A Summer Reading List for Parents of High School and College Students

Parenting is hard work.  Those of us who have been parents for a while know how difficult it can be.  And as parents, we sometimes seek advice from the “experts,” whether those experts are our friends, our own parents, our medical providers, our counselors, or the authors who write books. Remember reading all those books before your baby was born?

We all need a little advice – and a little perspective.

There are lots of great books (and blogs like this one!) out there to help parents as they approach and live through the college admission process and the college years. We’ve reviewed more than thirty of them and we think many of them provide parents important guidance and food for thought. You can read some when your student heads to college, but we suggest that you start even earlier.  Many of these books help you help your child to start laying the foundation for future success.

So we’re offering a summer reading list of our current top ten favorite books.  Start here. Click on the titles to read our reviews. Pick the ones that speak to you. Read one or two or three. Share them – with a friend or with your student. Form a book club.  Start conversations.

Read moreA Summer Reading List for Parents of High School and College Students


College Parent News & Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

How to Help Your Child Reduce Their Stress and Thrive During College

Stress among college students is at an all-time high. Understanding how to deal with it is important for parents. If it’s not your child, it may be the child of someone you know.

Read moreCollege Parent News & Views


Commencement: Are You Ready for the Pomp and Circumstance?

graduate blows confetti at commencement

For many college students and their parents, the finish line is in sight.  Commencement is here, or at least just around the corner.  Students have worked hard to reach this final moment.  Parents have been patient (most of the time), have supported, have worried, have encouraged (most of the time), have paid tuition again and again, and everyone has probably had moments when they wondered if this time would ever come.

But the season of Commencement is finally here, with all of the ceremony and pomp and circumstance that accompany it.  Most college students have experienced a high school graduation, which may or may not have been as formal as college Commencement.  Some students, and their parents, may be wondering what to expect, and what the experience will be like.

What happens at Commencement?

The format of commencement may vary according to the nature of the school, the size of the class, the weather, the location, or the particular traditions of the institution.  Some ceremonies are very unique, however, many factors may be similar no matter where the ceremony occurs.

Commencement is the capstone experience of the student’s academic career.  It is generally a dignified, formal occasion and marks the formal action of conferring and receiving academic degrees.  Degrees are conferred on the candidates by the presiding officer (usually the college president) after they have been recommended or presented by another official (often a dean or provost).

Read moreCommencement: Are You Ready for the Pomp and Circumstance?


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


Book Review: Countdown to College: The Essential Steps to Your Child’s Successful Launch

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

The subtitle of the book Countdown to College says a lot about the book. The Essential Steps to Your Child’s Successful Launch lets the reader know immediately that the book is going to provide a step by step approach to facing what often seems like an overwhelming process.

One of the important and relatively unique things about this book is that it covers a period in the college process which is often overlooked.  Much has been written about how to engage in a successful admission process as well as how to succeed during the freshman year of college.  Countdown to College does this, but it does more.

Countdown to College fills the important gap that occurs in between these two phases. What happens after the college acceptance letter arrives and before your student’s move-in day?  This book takes parents and students through those important months of preparation in an organized, step-by-step approach. As the author states, “The process is not finished when the admission decisions have arrived.  On the contrary, a new array of tasks awaits both of you.  The stark reality is that many if not most families encounter problems they have not anticipated but could have avoided.” Countdown to College can help families avoid many of these unanticipated situations.

Read moreBook Review: Countdown to College: The Essential Steps to Your Child’s Successful Launch


A Decade in the Making: College Parent Central Turns Ten!!

Cue the balloons and confetti!  We’re celebrating April Fool’s Day!

Well, actually, here at College Parent Central we’re celebrating our anniversary, or birthday, or blogiversary. We’ve officially made it to a decade.

It was April 1, 2009 (somehow April Fool’s Day seemed fitting) when we launched ourselves into the unknown and began College Parent Central.  We hoped that as parents accompanied their students on their college journey we might be able to help them understand their role and how best to support their students.  We thought we had a pretty good idea, but we didn’t know what to expect from this venture.

