Author Topic: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?  (Read 4751 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Harriet Jones

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6553
  • Yes, we know who you are.
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2013, 02:37:46 PM »
OP - you sound good to me, college students shouldn't need any helicoptering from parents.

robobecky

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2013, 02:40:39 PM »
Add me to the chorus of people who's parents were hands off.  I went in the late 90's, and we had regular weekly phone calls just because my parents like to stay in touch with me-its the same now.  They provided transportation freshman year, then after that I was "allowed" to buy a car from them and get a car phone installed so I could drive myself back and forth to school.  I will say I was only 18 at the start of my sophomore year and I was going to a school 6.5 hrs away, so looking back I can understand why my parents were so picky about what car I had and that I had some means of communication in the car if necessary.  Other than that they were hands off.  They would visit 1-2x per year and were interested in how I was doing, but never tried to tell me what classes to pick, etc.  They knew I wouldn't have tolerated any interference  ;)

blueyzca01

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 371
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2013, 02:48:22 PM »
You and your daughter definitely sound like my family and me.  Basically, senior year went like this (1984-1985): 
“Dad, I’m taking the SATs.  I need a check.”
“Dad, I’m applying to colleges.  I need a check.”
“Dad, I’m going to UCLA.  I need a check.”

After that, I was in charge of everything…my parents knew that I was responsible and I had always shown that I can handle my life pretty well. 

And remind your student of important dates!), joining the parents organization, etc.My mom and dad would have been laughing up a storm if someone at school made this suggestion to them.  I think schools are so used to helicopter parents now, that they try to head them off at the pass:  “Here’s all the stuff you can look at on behalf of your child!!!  Get involved AT HOME!!” 

No one ever says, "Why me?!?!" when something good happens.

magician5

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3449
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2013, 03:19:10 PM »
Yes, you are a bad mother! Naughty, naughty! Now don't do that again!  ;)

Now that we've addressed your appalling behavior (kidding) let me say that my younger son is navigating his college path much better than I ever did. I was utterly clueless at that age (bounced through college aimless as a loose cannonball), and things have changed so much now that I'm relatively clueless today. My son, on the other hand, knows pretty much what he wants to achieve, and if I ever worry that he's not getting enough guidance from the college's counselors, he has a way of showing me that he has already gotten what advice he needs (in other words, he's way ahead of me).

In summary, all I have to do is pay the bills. He lives at home, knows what classes he needs, and now and then I ask him "have you checked this, and are you sure you can get that when you need it?" I'm very proud of him.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 11:41:16 PM by magician5 »
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.

rashea

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9655
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2013, 03:22:38 PM »
My college actually had orientation for parents on not being helicopter parents. Including that they were not entitled to know anything at all unless their child gave us permission.

I do recall that they counselled parents on that first visit home (since many students find it tough to go back to being someone's "kid") and suggested not making your child's bedroom your sewing room quite yet.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

Vermont

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3690
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2013, 03:34:34 PM »
I told my kids they could go to college anywhere in the world (providing that they could get the funding if it wasn't something I could afford) except in our hometown. Why? Because I wanted them to take full advantage of those college years to grow up and mature away from me.

So yeah, I did what I had to do to get them there and settled and visited them once a semester (or twice at most) and that's it. I didn't get involved in what classes they took or what activities they signed up for or any of that. It's their life and college is the prefect time to start making all those decisions themselves. Although, my kids had already been making those choices through high school anyway.

My older son went to a university which was a four hour plane ride away so he was really totally on his own as far as getting up there and settled in at the beginning of every year. I didn't go up there with him except when we were scouting out schools. After that, it was only me visiting for a weekend.

Honestly, these parents who can't let go, at what point do they finally let go? I mean, at some point, I guess? I hope? the darling offspring will get a job, no? And will Mommy hold his hand and come along on interviews? Will she accompany him to work to sit next to him and make sure he does what the boss says?

Goldilocks, you did it right, and I'm sure your daughter appreciates it. I know my kids did because they were always aghast at the parents who did hover and told me horror stories of those parents and what the kids did to deal with it.

Elisabunny

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1298
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2013, 03:37:05 PM »
Another mostly hands-off parent.  One kid is 30 minutes away, one is at home (both their choice).  We did bug the younger one this last semester to keep checking his grades, because he got in trouble his first semester.  But HE does the checking.  Mostly we let them come to us if there is a problem, then we talk them through how to solve it on their own.

