Book Review: A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens

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 created lists of recommended reading, and there is something for everyone.  See our Resources and Tools page for suggestions.

This month we’re looking at a book that isn’t specifically about college parenting, but will be helpful to all parents as you live through those teenage years and prepare for the college years.  A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens by Joani Geltman is subtitled Talking to Your Kids About Sexting, Drinking, Drugs, and Other Things That Freak You Out.  Parents often do “freak out” as they approach the college years and this book may help them feel a little more comfortable.

Geltman is a psychologist who has both worked with parents for several years, but also taught college students.  She looks at teen issues and parenting as a professional counselor, a college instructor, and a parent.  We think this triple perspective is part of what makes this book so helpful.  Geltman’s style is down-to-earth, no-nonsense, practical and easy to read.

Read moreBook Review: A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens


The Good, the Bad, (and Sometimes the Ugly) of the First Year College Experience

Much happens for students as they attempt to make the transition from high school to college.  It is often a tumultuous time.  Some students make this transition relatively smoothly, while others struggle throughout their first year of college.  Results of a study of first year students were released in early October and may help parents better understand the nature of the transition and first year students’ experiences.

This past spring, Harris Poll conducted an online survey of 1,502 U.S. college students to better understand their experiences during their first year at college.  Very simply, the poll was an attempt to examine the challenges and triumphs that students face during their first year.  The study was commissioned by the JED Foundation, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and The Jordan Porco Foundation, and was administered last spring to high school graduates between the ages of 17-20, currently attending their second semester of college.

Essentially, this study attempted to address several areas:

  • Determine students’ levels of preparedness for college
  • Identify student challenges during transition
  • Pinpoint students’ main sources of support
  • Uncover the skills, education and information that students need for easier adjustment

Parents of current or future college students can consider some of the findings of this poll in order to think about important conversations with their student.  Some issues might be addressed with local schools as well.  How can we help our students currently enrolled in college, and how can we better prepare future college students?  What role do colleges, high schools and parents play in addressing some of the issues first year students face?

Read moreThe Good, the Bad, (and Sometimes the Ugly) of the First Year College Experience


Five Conversations You and Your Student Should Have as You Begin the College Admission Process

Your high school student is about to embark on the college admission journey.  And of course, as your student embarks on this journey, you will be along for the ride. Congratulations!

You will inevitably hit some bumps along the way, but the journey can be a meaningful one as well.  If you’re hoping to minimize the bumps and maximize the rewarding parts, it’s important that you and your student have some discussions before you set out.  As with any journey, having an itinerary and a map helps the trip go smoothly, but so does being open to some detours and side trips along the way.

As you and your student get ready to begin the admission process, we’d like to suggest five conversations that will help you both prepare. Don’t try to fit everything in at once, give yourselves time to talk and think, but addressing these topics early in the process with help prepare everyone for what might lie ahead.

Read moreFive Conversations You and Your Student Should Have as You Begin the College Admission Process


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