Sunday, August 18, 2013

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The parent's orientation

The day you drop your kids off at college they hand the kids an orientation schedule and they hand the parents an orientation schedule. A big part of the parents orientation is THE TALK. 

It goes something like this.  

Your kids are adults now. 
Your relationship with them is going to change. 
It is not going to be easy but they are going to be fine. 
They also advises us on FERPA laws that state we need our kids' permission to access their information. 

Where the talk from each school differed is in the level of involvement they want from the parents. At son's first university last summer, they told us to back off... Give them space. Don't visit too much.  Don't expect or request phone calls. They are our responsibility now, and we will take care of them..

We listened, and for my son... This was bad advice. He is now at a new school. 

His new school said, talk regularly and gave us advice on how to phrase questions to make sure every thing is OK.  They encouraged us to not stop parenting just yet... And that made me happy because it felt more in Sync with what I as a parent felt was necessary. 

My daughters school was similar and invited parents to partner with them in taking care of the kids and gave advice on weaning them off us and onto the proper resources for different situations. Also great advice. 

Unlike last year, I feel less ripped from my kids and a lot happier that the schools aren't figuratively driving a wedge between parents and kids.  Unlike last year kids are being advise to talk with their parents and vice versa. Unlike last year, I have a really much better feeling about this school year. 

My advice for anyone going through this process to hear what the school has to say and then weigh the advice with what you know about your kid. But last year I was dealing with sending my first kid to college, and now I know better.  


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