Parents & Families

UW parent-to-parent advice

We asked current parents what you need to know.

Here’s what they said…


Be aware of what opportunities/support is available for your student and point out those you feel would provide the greatest benefit or fill the greatest need, then let them do the work (if they choose to do so).” -John from Auburn, WA


“Be the voice of reason and stay calm. Your student will inevitably hit highs and lows as they navigate their first quarter away from home.” – Diane from Danville, CA


“Don’t mettle or micromanage too much.  UW is a great school and they will give him many opportunities.  When he’s ready, he will take advantage of them.  Encourage them to find their passion and voice.” -David from Hilo, HI


Make visits home as stress-free and happy as possible.  Treat them as responsible nearly-grown adults and they will respond accordingly. Then he/she will want to come home and share with you.” -Sandy from Kent, WA


“First quarter was definitely a transition, but she made her way through it, and loves it!”- Deb from Seattle, WA


“Be available, but let your children learn how to make it on their own.  The University of Washington is a great place for them to grow in, and as safe of an environment that you can put them in.  Park the helicopter.  Text once a week: “All ok?” And let them communicate with you!”-Linda from Burlingame, CA


“Encourage your student to embrace the whole incredible package UW has to offer, to get involved in activities and the community beyond the classroom, to take advantage of the services available to help them succeed academically and thrive personally, and to make a point of meeting their TAs and/or professors.” -Dori from San Diego, CA


“Go to the orientation and listen carefully to what the faculty/support staff/fiscal services/advisors say will happen during the freshman year. All they said that may happen, did happen!!  Encourage your child to use the services of support that the U has to offer to help make a big school work for them.” -Robin from Marysville, WA


“Be there to listen and maybe to point them in the right direction but let them make the choices and do the work to get there. Support them and be proud.” -Phyllis from San Diego, CA


“Let them make mistakes and have them find their own solutions – it’s a big step towards gaining independence.  Having never done his own laundry before, I was surprised when my son was soon doing laundry like a champ at the dorm!”-Marilyn from Lynnwood, WA


“Letting them take the reins doesn’t mean loving them less.  It’s best for them and their college experience. You’ve given them the foundation, let them start building their walls.” -Heathyr from Selah, WA