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.
Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage by Kelly Radi is an easy-to-read, helpful book for parents about to send their child off to college. Radi uses the metaphor of a ship setting sail to help parents understand, and become more comfortable with, the process of helping their child start out, and succeed, in college.
Part One of the book, Preparing to Set Sail, is a good reminder to parents that any good voyage requires preparation. We like the practical advice that Radi provides, as well as her ability to help parents grapple with defining their own role. The “helicopter parent” quiz in chapter 2 is particularly telling, and takes this often overused term and defines what it looks like in students’ and parents’ real life. Parents can find out early how much of their own work they may need to do to help launch their child. What follows is great practical advice on everything from money discussions, what to pack, and how to think about getting around campus.