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Tip of the Day - End of the Semester Check-in

Early November is a great time to check-in with your college student. Read below for how to start the check-in conversation.

How to have a check-in conversation

As your student gets ready to come home for Thanksgiving break I recommend asking them these 2 important questions to get a sense of their past semester and look forward to the future.


Begin the conversation when your student is 'at their best.' Early morning conversations will probably not be successful. You know the time of day when your teenager is most receptive to talking!

2 Important Questions to Ask:

  1. What went well for you this semester? What did you do that was successful? What do you want to keep doing?

It is important to help your student recognize that they accomplished many things this semester. Even amidst struggles, there are areas that your student can be proud of. Asking reflective questions is a great way to practice metacognition (essentially thinking about thinking). Practice asking your teenager open ended questions and encouraging them to find moments to be proud of.

2. What could you do differently next semester? What could you do more of, start doing, or try doing differently?

I try to frame this question in a positive or neutral way intentionally because I find that students often anticipate that this question is asking them about a weakness. But this is not necessarily true. Perhaps your student didn't try something this semester that they would like to try in the spring. Or maybe your student visited the Career Office only once and they would like to visit it twice per semester in the future. Framing the question in a neutral way can avoid students' feelings of disappointment or dread when answering this question and promote their reflective and honest answers.

For more information on this topic, watch the video on my Facebook page.

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