Parenting Perspective: Getting ready for college
July 25, 2011 (WPVI) -- Parents and teens carrying clothing, books, stereos, appliances and more up steps. Within the next few weeks, it's a scene that will be repeated in dormitories nationwide, as parents drop their teenagers off to start their college careers.
This year, our oldest son, Jason, begins his freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Already, we've taken advantage of the Penn Moves sale to pick up some of the practical items he'll need. A mini-fridge and microwave sit in our garage. We've ordered his new laptop, opened up a checking account, and I found a great deal on those extra-long twin sheets and a new comforter.
He's also received his dorm assignment and chatted with his roommate-to-be on Facebook, which college officials say is a great way for teens to relieve some of the freshman jitters.
Dr. Stephanie Ives, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Temple University, says, "Now, with Facebook and Twitter, there are intentional efforts to have students communicate even beofre they reach college campuses, so they really start building those relationships and getting some of their concerns and worreis out of the way even before they reach the campus itself."
But this summer isn't just a transition for students like Jason. It's a big transition time for parents like us, who are giving up day-to-day control of their children's lives.
Ives says, "It is a time for change for parents as well and we absolutely appreciate what they are going through and we also want them to know that it's best to let their child develop autonomy, and find out who they are, independent of the family. And this is a wonderful time of life for them to do that."
She adds that parents need to communicate that they will always be there to support their college students, but also urge them to use the resources provided by the school to work through challenges and solve problems.
"We want to make sure we provide excellent services for students that parents know they can rely on and that if the student has an issue, the parent can say, 'Why don't you call the resident assistant, or your academic adviser or the Dean's office and ask for help?' and the person on the other end will be able to help them," Ives says.
Feel free to share your advice to incoming freshman in the comments area below, or on my Facebook page.Read more Parenting Perspective blogs by visiting the Parenting Channel on 6abc.com.
amy buckman parenting reports, parenting, amy buckman
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