Ten years later we’re still going.  We still believe that there’s much for parents to learn and understand in order to help their students prepare for, transition to, and succeed in college. We’ve been pleased, over the last decade, to hear from so many parents who have found our information helpful.

If you’ve landed on College Parent Central, and you’re reading this, we hope that you find what you need here, too. Know that you are joining the over three million parents who have also visited College Parent Central over the years. We’re grateful for the many parents, educators, and counselors who have shared our information with others, who have provided helpful feedback, and who have taught us so much over the years.

Read moreA Decade in the Making: College Parent Central Turns Ten!!


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


The Antidote to “Operation Varsity Blues” Parenting

It isn’t possible to be a college parenting website without addressing the current Admissions Scandal sweeping across our news feeds. Parents have paid enormous sums of money to have their students fraudulently admitted to elite colleges.  They have doctored test scores, bribed consultants, coaches and admissions staff.  It’s the latest, most outrageous development in the college admissions parental involvement saga.

Parental reputations have progressed from what Laura Hamilton, author of Parenting to a Degree  calls “bystander parenting” to helicoptering to snow plow and lawnmower parenting and now to curling and what Dean Julie (Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult) has referred to as drone parenting.

Almost all of us are familiar with helicopter parents who hover over their children to make sure everything is OK – and then swoop in when they need to rescue them.  In case you are less familiar with the other terms, snow plow and lawn mower parents push problems and obstacles out of the way or mow down obstacles to clear a path for their students.  Curling parents go one step further –warming the ice and reducing any friction to help students slide forward in the direction the “sweeper” chooses.  And now, in light of this new scandal, we have drone parents; parents who pick their child up and deposit them where they (the parents) want them to be – sometimes without the student even realizing that it has happened.  And for at least one set of parents, that apparently means a trophy school that comes with bragging rights.

The admissions system is flawed, to be sure. It may even be broken. Hopefully, a lot of people will now be looking long and hard at how students are coached, tested, and admitted to schools. This scandal has shone a light on a host of problems, some illegal and many unethical or at least unfair.

But even as we cast blame on the system and its participants, we need to hold the mirror up to ourselves.

Read moreThe Antidote to “Operation Varsity Blues” Parenting


Book Review: Generation Z: A Century in the Making

From time to time, we like to review some of the books available for parents of college students.  There is a wealth of literature available to help parents cope with the transition to college and the changes that occur throughout the college years.  We’ve offered some lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone. Visit our Resources page for suggestions of important books for college parents and their students.

Generation Z: A Century in the Making is the third book written by Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace about this important generation of students who are our current college, high school, and middle schoolers.  We’re just getting to know this generation, but they are our kids, and we’re surrounded by them – at home and now at work.  The more we understand them as a generation, the better our relationships will be.  We’ve reviewed Seemiller and Grace’s first book, Generation Z Goes to College, but we think this one is important as well.

Generation Z, as defined in this book, includes those students born between 1995 and 2010.

Much like Generation Z Goes to College, this book begins with an overview of generations leading up to Generation Z.  As parents, we can find our own generation, or perhaps the generations of our older children and our own parents, to give context to the discussion of Generation Z.   Holding the mirror up to ourselves can be an interesting exercise!  We like, too, the explanation of how world developments have helped to shape each generation, with a focus on the technology of the time, the societal events, and family relationships.   We understand our students better when we remember those world events which shaped their childhoods, and when we remember that our generation has created the society into which they are born.

Read moreBook Review: Generation Z: A Century in the Making


College Parent News and Views

The more that college parents know and understand about the college experience, the less we worry and the better we will be able to help our students to succeed and thrive throughout their college career.  However, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the web.   We’d like to help you find some of the information that might be most interesting and useful to you as a college parent.

In News and Views we share recent college related news and sources we’ve found as we do our research.  We hope that this feature will help to introduce you to new ideas and to help you keep up with some of the current issues that may affect your college student – and you.

We invite you to read some of the articles suggested below – and to let us know what you think of some of the ideas included here.

Read moreCollege Parent News and Views


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