COVID-19 and Parents/Loved Ones
In response to the COVID-19 virus and resulting health concerns, Grand Valley State University has adapted their services to ensure we are following recommended healthcare guidelines.
The current changes due to COVID-19 can create interruption to normal routines and has impacted individuals in a variety of ways. As a parent/caregiver, you may be concerned about how to best support your student. Knowing important information and learning how to be prepared can reduce stress. This resource will help you think about how to provide support to your student.
As a parent or loved one of a GVSU student, you should consider the following:
- Be sure your student is receiving up to date information from GVSU
- GVSU is sending school-wide updates via email, but you may also find information and updates at www.gvsu.edu/coronavirus
- Adjusting from college to home may not be seamless
- Recognize your student may continue their schedule from college. Their best work might not be done early in the morning. While it’s important for you to encourage your student to keep a routine, their schedule may differ from yours.
- Be clear about the expectations and responsibilities you may have for your student now that they are back home. This may help alleviate future conflicts.
- Your student is entering a new learning environment that could be different from the structure they had while away at college. This may be a difficult transition for some students.
- Encourage your student to make a schedule. Remote learning might require more engagement, independence, and time than they are used to.
- If your student is struggling, the university is offering a number of services via telephone and video:
- Tips to improve mental health for your student (and likely yourself too)
- Urge your student to stay connected to friends. Family doesn’t have to be the only social interaction each day. If your student stays in touch with friends through texting, phone calls, or video chat, they will feel supported. Verbalizing concerns with others can also help ease the anxiety your student may be feeling.
- Though social distancing is important, make sure your student is getting out of the house if they are feeling well enough. Walks can give them an opportunity for fresh air, exercise, and stress relief. If leaving the house isn’t a great idea, make sure they’re engaging in physical activity in some capacity – there are great at-home workout (and mindfulness) videos on YouTube.
- Have your student continue activities they enjoy such as reading, music/podcasts, art, and/or movies.
- Prioritize your student’s wellbeing. Make sure your student has access to a mental health professional during (and after) COVID-19. With leaving campus, many students are moving away from their on-campus or near-campus counselor. Consider using resources such as Psychology Today to find a clinician, contact your primary care doctor, or call your insurance provider.
- Engage in your own self-care. This sudden change may have impacted future plans or your typical routine. You may need more food. Space may be a little more cramped. Whatever the change, give your self some space and time to process your own feelings. Take a break from doing everything right now and take care of yourself.