Q. How can you, the student, keep open communication with your parents?
A. Provide them regular updates, i.e. telephone calls, written letters sent by regular mail, text messages; and e-mails. Just keeping your parent(s) informed of your activities relative to both academics and social. Regular updates should be at the very least monthly, do not let too much time elapse between communications.
In your correspondence answer the questions: How are you doing in school? Keeping up with studies; grades. How are you doing? (Emotionally, physically, socially, etc..) [Recognizing they are on your side and desire the best for you, be as open as you feel they will understand. Be honest.You may find them more supportive than you might think. Remember they brought you up to this point and they know you best and love you most.]
Q. What are the challenges you are facing?
A. If you are struggling with a subject, tell them. This may have the positive effect of softening the blow when informing them of a lower grade in a specific subject than expected. You may find they will make helpful suggestions to you.[Remember, they have had more life experience than you have and our parents often surprise us with their knowledge, even if they were not educated to the level that you are attaining.]
Q. What are the successes you are having?
A. They really enjoy hearing (reading) that you are growing in various areas of your life. Tell them the truth, do not exaggerate. As some of your parents are investing some, if not all, your tuition costs. They can rejoice with you, as they learn of the areas that you are excelling.
Q. How should I receive criticism from my parents?
A. Show them the utmost respect. Listen. A good way of looking at their comments is to remember they have your best interest in mind. They are cheering your every success and giving recommendations for areas that need to grow. Remember these are very formative years, you are growing and maturing, and there will be bumps along the way. "Failure is the first step in achieving success." Much is learned from setbacks. Try not to EMOTIONALLY respond to your parents criticism. Or respond in anger. Acknowledge that you heard (read) their input (suggestions) with respect. Modify your studies as necessary.
God gave us two ears - listen twice