Parenting comes with a certain level of expected hovering. How do you determine how much is too much? Legally at the age of 18 you are an adult, but in the eyes of your parents you are still their little child that needs them to help solve problems and care from them. This notion will not just cease, because you go off to college. Parents will have a certain level of involvement in your college career. They want to ensure you are on track, completing the things you need to do, and ultimately are successful. Getting to their definition of success may involve more of them than you would like, but you will have to learn how to balance showing your responsibility and respect for all your parents do with gratitude for all they have (and will) done. Below are some do’s and don’t’s for monitoring your parents’ involvement in your college life.
1. Do let them know how you are doing in class. Share hardships and successes; don’t let grades be a surprise. If you are keeping them in the loop along the way, they will understand and celebrate your achievements.
2. Do share when you face adversity; share it with your parents. Use them as a sounding board, but don’t let them handle the situation.
3. Do let your parent know when you have done ALL that you can to resolve a situation. Don’t let them believe you have done ALL you can do when you have not.
4. Do tell them the whole truth. Don’t send them to resolve an issue with only half truths.
5. Do let your parents know you appreciate their support. Don’t assume they know you care.
6. Do find new ways of thinking and viewpoints on life. Don’t let their antiquated ways of thinking blur your path.
7. Do communicate regularly with your parents. Don’t disappear by not returning calls, changing plans without giving them an update, or not coming home as scheduled.
Having an engaged parent can be very helpful as you navigate through college. However, having an overly engaged parent hoovering over issues, calling the staff for every minor issue, escalating issues out of the hierarchy order, and showing up to the university frequently. You want to take on a certain level of responsibility for your success in school, you do not want your parents to resolve issues or guide you through college. Part of college is leaving not being the same person as when you started. So take some of the responsibility off of your parents and show your ability to resolve issues and succeed.