Separating From Your College Bound Kids

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Separating From Your College Bound Kids

Congratulatory “high-fives” have been taking place between parents of college-bound high school graduates over the last few weeks. “Finally, our kids did it!” say parents everywhere. But inside their heads parents are saying: “I survived!”

This is also a bittersweet moment when the reality hits parents that their offspring will soon be leading a life separate from theirs. According to authors Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore in The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up, our college kids want us involved in their day-to-day college lives.

I know what you’re thinking, “Wait a minute. Did I read that right?” Think about it. These are the same kids who’ve spent the last several years pretending we, parents, didn’t exist! “Aw mom, why do you have to talk to my friends? Can’t you just drive our carpool and be, well, invisible?” “Dad, don’t park where anyone can see you. I’ll find you after the dance and whatever you do, don’t come anywhere near me!”

Wow. Now they want to talk to us while they are at college? You mean, they actually miss us or do they just want us to continue to be their personal wake-up call service, essay editor, and on-call personal counselor?

Ten years ago, according to Hofer and Moore’s research, college students communicated with their parents once or twice a week. Now, interaction has increased to almost fifteen times a week! We have the technology solutions and our own behavior to thank for that. We’re the first generation of parents who have the ability to communicate with our children 24-7. Is this really a good thing? Think twice before you say yes to your child who’s begging you to be their college wake-up call or term paper proofreader. Help your baby bird fly the coop and be successful leading their own life—away at college.

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