There was a parents orientation at my daughter's school.  Some questions were actually legitimate, along the lines of needing info to pass along to their overwhelmed children.  But some... My favorite was the mother saying the cafeteria is closed on Sundays, how was her precious boy supposed to eat?  The moderator pointed out that there are plenty of vending machines on campus, plus every dorm and apartment has a refrigerator and cooking appliances.  Precious Boy would manage. ::).
You must remember this: a ghoti is still a fish...

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2013, 03:47:30 PM »
My parents' involvement was limited to paying tuition, asking how I liked my classes, helping find places to live if necessary, and occasionally asking if I was on track for my long-term plans.  They did attend the orientations and read the pamphlets though so that if anything happened that I might need help with, they would be informed enough to assist me. 

I would strongly encourage keeping up with the calendar though it isn't to keep your daughter on track!  If you pay attention to the dates:

1) you don't have to bug your daughter about when breaks/finals/etc. are when you make plans (my parents used to drive me nuts about this, I can't count how many times I sent them the link to the calendar)
2) you can send timely care packages   ;D
3) and, you can keep track of when it might be a good time to lessen contact so she can focus


In contrast, my younger cousin's parents went so far in the opposite direction that when they didn't like my cousin's grades (he was slacking off and on track to fail), my aunt - instead of going to my cousin and laying down the house rules about growing up and responsibilities- made an appointment with his professor to sit down and come up with a homework and school plan to save his grade.  She told me about this like it was totally normal and I had a hard time keeping my jaw in place. 

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4823
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2013, 04:31:25 PM »
Generally I think the hands-off approach is best, as others have articulated--these "kids" are adults now and need to start learning how to do things on their own, if they haven't already. I would never remind another adult that s/he has an essay due on Thursday or ask if s/he has studied for their exam Friday or whatever. It weirded me out enough when my friend was doing that to her DH as he was finishing up some classes. If you don't think he's responsible enough to get his homework done on time, why did you marry him?

But, just to offer another perspective, a lot of colleges are so expensive these days, I feel like many parents who are footing the bill feel like they are making an investment, and like they have the need/right to check on that investment and make sure it's proceeding properly and isn't being wasted. So I could see parents--who are paying the bills--wanting to know their student's grades throughout the semester, weighing in (with the student, not with staff) about the classes they plan to take and what requirements those will fulfill, debating whether they should stay on campus and take a summer class or come home, etc.. Also, if you consider that it's in the parents' best interest that their offspring get a full-time job once they graduate, rather than staying at home and living off their parents, they might push their students to do a study abroad instead of lying on a beach during Spring Break or look for a summer internship instead of coming home for those months.

Obviously it's a spectrum of behavior, and some parents definitely go overboard. But, working on a college campus for several years, I've seen a few cases where irresponsible student + uninvolved parent led to wasted time and money when the student ended up needing a fifth year to complete their degree due to failed classes, or something like that. I don't know, maybe the family dynamics were such that it would have happened anyway...
~Lynn2000

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1368
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2013, 04:36:38 PM »


And remind your student of important dates!), joining the parents organization, etc.My mom and dad would have been laughing up a storm if someone at school made this suggestion to them.  I think schools are so used to helicopter parents now, that they try to head them off at the pass:  “Here’s all the stuff you can look at on behalf of your child!!!  Get involved AT HOME!!”

Frankly, my daughter just finished kindergarten, and I found all this stuff pretty annoying already.  I could not figure out why the school would send homework for ME. I already passed kindergarten.  (FTR, my daughter could read, write, tell time on an analog clock, make change for a dollar, and was teaching her younger sister arithmetic BEFORE she started kindergarten, so it's not like we are not involved in her learning.)

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6260
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2013, 04:44:20 PM »
My parents' involvement was limited to paying tuition, asking how I liked my classes, helping find places to live if necessary, and occasionally asking if I was on track for my long-term plans.  They did attend the orientations and read the pamphlets though so that if anything happened that I might need help with, they would be informed enough to assist me. 

