. To maximize these opportunities,  help your student research the professor's available times. If your student is apprehensive about the first visit, suggest they bring a friend for moral support. It's essential to remind them that seeking guidance from professors is a testament to their dedication and commitment and is far from a sign of weakness.

The Path To College Success

Supporting college students in their journey requires understanding, patience, and the right strategies. Parents can pave the way for their student's academic and personal success by normalizing failure, promoting reflection, and utilizing available resources. Watch the insightful video conversation between Dr. Amy Baldwin and Dr. Laurie Hazard for more tips and strategies!


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For nearly 20 years, Innovative Educators has assisted college leaders to build foundations of success for their students and families. ParentLingo is a fully-hosted online orientation solution for parents & families of college students that encourages independence, personal growth, and academic success. This online support tool provides resources that guide parents through their student's first year using instructional videos, discussion questions, and additional resources.

Like To Learn More? Schedule A Demo

By Meg Foster
Online Learning & Design Specialist - Consultant
October 23, 2023


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