Kids and College: How do you get your child back “on course?”

Date: 07/06/2023

Title: How Do I Get My Daughter Back On Course With College?

00:00:00 Speaker 1
You. So your high achieving daughter is coming home after a disappointing first semester of
college to a group. What do you do? Well, we're going to talk about that today on tips on teens.
My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I specialize in helping
kids, teens and families live happier lives. I lead two organizations, the group Private Practice
Teen Therapy Center and the nonprofit 501 c three organization child and Teen Counseling,
both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump on the Facebook Live
to answer your parenting questions. Let's jump into today's. My daughter has left university
after just one semester and returned home. I want to be supportive, but this was her dream college.
It had everything from the major to the student activities and the city where she wanted to be.
She passed some of her classes but had to take incompletes on others. She wants to take this semester
off to regroup. I feel like she's throwing

00:01:07 Speaker 1
away an amazing opportunity. How do I help her? Thank you for your question. I think any parent
in this situation would feel really rattled and uncertain. The first thing that I want to point
out, and with all due respect, is make sure that you recognize that this is her opportunity and
not your opportunity. And now as parents, I get that those lines can be blurred because so much
rides on the success and happiness of our kids for us. I get that. But if we try to push that square
peg into the round hole and hopefully it'll just magically get round again, I think you're going
to put a lot of extra pressure on her and it's going to get in the way. What I would want to do is if
she wants to take time off, here's the good thing. Doesn't sound like she's been kicked out.
She's taking time a semester off to regroup. She didn't fail anything. She passed a couple of
classes, took incompletes on others, so most likely she should be able to return. That's my
hope. It's my guess what you said in your

00:02:10 Speaker 1
email, so all is not lost. But having her go to college when she's not prepared and not ready is
not a recipe for success. If you want to go to college, you better want to go to college or else
it's just not going to work. So how do we support her? First, we want to make sure she's not just
home all day doing TikTok. She has to have a reason to get out of bed every morning. So if that's
a part time job, if that's finishing her incompletes while doing a couple of classes at the local
community college, maybe it's a part time job. Like I said, volunteering, some combination
of all those things just so she has a healthy structure and a reason to get up every day. I think
that's important. Another thing is let's explore with her, whether that's with you or a therapist,
what went wrong. It was all lined up for success. Why didn't it succeed? Was it a she was just so
burnt out from trying so hard all through high school that she just didn't have the gas anymore?
Was it that everything that was

00:03:11 Speaker 1
cracked up to be wasn't? And maybe it wasn't the great experience that she thought it was going
to be. Maybe the social pressures or expectations are getting the way of her able ability to
focus on school. Perhaps there was some kind of trauma that she had experienced. Hopefully
not, but what if that was the case and that's getting in the way? So I think it's important to process
with her what is getting in the way again with you or with a therapist somehow, so she has an understanding
of what those obstacles are, how to cope with those obstacles, and then decide, is this the school
for her, or is there another environment that may be more beneficial for her? Does she need to
just take a year, do community college, get her GE done, and then transfer back in? Does she need
to go to a different university? We won't know those answers until we really process that with
her, and she has to come to those answers kind of on her own time. The more we pressure her, the
less she's going to want to

00:04:11 Speaker 1
do it, because it's pressure, and maybe that's the thing that's getting in a way. I think once
she understands what's going on with her, whether it's anxiety or depression or whatever's
going on with her, she'll have a better understanding of where she wants to go and what she wants
to do, and that's what's going to propel her to success. It's not this one college doesn't matter
what college she goes to. It's no matter how she does college. If she's doing college with motivation
and intention and with a positive attitude, she'll be successful because she can transition
that to anything she does in her life. Anyways, that's our question for today. Thank you very
much for your question. If you have another question you like me to answer here on Tips on Teens,
please email us at tipson Again. My name is Kent two Toussaint.
I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist with Teen Therapy Center and child and teen counseling.
Thank you very much. We'll see you next Wednesday

00:05:09 Speaker 1
at noon on Facebook Live. Bye bye, guys.

Parents have a lot of hangups about kids and college, and with good reason! You want your kids to succeed and be happy, right? But what if your child who excelled in High School hits a stumbling block in their college career? Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.

It’s Up to Them Now

Parents in this situation have to recognize that the opportunities college affords belong to their kids, not them. The lines can be blurry sometimes for parents. If we try to push a square peg into a round hole we risk putting pressure on our kids, and guess what? It backfires every time! Having your kid go to college when they’re not prepared is not a recipe for success.

Supporting Your Kid Who Returned Home

If your kid came home from college for a reboot, how do you support them as a parent? Here are some things to remember:

  1. Your child needs a reason to get out of bed in the morning or they’re going nowhere. Encourage them to get a part time job, volunteer or take classes at a community college. These activities all provide healthy structure.
  2. Explore what went wrong, either if it’s with you or a therapist. Was college not what it was cracked up to be? Was there social pressure or burn out from High School? Figure out the answer. It’s important to process what’s getting in the way so your child can understand the obstacle and decide if another envirionment is better for them.

Your kid has to come up with the answers in their own time. Once they do that they will have an understanding that will propel them to success. Remember: it doesn’t matter where you go to college, matters how you go to college. Here’s this week’s Tips on Teens question:

“My daughter has left University after just one semester and returned home. I want to be supportive but this was her DREAM college. It had everything from the major to the student activities and the city where she wanted to be. She passed some of her classes but had to take incompletes on others. She wants to take this semester off to regroup. I feel like she’s throwing away an amazing opportunity. How do I help her?”

Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: We love to hear from you!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.