How Parents Can Help

Recognize the boundaries

Since your child is now an adult, all interaction with the university will be through them. Transcript information (i.e., marks) is communicated only to an individual student, unless they provide a written statement indicating that another specified person may have access to this information. Although we encourage you to provide advice and guidance, it is important that your child becomes the decision maker in their life.

Be informed

Read the resources provided here! This will help you understand the university environment so that you may respond in ways that are helpful. Remember that this is not high school; the typical student’s marks will drop by an average of 15 per cent from high school to university, so students and parents should adjust expectations accordingly.


Maintain an open, non-judgmental channel of communication. There is little you can do to directly solve the problems that your child faces, but you can offer guidance and ask questions that help them make day-to-day decisions.

Encourage and motivate

All students go through difficult periods when they are under a great deal of intellectual and emotional stress. During this time it is useful to have someone remind them of their strengths and help them keep life in perspective.

Promote healthy choices

New-found independence can often mean poor eating and sleeping habits. Residence meal plans offer a wide variety of healthy choices; encourage your child to eat well and maintain a regular sleep routine.

Suggest support when they need it

Often students feel stigmatized by their problems, or are too embarrassed to admit they need help. As a result, they may seek advice long after it is needed. As a parent, you can familiarize yourself with the support services available at Queen’s and encourage your child to ask for help before problems escalate. See our Contact Information and Resource Guide for a list of supports.

If they aren’t sure where to turn, or they just want someone to talk to, remind them that a quick email to the Engineering and Applied Science Faculty Office ( can lead to a meeting with an advisor within 24 hours.