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Parents and Families

Tips and Advice

Sharon Harrington-Hope

Sharon Harrington-Hope headshot

Director of Counseling/Clinical Counselor
Email: sharrington-hope@lasell.edu
Office: 617-243-2145 

Letter to Parents
Parents/Family Connections E-Newsletter - August 30, 2021

Dear Lasell Parents and Families,

This past year has been one like no other, and the upcoming school year, while filled with possibility due to the vaccination of the Lasell campus, is also tinged with ongoing uncertainty and possible threat. Despite this, we have seen how resilient students are, and how there is a collective drive to try and maintain our pursuits and achieve our goals while facing ongoing, destabilizing risk.

Making space to acknowledge the added burdens we have been holding is key to finding the ongoing ability to persist. Allow time for you and your family to talk honestly about the last 18 months, and really try and hear one another. This global crisis intersected with our personal psychologies, including our baseline levels of anxiety and ease. We need to try and honor what the experience has been for others rather than assume others have fared similarly to us.

The metaphor of putting on your oxygen mask first before helping others is useful as we think about how you can support your student. Take care of yourself, get support for challenges you may be facing, and then you will be able to approach your child with objectivity and empathy. Developmentally, it is completely expected that their current days will be filled with turbulence, and this unsettled stage will most likely result in them blossoming into the adult they are supposed to be.

While you don’t want to minimize the pain of what your student may be experiencing, holding awareness in the back of your mind that this struggle is necessary may help you remain more grounded and supportive. They are trying to branch out and “do their own thing” but they are still deeply tied to you and their home life. If they have a sense that things are OK at home and with you, they will be better able to pursue their adult lives.

Being a parent is an all-consuming job, and you may find yourself suddenly without children at home. Empty nesters often struggle with the major adjustment, and again, acknowledging the discomfort of the transition may help you more readily enter the phase of enjoying your achievement of raising your student to this point of their development. It may be time for you to explore new hobbies or social connections as you find that your time is opening. Be kind and supportive toward yourself, just as you would your student, and you will find yourself on the other side of this major life adjustment.

I wish you and your student a rich and fulfilling year, and I look forward to connecting with any of you who may want to discuss the best ways to support your student.

Sincerely,

Sharon Harrington-Hope