A Post to Parents: How to Keep Your Peace of Mind without Pissing Off Your College Student

Fact: when you’re a parent, sending your kids off to college can seem like an overwhelming concept. How will you know if they’re safe? They’re so far away from you, what if something happens and you can’t get there in time? How do you know they’re being careful? Plus, if you do try to find out these things, you may come off as being intrusive, causing your child to be more secretive than they already may have been in the first place.

So take it straight from the mouth of a college kid. We understand that you’re just trying to look out for us, but the truth is, we want to be able to look out for ourselves now. I can’t count the number of people I know that chose the school they did based on the fact that is was “far away from home.” Not close to home, far away from home. We’ve grown up, and even though you’ll always see us as your little baby, we need to be treated like adults.

So here are a few ways that you can “check up on us” to give yourself peace of mind, without making us feel like you’re hovering over us, watching and critiquing our every move.

1.) Talk to us, but don’t lecture. As long as we feel we won’t be judged, we’ll have no problem keeping those lines of communication open with you. If you ask what I’m doing next weekend and I tell you I’m going to a St. Patrick’s Day party, only to be lectured for half an hour (about things I already know, it’s not like you haven’t given me this lecture before), the next time I go out (say, spring break?) I’m not going to tell you anything to avoid the 1/2 hour lecture. A simple, “Well have I hope you have fun dear, but make sure you’re being careful. If you drink tonight you aren’t planning on driving, are you?” is plenty enough to let me know you’re concerned. And of course I have alternate transportation lined up if I decide to have a few drinks, you raised me better than that, remember?

2.) Don’t go over our head. There is no quicker way to alienate your child than to completely disregard their privacy. If it’s finals week, and you know this, don’t have the RA show up at your student’s dorm room at 10:00 at night just to check if they’re all right. I guarantee the phrase “You’re mom said to call her, she hasn’t heard from you in four hours and she’s getting worried…” Will come out as, “Dude, how crazy is your mom? She’s been calling me non-stop to go check on you just call her already so she’ll get off my ass.”

3.) Trust us. If you buy us a dorm safe to put our valuables in, would you really show up to see if we’re using it? The right answer here is, “No, of course not, that would be crazy…” but many parents would actually do that. And no, just because a lot of other parents are doing it doesn’t make it okay. It just means the majority of parents you know are overly intrusive in their kids’ lives.

4.) Know our roommates phone numbers. If I haven’t gotten ahold of my mom in awhile (meaning a few week), she’ll call and leave a message and send me a text to call her. If she doesn’t hear from me by the end of the day, she’ll send my roommate a quick text just to make sure everything is alright. Typically, she gets a text back that says something like, “Yeah, everything’s fine, Marlee dropped her phone in cake batter last night and it isn’t working that great. Want me to have her call you on my phone?” There. Easy as can be.

www.secureoncampus.com

Besides, there just has to be a time when you let us handle some things on our own. After all,  you don’t want us to be dependent on you forever, do you?

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1 Comment

  1. […] how to be safe while dating in college and even written a post to parents enlightening them on the best way to openly communicate with their college student. Now all these articles are written with good intentions; we want to give you the best possible […]


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