Author Topic: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?  (Read 4814 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2013, 05:44:58 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.

This. They're generally not scheduled at the same times/dates as the regular class is--they're at these arbitrary times that you don't always know vastly ahead of time. Like, your 9:00-10:00 MWF class will have its final at 5pm Thursday.

Sharnita

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2013, 05:48:10 PM »
I think that it is possible to be in the middle of extreems. I know that when I went to orientation they went over specifics about how you could and couldn't construct lofts in the dorm. Since people got the supplies and tended to do a lot of preliminary work ahead of time, that is stuff included in orientation. I don't think a parent who was interested in that info.and helped their kid plan/prep loft materials is overly involved or a helicopter parent. Getting a calemdar of important dates might help parents as they plan for family events.

Judah

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2013, 06:09:21 PM »
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...

Of course I want to know my kids grades and that they are on track to graduate on time, but I get that information from my kids, not from the school.  We made it pretty clear to the kids before they went off to school that since we were footing the bill for school, we wanted to see grades and progress toward graduation. If they weren't being responsible, we would pull funding.  But that's between me and my kids; the school has nothing to do with it.

I'm not going to waste money that could be going into my retirement account on a kid that won't be responsible.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2013, 06:26:52 PM »
I wish my parents had been like you are, but they weren't.  I plan on being more like yourself when my sons go off to college.  My oldest (12) is talking about wanting to attend the same college where his father and I met, which is about 30 minutes from the beach.  So the day we drop him off we might just continue on to Ocean City since we're so close. :)
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Lynn2000

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2013, 06:34:42 PM »
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...

Of course I want to know my kids grades and that they are on track to graduate on time, but I get that information from my kids, not from the school.  We made it pretty clear to the kids before they went off to school that since we were footing the bill for school, we wanted to see grades and progress toward graduation. If they weren't being responsible, we would pull funding.  But that's between me and my kids; the school has nothing to do with it.

I'm not going to waste money that could be going into my retirement account on a kid that won't be responsible.

Oh, right, that's absolutely what I meant, that the student would pass the requested information on to the parents, not that the school would. It would be part of the expectations I had of my child as a student, if I was paying for their schooling. If I felt like I couldn't trust the info my student was giving me (and thus wanted to check with the school myself), well, that indicates a whole other level of issues... Besides, with all the privacy rules these days, I wouldn't expect a college to give out ANY info about a specific over-18 student to anyone. All info should go through the student to whoever else.
~Lynn2000

CakeBeret

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2013, 06:43:47 PM »
My mother was the hovering type during college and I h.a.t.e.d. it. She wanted an accurate copy of my schedule; I was supposed to notify her what campus events I planned to attend; I was supposed to have a phone conversation with her once a day; she even had my online banking info and would look at my account and then call me to harangue me over my transactions. She didn't even have a financial stake in my education, she just wanted to keep me dependent and under her thumb. I would have had infinite appreciation for your approach, and DH and I plan to do roughly that with our son.
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jpcher

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2013, 06:45:14 PM »
I agree that hands-off is the best way to go.

When DD#1 was a freshman, we went to the orientation . . . there was an overview session with parents and students.  We said good-bye, then the students went one place (for the rest of the weekend) and the parents went elsewhere for the rest of the afternoon.

I found the orientation to be informative and interesting since I never went to college and really didn't have a clue. A lot of the parents' orientation was geared around student safety and services that were offered (counseling, transportation, etc.)

A lot of DD#1's school independence started in HS. I didn't have to ask about grades/tests/homework, she was a good student and took care of this by herself. School was simply a matter of everyday conversation "How was your day?" type of thing.

So when she went off to college, I was confident in her abilities and knew that I wouldn't have to nag or be nosey. We'd talk on the phone at least once a week, main topic being her schooling because, well, that was her life.

I didn't grill her about her grades and I like to hope to think that when I asked her "How's that icky TA situation going?" she didn't feel like she had to give me a report or that I was being too involved (helicopterish) in her college life. It was just a point of interest, something to talk about.



I like to think that the thing I did best was offer support/encouragement.

DD#1: "Mommmaaaa! I got a D on that test! I studied so hard!"

Me: "Sweetheart, I know you did your best. A D is a whole lot better than an F! Maybe ask your professor if there is any make-up type of work or extra credit something that you could do?"

