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Back to School as an Adult: How to Get Your Family's Support


Going back to school as an adult is enough of a challenge without having to deal with a family that is not supportive. The best way to keep stress and family disruption to a minimum is to begin your time in school with your family's full support. To get that support, your family needs to know why you are in school, how it will make their lives better and exactly how it will change their lives.

Explaining Your Decision

Though a spouse may understand why you are going back to school, kids may not. Even older kids may not have a real understanding of the work force and how much education factors into it. Explaining exactly how you came to the decision to go back to school and how it is better than your other career or education options will help to foster a positive feeling toward your time at school.

Explaining exactly how long it will take for you to be in school will help to alleviate any fears of the change being permanent. With you in school for a concrete amount of time, whether that's one year or six, your family will see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that life will eventually be different from it is while you are spending your time in classes and studying.

Improving Your Family's Quality of Life

For most people, creating a better quality of life, with a higher income, less dangerous job or better working hours is usually behind the decision to enter school again. If your family understands exactly how their lives will be made better once you are out of school, they may be much more supportive of your efforts while you are in it. Older kids may understand the money factors better than younger kids.

Planning for Change

To keep your family supportive throughout your educational endeavor, make a concrete plan for the way your family will run while you are in school. This will assuage many of the fears your family members may have about how things will get done. You may have to have a babysitter help out, get a chore chart going or make other changes to the way your household runs each day. Some of the things that you normally do for your family may need to be parceled out to various family members in order to keep things running smoothly.

Make a schedule for studying and schoolwork so that your family members know when you cannot be disturbed. Let them know that outside of those hours life will continue as it did before, and you may get more support. With established hours, you will go into this knowing that you can get your important school tasks done, and your family goes into it knowing that you will still have time for them when school begins.

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