Will my relationship change with my student after he or she goes off to college?

You shouldn’t expect your relationship with your student to be frozen in time from when they leave for college to when they come home to visit. They probably will change and become more independent in their first few months of school, and expect to be treated differently. They may want to test parental reaction to their growing sense of independence. You may already have experienced some of this testing. They may be staying out extra late or wearing sloppy clothes. Sometimes students also are rethinking views on religion, morals and politics. This doesn’t mean you need to accept all of these changes without batting an eye. However, it is doubtful whether laying down the law will do much to help the parent-child relationship. You will have to decide how important the differences are. Listening patiently to their ideas will help. Feel free to disagree, but do so in a way that acknowledges that you take their viewpoint seriously.