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Old 08-01-2015, 11:30 AM
Location: North Dakota
7,063 posts, read 8,223,271 times
Reputation: 9353


Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
I’ve just graduated my two oldest children from high school this past June. They are bound (he says, proudly) to Hamline and Macalester this fall. Needless to say, I’ve had a lot of interaction with colleges and universities over the past year – taking the kids for visits, interviews, orientations and so forth. And it’s been a great experience.

But I’m getting a little fed up with the tendency of the colleges to treat my children as though they are still children. They’re not. They’re adults. Colleges are attended by adults. I’m regularly getting mail from those colleges addressed TO THE PARENTS OF [MY CHILDREN’S NAMES]. There’s billing information. There’s what to send off with the adults to college. Frankly, it makes it sound like my kids are still minors in high school.

And this works counter to what we’ve tried to do with our children. Especially in this strange three-month twilight zone between high school and college, we’ve really tried to impress upon our two oldest that they are not children – they are adults living with us until they leave for college. My son asks if he can go for the evening, and I tell him patiently that he does not need to ask. I say that I appreciate if he would keep us informed as to his whereabouts but that he is an adult and need not ask to spend the evening out. Our daughter asked if she could spend a week in Florida in August with her boyfriend and his family. Again, I sat her down and told her that she is an adult and does not need our permission.

When we did all those college tours, I never went on them with my kids. I took them to the colleges, and I poked around on my own as they went on the tours. I took notice of the fact that most other kids had parents in tow. I told my kids flat-out – where to attend college is your decision, not mine. You need to make that decision, not me. You need to ask the questions that need to be asked, not me. You need to learn how to negotiate your way through college, not me.

It’s not that I don’t want to do these things – I want my children to develop life skills, not to further hone their 'I’d better go ask Mom and/or Dad' skills (they’ve got those down pat). I want them to be personally responsible for their presents and their futures. I've been fully available for questions and advice and general guidance. But it needs to begin with them, and they need to muddle through as much as they can. That's life. Mostly, they've been good about this. We've raised children manage their own affairs because they can and because they've been allowed to do so.

And I think colleges and universities should do a little more to treat incoming freshman (whom are virtually all adults) as the adults that they are. Being an adult is an essentially skill, after all.
You would have been in the minority when I was in college of parents who treated their college students like adults. Good for you though!
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