Posts from — November 2016
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.
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November 30, 2016 No Comments
It’s that time of year again. Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. We’re thinking about family and friends and we’re thinking about gifts. If you have a college student, or an about-to-be college student, you may be searching for some ideas for useful or fun gifts.
You know your student best, and can tap into interests and needs, but we’d like to offer some suggestions that may stimulate your imagination. We have some new suggestions for 2016, but we’ve offered some suggestions in the past. Don’t stop with this post! Check out our earlier posts for additional suggestions – most are timeless and still good ideas.
Check out our ideas, and then let your own creativity take over!
November 28, 2016 No Comments
Yes, parents, colleges are talking about you. In this age of constant communication between students and their parents, this age of increased parental involvement in many aspects of their students’ lives, and this age of growing concern over student success and persistence in college, institutions are continuing their quest to find ways to reach out to and engage the parents of college students.
This may sound strange as we hear so much about helicopter parents and snowplow parents. Aren’t institutions trying to discourage parents, to get them to “let go?” The answer is, “no.” Colleges want parents to connect to the institution and to engage with the school – and with their students – in appropriate ways. And they are realizing that parents may need help discovering how to do that.
This month, the Association of Higher Education Parent Program Professionals (AHEPPP) held its fifth annual conference in Boulder, Colorado. Nearly 200 college personnel gathered to discuss the parent programming at their institutions. Many of the individuals at the conference have as their sole job description working with the parents of students at their institutions. So, parents, don’t think for a moment that your student’s institution doesn’t care about you – beyond your tuition dollars.
November 21, 2016 No Comments
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 Gift of Failure, by Jessica Lahey, is an important book, not only for parents of college-aged students, but to parents with younger children as well. This book highlights an essential, and often missing, element of today’s childhood – failure. As the title suggests, allowing our children – whether they are toddlers or college students – to fail, as painful as that may be for us, can be one of the best gifts we can give them.
Lahey acknowledges that as students get older, the stakes get higher, and it becomes more difficult to watch them struggle and potentially fail at college essays, college courses, and job interviews. The earlier the work can begin, the better. But it is never too late. It is difficult and sometimes frightening work for parents, but it is necessary.
November 18, 2016 No Comments
Distractions. We’re surrounded by them in today’s world. Children, students, adults: no one is immune to the constant bombardment and the temptation to try to go in many different directions at once. We check our phones and social media, we send and receive texts, and we multitask. (How else would we ever get anything done?) Some of us thrive on the energy – or at least we think we do. Others lament the intrusion and wish we could shut the world out on occasion. But whether we like it or not, we live in a distracted society.
What’s the problem?
The distractions we live with day to day can separate us from the present moment. As we experience these distractions more and more, we lose, or at least weaken, our ability to be present now, where we find ourselves. And although we all experience this separation, it can be even more of a problem for our college students.
For instance, several studies have indicated some alarming statistics about students and their phones. One study suggests that students check their phones on average every 11 minutes. Another found that students check their phones 11.43 times each day while they are in class. Still another study found that 40% of students said they would be incapable of going more than 10 minutes without checking their phones. So clearly students are attached to their phones, to their social media, to their texts. And in reality, so are many of their parents.
November 14, 2016 No Comments
We want our students to have good careers when they graduate. We’ve worked hard to get them through their early years of school and to send them to college. We are ready for them to launch. But are they prepared?
For the most part, the answer is yes. Students who take their college work seriously, who take advantage of opportunities and of resources available, graduate ready for their career. The schools that our students attend, from kindergarten through high school and then college, work to give students the education that they need. However, students and parents alike may be surprised to learn that some of the skills that benefit students the most in their careers are not learned in the classroom.
Parents can have a lasting influence on how their students learn the key skills that will help them succeed. Some recent studies have shed light on the importance of some of these “softer” skills. We think it’s important for parents to see this information so that they recognize the value of their influence.
November 7, 2016 No Comments