Sending Kids to College
Sending a child to college can be an emotionally daunting task for many parents, especially those that are really connected to their children. These are parents who have been sincerely devoted to every aspect of their child’s life including sports, academics, friends, social activities, art, and hobbies. Now these parents are faced with the proverbial cutting of the cord, which most of them are not really prepared for. They have less control over what their children do and are exposed to on a daily basis, a fact that can be nerve wrecking for most parents.
The purpose of this paper is to identify ways in which parents can send their children off to college with relative ease and less emotional trauma. The paper seeks to identify the right balance of communication between a parent and his child after the child goes off to college. Communication is essential between the parent and the child because it reassures both parties that everything is okay despite the distance. However, too much communication can be counterintuitive and might derail a child’s transition into college/adult life.
There are various reasons why this topic is important to me. When I joined college, my parents were a bit apprehensive especially because the college is an out-of-state institution. Throughout my childhood, my parents would constantly be monitoring where I was and who I was with, which seemed okay at the time. However, when I got to college, the situation became practically hellish for me. They would call every morning at six to ensure that I was awake and preparing for the day’s activities. They had all my lecturers’ phone numbers and e-mail addressed to constantly check on my grades. They also had access to my financial records to see what I was spending money on. Soon enough, the constant communication and prying began to irk me, and I stopped answering their phone calls. I wanted them to treat me like an adult for once and the constant communication began to drive a wedge between us. However, after many talks with the dean, they finally learnt to let go and our relationship was on the mend.
I also want to demonstrate to other parents that their child moving off to college is not the end of the world, and it certainly is not the end of parenting. The final reason for selecting this topic is to provide children with a better understanding as to why some parents are a bit apprehensive when sending them off to college.
Communication is essential when you have a child in college. However, parents should be aware that too much communication on either part could make the transition very difficult. Striking a balance is essential. It is best to communicate with the child once or twice every week when the child’s schedule is not that busy. Parents should also convince their children to desist from calling home more than is absolutely necessary. It is a difficult process but it is worth it because both the parent and the child are learning to grow up and become independent of each other (Baker, 2015).
Another thing parents should understand about sending their kids to college is that visitations are important. It is essential to see each other regularly in order for the transition to move on smoothly. Most parenting books advise against allowing the child to come home every weekend from college. Each parent-child relationship is different and it may take more visitations for both parties to be completely satisfied with the move to college. However, it is important that the parent takes charge of the situation and schedules trips for the child to come home. This will help the child in striking a balance between home and school life and how to separate her time between the two.
Sending kids off to college can be a shocker especially if the parents are doing it for the first time. However, it should be seen as a transitional period for both the parents and the children. A balanced communication plan and scheduled trips are some of the ways to help the parties involved make the transition in an easy and painless way.
Baker, S. (2015, Aug 9). Sending kids to college can be a shock for connected parents. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 2/11/2015 from http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/news/ct-nvs-off-to-college-st-0809-20150809-story.html