Essay on Attention, Parents Of College Students
Say your kid has a problem with a roommate. Maybe one “borrowed” his favorite t-shirt. Maybe your daughter’s roommate leaves old, stinky Chinese take out in the mini-fridge. Perhaps your child is so upset about this he texts you five times a day to complain.
Here’s the thing: Don’t call the college president to ask him to handle the situation. (Yes, that happens.)
Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University, has had parents call him at his office to talk about a squabble their child is having with a roommate. “Don’t you trust your child to deal with this on his own?” he asks. “Rather than telling a son or daughter to talk to a [resident assistant] or [resident director], parents will immediately call my office. And that I consider to be a little over the top.”
A little over the top, yes. But also the way things are now for many people. The kids who have been raised by parents who watched their every move, checked their grades online hourly, advocated for them endlessly and kept them busy from event to activity to play date are tucked away in college. But that doesn’t mean their parents have let go. They make themselves known to schools, professors, counselors and advisers. And yes, college presidents.
But those parents are forgetting some very important lessons in Parenting 101, and that is how to help a child learn how to really thrive.
“When I was going to college in 1975… my mother helped me unload into the…