DD#1: "He gave us a list at the beginning of the semester. I should look at that, huh."

Me: "Yeah, maybe. It's your life. What do you think you should do?"


Is that being too involved, too hands-on?



I'd like to point out that I never coached her on what classes to take, what she should or shouldn't major in, how to sign up for the next year's schedule, which dorm she should live in . . . she figured all of that out on her own.


Most importantly, DD#1 will be a SR next fall and having her home this summer is such a joy in my heart. She has grown to be a very responsible, independent, likeable young lady. She has her life's dream ducks all in a row and achieved this with no helicopter coaching from me.

It is amazing how much she's grown in the last 3 years. I am very proud of her.




Thipu1

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2013, 09:18:07 AM »
When I started college in 1965, my parents drove me up, helped me settle into my dorm room and waved good bye.

I was expected to make a weekly phone call and write letters about interesting happenings every week or two.  That was it. 

Back then, there was a lot of scholarship money around so my parents didn't even have to worry about tuition. 

It was also expected that students attending college were adults and knew how to manage everyday life. 

Redsoil

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2013, 10:29:42 AM »
This notion of "helicopter parenting" seems so strange to me!  I was dropped off at boarding school aged 12 (barely).  Parents helped me take my luggage to the dorm, spoke with the boarding mistress, said "goodbye" and left.  I unpacked my gear, and wandered about meeting other students.  Figured it out from there.  One phone call home was allowed each week (10 minutes) and that was it!
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magicdomino

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2013, 11:22:33 AM »
Congratulations, Goldilocks, you are the proud parent of an adult.   ;)  Far from being a bad mother, you are a very good mother.  If I was paying the tuition, I'd require a minimum grade point average on the grounds that I'm not paying for the kid to party all of the time, but the day to day stuff is up to the child.

Bijou

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2013, 11:50:32 AM »
I would want to know about the financial aspects that I had to be responsible for (tuition, for example) but otherwise I think a hands-off approach is probably not a bad idea.  I guess it depends on other aspects of the situation, too.  It would be kind of hard to have an across the board rule that hands off is the best approach. 
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Sophia

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2013, 12:29:33 PM »
My parents refused to contribute money towards college.  So, their involvement was - mom took me lunch once a week so that I'd get at least one full meal a week.  Funny side effect was that it gave me the rep. of a "good person" with the foreign students.  Just because I voluntarily spent time with my mother (and they were probably missing theirs)

Lynn2000

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2013, 12:35:08 PM »
I would want to know about the financial aspects that I had to be responsible for (tuition, for example) but otherwise I think a hands-off approach is probably not a bad idea.  I guess it depends on other aspects of the situation, too.  It would be kind of hard to have an across the board rule that hands off is the best approach.

POD. Since I don't have kids I've been trying to imagine what I would do as a parent, and I get stuck trying to decide what kind of hypothetical child to give myself. :) If I was making a significant financial investment, I would want to know, basically, that the student was on track to graduate in the allotted time with a GPA and other efforts (clubs, internships, part-time jobs, whatever) that would move them forward in life. How often I checked in with the student, and how many different things I checked, would depend more on the student's personality. If the student was B/C level and tended to be more laidback about long-term plans and deadlines, I would probably check in with them more often, ask to see more proof of progress, and remind them more often of rules (like, "If you fail a class I will not pay for you to retake it, YOU have to pay"). If the student was A/B level and generally seemed to be on top of things, I think I would end up asking fewer questions and trusting them a bit more. And, I would probably be more vigilant with both students at the very beginning of their college career, and ease up as time passed with no issues.

But definitely nothing like reminding them when assignments were due! Hopefully I wouldn't have been doing that in high school, either. Or junior high. Or elementary school.
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Cami

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2013, 12:58:27 PM »
We are going to a similar orientation in 3 weeks. Our intention is the same as yours.

Roodabega

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Re: confusing college visit AKA am i a bad mother?
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2013, 01:06:59 PM »
I have one already in college and one about to start.  My involvement is getting them there and help them out with their first book purchases, since they need me to pay for that.  After that, my involvement with the school is if they expect me to pay, I need access to their end-of-semester grades.  If they want my money, then I need to know that they're passing their courses.

Our second one is going to a more local university, so I can drop by on my way home from work if they want a ride or need us for something.  Everything else is up to them.