The College Parent Central Year in Review: Thirteen Favorite Articles of 2013

It’s that time of year when we can’t quite decide whether to look backwards at the year that is just ending or to look ahead at the year about to begin.  We probably need to do a little bit of both.  Looking back gives us some perspective to look ahead, and think about our goals and plans for the new year based on where we’ve come.

So before we look ahead, make plans, make resolutions we probably won’t keep, or set goals for 2014, we’d like to take a moment to look back at some of our favorite articles for 2013.  Some are College Parent Central posts, and others are a few of the articles we’ve shared in our monthly News and Views.  These are the articles that, to us, speak most about the essence of the college parent role and/or speak to those ideas and issues that most affect the way we relate to our college sons and daughters.

We invite you to take a few minutes to review these articles, and to think about how you view your role.  How have you grown into the role over the past year?  Where might you and your college student go next year?

College Parent Central posts

  • In January 2013, we shared a post on the Three Essential Elements of College Parental Support.  There’s a lot we do as college parents, and paring it down to 3 elements wasn’t easy.  But thinking about the essential elements of insisting on honesty, encouraging ownership by our student, and being there no matter what, seems to us to get to the heart of college parenting.
  • As college parents, we always worry about how our student will fare in college.  When things go wrong, we’re sometimes at a loss.  Over the years, we’ve written several posts about academic dismissal, academic probation, and withdrawing from college.  In January 2013 we had a post suggesting Ten Steps for Moving On after academic dismissal.  While we hope that you never need that article, if you and your student do find yourselves in this situation, we hope that this article will help you find a way to turn the situation around.
  • In May 2013 we shared an article about the Why Studying the Arts in College Matters.  In an age when we are all focused on getting that job after college, we hope you’ll take time to explore all of the advantages that studying the arts can give your student.  There’s much more there than meets the eye!
  • One of the most important questions we can ask our college-bound student is one of the questions we often forget to ask: Why College?  If you haven’t asked your student that question, take some time to read our July 2013 post and then take time to ask your student the question.  Your student may be surprised by how difficult the question might be to answer — and you may be surprised at what you hear.
  • In September 2013 we wrote a post about the Importance of the First Six Weeks of College.  Of course, we all know that the transition is a big one and that some students navigate the change more easily than others.  Read about the importance of those first six weeks — and what you can do to help that time go more smoothly.
  • Finally, this past month, we’ve just shared an article about Holding Your Advice and thinking more about being a sounding board for your student than an advice giver.  It may be just what your student needs right now.  We think the idea of being a thinking partner and helping your student explore his own ideas can open up some interesting and important doors for both of you.


Other important/interesting articles

We like to share interesting articles with you each month.  Each article gives an interesting perspective and/or share valuable information that may be helpful.  There are seven articles from this past year that we think are particularly valuable.  Perhaps you’ve seen these, or perhaps you missed them the first time around.  Take a few minutes to read them now.

Don’t miss this son’s words to his mother near the end of this article.  Humbling reminder to many of us.

A very nice essay about motherhood as children grow up and grow independent.  Make sure that you read all the way to the end.

There are things that parents can do while students are still in high school to help them make the adjustment to college more successfully.  Help your student think about how to approach academics.

A very important and insightful look at the true value of a liberal arts education, and an appeal that we look beyond the bottom line.

Great advice for parents of new college students experiencing conflicting emotions.

Of course, no one you know has done any of these things.  But some good reminders anyway.

Whether or not you actually craft an entire mission statement, this is a guide of some things to consider and why it is worth thinking about your goals as the parent of a young adult.

What was your favorite article or college parenting idea in 2013?  Feel free to leave a comment.  Let’s get a conversation started.

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