Recently I read a blog written by Andrew Belasco, CEO of College Transitions. He described that how “A few years ago, a student at the University of Cincinnati won a restraining order against her parents for “stalking” her in college. They had installed spyware on their daughter’s phone and computer, snuck into her dorm room on multiple occasions, and regularly met with the dean of her college demanding academic updates.”
Mr. Belasco proceeds to explain the role that reasonable parents should take before and after the child goes off to college. Things like guiding the selection of colleges; if money isn’t unlimited, the price of attendance should be considered. Take parental prestige out of the equation completely! Don’t push too hard for the student to take all accelerated courses or pursue some exotic excursion in the summer. There is nothing wrong with a few honors or AP classes sprinkled throughout the schedule and a part-time job is hardly ever a bad idea.
One other thing I would add to the sage advice delivered in the article is to let your child speak for themselves. Even if you do entertain thoughts of sneaking into their dorm room, you will not be in class to ask a question when they don’t understand a concept. Neither will you be there to demand better treatment when someone takes advantage of their kindheartedness. Teach them to say and do the things that will help them adapt and survive on their own before they begin their lives as legal adults. Bite the bullet and start letting go now and maybe one day, your kids will actually come home to thank you for helping them get a good start in life instead of filing a restraining order to keep you away.