I would strongly encourage keeping up with the calendar though it isn't to keep your daughter on track!  If you pay attention to the dates:

1) you don't have to bug your daughter about when breaks/finals/etc. are when you make plans (my parents used to drive me nuts about this, I can't count how many times I sent them the link to the calendar)2) you can send timely care packages   ;D
3) and, you can keep track of when it might be a good time to lessen contact so she can focus


In contrast, my younger cousin's parents went so far in the opposite direction that when they didn't like my cousin's grades (he was slacking off and on track to fail), my aunt - instead of going to my cousin and laying down the house rules about growing up and responsibilities- made an appointment with his professor to sit down and come up with a homework and school plan to save his grade.  She told me about this like it was totally normal and I had a hard time keeping my jaw in place.

My DD would not get away with sending me a link. If I ask her when she will be home from college, I want her to respond with the date. I don't want to be sent a link saying when the semester is over and then I have to figure out if she plans to come home immediately, early, or later.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13520
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2013, 04:58:18 PM »
My parents were mostly hands off:  They helped me move in and out of residence, they paid the tuition, meal plan and residence fees, they put money in my account if I was getting low on spending money.  In return, I called home or they called me every Sunday at 1:00 pm, just to check in and say, 'Hi!' - total convo time no more than 10 minutes.  There was no grilling for grades but I'd usually tell them when I had a mid-term coming up or close to the end of the semester, I'd let them know when I'd be done and when I wanted them to pick me up to come home for Christmas or the summer.

(We had a deal; as long as I worked in the summer, they'd pay for everything I couldn't.  So I was exceptionally fortunate to have low paying summer jobs that were related to my field of study.  And I never had to work retail.  *shudder*  Kudos to those of you who have and do work retail.  I don't think I'd last a day before I ended up getting myself fired.)
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11621
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2013, 05:07:09 PM »
It's my understanding that a lot of these parent things are for two reasons.


  • Keep parents in the loop about financial responsibilities, since, if they are involved, chances are, they're paying.
  • Create a homey "we care about you and your child!" atmosphere so you will be more willing to donate money to them.

I can tell you right now that no professor is going to want to hear from anyone but the enrolled student because, like you said, it is your daughter's education and responsibility.

3) get the parents out of the students' hair during the student orientations (as Malaika mentioned) so the students can have their first taste of independent schedule- and friend-making at college.  When I worked at my college's admissions office, we were pretty blunt (to each other, at least!) about the parent-sitting sessions..

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2013, 05:19:50 PM »
My parents' involvement was limited to paying tuition, asking how I liked my classes, helping find places to live if necessary, and occasionally asking if I was on track for my long-term plans.  They did attend the orientations and read the pamphlets though so that if anything happened that I might need help with, they would be informed enough to assist me. 

I would strongly encourage keeping up with the calendar though it isn't to keep your daughter on track!  If you pay attention to the dates:

1) you don't have to bug your daughter about when breaks/finals/etc. are when you make plans (my parents used to drive me nuts about this, I can't count how many times I sent them the link to the calendar)2) you can send timely care packages   ;D
3) and, you can keep track of when it might be a good time to lessen contact so she can focus


In contrast, my younger cousin's parents went so far in the opposite direction that when they didn't like my cousin's grades (he was slacking off and on track to fail), my aunt - instead of going to my cousin and laying down the house rules about growing up and responsibilities- made an appointment with his professor to sit down and come up with a homework and school plan to save his grade.  She told me about this like it was totally normal and I had a hard time keeping my jaw in place.

My DD would not get away with sending me a link. If I ask her when she will be home from college, I want her to respond with the date. I don't want to be sent a link saying when the semester is over and then I have to figure out if she plans to come home immediately, early, or later.

I told them what the dates were after looking it up myself, but I also sent them a link to where I found the information so that they could look it up on their own.  I came home when they told me to, not just on my own whims, so there was no need for them to figure out anything other than when they wanted to see me.  Honestly, even if it was up to me, I could hardly predict in March when I'd be done with finals in the winter beyond the school's official dates.

Arrynne

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 803
Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #29 on: July 10, 2013, 05:29:58 PM »
My mom was the same way (minus the paying tuition).  After the first year, Mom only helped out with tuition the quarter I went full time and couldn't afford it all on my own.   Mom was there to love me and give me support, getting through college and managing my finances were my business.  My mom understood that kids need to make their own mistakes so that they will learn their lessons.  Fortunately, her good advice kept from from getting -too- far off track.  I only went 2K into credit-card debt, and finished college with only $3500 in loans to repay.