Supportive messages

Feels like Monday, but with the long weekend it is really Tuesday. Hope you had a good Labor Day, Deac families!

In some of my grad schoolery this weekend, I ran across an article that talked about – in part – college students’ communication with their parents/families. One of the sections talked about a variety of supportive messages that families could offer their students. Thought it might be fun to list them here, and you can pull these out of your toolbox whenever needed. I am adapting  and paraphrasing items from Edna C. Alfaro’s article*. Here goes:

Uplifting comments:

“You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.”

“You’ve always been focused on your goals and always do things right.”

“Good job! You rock!”

“Good luck!”

“Future doctor [lawyer/professor/actor/whatever] in the house!”

Meeting Goals, Staying Focused:

“It’s like a soccer game, give it your all until the end.”

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

Effort/Hard Work

“Put time and effort in, and then everything else will follow.”

“Give it your all.”

“Keep working hard.”

Academic and Other Decisions

“Take time to think about what you are doing.”

“College is worth it even if it might be hard at the moment.”

“Do what you think is best.”

“Study what makes you happy.”

“Ask your professors for help.”

“Don’t forget to rest. School is important but so is your health.”

Parents/Families as Sources of Support

“I am here to help you.”

“If you do fail, whatever choice you make, I will always support you and have my arms open for you.”

“Anything you need, I will try my best to give it to you.”

“You are a great example for your siblings.”

Minimizing Worries

“Don’t worry about your test too much.”

“Don’t worry about your college loans, you’ll eventually pay them off.”

“If you’re busy, we understand.”

You are probably already using many of these. I can’t overstate the importance of parents and families’ support and understanding during the college years. Even if they don’t express it directly to you as a need, your Deacs want and need to hear your confidence in them, that you understand them, that they can do hard work, that you are always there for them.

You can even send one of these supportive messages to your student via Deacon Greetings, which is a WFU e-card.


* Alfaro, E. C. (2018). Communication frequency and types of supportive messages: A mixed methods approach to examining mexican-origin college students’ relationships with their mothers and fathers. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 153819271877266.


— by Betsy Chapman

Categories: campus life

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