Information for the parents of college students
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Posts from — August 2011

Helicopter Parent – It’s Official!

It’s official.  The term “helicopter parent” has made it into the new Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary.  According to the publishers of the dictionary, the term has finally reached the “lexicographical tipping point.”  There are a lot of helicopter parents out there, and there is a lot being said about helicopter parents.

According to the new edition of the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the term helicopter parent was first used in 1989 and means: a parent who is overly involved in the life of his or her child. The term is not limited to college parents, but many college parents have clearly earned the title.  We find the important word in this definition to be “overly.” There is nothing wrong with being involved in your college student’s life, the difficulty is when that involvement is more than providing support on the sidelines.

We’ve written several earlier posts about college helicopter parents and the importance of the right kind of involvement.  We invite you to take some time to read our posts and think about whether the “overly” word applies to your involvement with your student.

Interestingly, at the same time that helicopter parent has entered the dictionary, so has the term “boomerang child.”  First coming into use in 1988, this term refers to a child who returns to live in the family home, especially for financial reasons. At a time when some estimate as many as 87% of college graduates are returning home to live, at least for a while, the term refers to an experience common in many homes around the country.

Read our earlier post on boomerang kids to help you cope and/or prepare for what has almost become an inevitable phase for many college graduates.


August 27, 2011   No Comments

Is Your College Student Getting in His Own Way?

There are many sources of challenges students face as they navigate their college careers, but sometimes the challenges may be of their own making.  Sometimes, students seem to undermine themselves by making assumptions or restricting their choices. These students may need help from someone to get out of their own way. As a college parent, you may be able to help your student move forward more successfully.

Most students eventually succeed in college in spite of bumps and potholes along the way.  For some students the transition may be more difficult than others, some students may struggle academically, some may have challenges socially, and others face personal difficulties.  For a lucky few, the transition goes smoothly, academics are workable and personal and social life come together.

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August 24, 2011   No Comments

Saving Money on Outfitting Your College Student’s Dorm Room

College today is expensive.  There is no way around it.  Parents and students both are working to finance the cost of college tuition and fees, piecing together financial aid through scholarships, grants and loans.  Many students, and their parents, may be dismayed to think about the additional costs of outfitting the ideal college dorm room.

Your college student will need to make some purchases to furnish her dorm room.  Decorating that first “home away from home” is part of the college experience.  However, there are some ways in which your student can pare down the costs of the decorating process.  Here are a few suggestions to discuss with your student as you both prepare for Move-in Day.

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August 16, 2011   No Comments

Roundup of Helpful Posts for August 2011

As a college parent, you are trying to learn many things about the world of college, trying to help your student make a successful transition – either to the first year of college or to a subsequent year of college or even a new college, trying to determine how you can be most helpful as part of the college equation, and trying to remember that this is a time of transition for you as well.  There seems to be so much to try to take in and to juggle.

As we begin this busy month just before your college student heads off to school, we offer a collection of posts that may be most helpful at this busy and sometimes stressful time of preparation and leave-taking.

Be sure to check out our Roundup for August 2009 and August 2010 for more helpful information for this time of year.  This current Roundup contains posts written in the past year, since last August

You may find some posts more helpful than others – and some of what you consider helpful may depend on your individual student and where she is in her college journey.  Take some time to read and review any of these posts which seem to speak to you, and you will be well-armed for the month ahead.

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August 10, 2011   1 Comment