Calling parents of college kids everywhere: I’m talking to you. Disclaimer: I’m sorry, but listen up and take heed. Here’s a comprehensive list of the kind of parents you just don’t want to be if you’ve got a kid in college.
- The Helicopter Parent. This is a classic type of parent, and more times than not it tends to be a burden on students. Don’t get me wrong, caring is a good thing, and I totally understand that if you’re hovering over your kid’s college career it’s because you mean the best. But college really is about finding independence and learning from successes and failures alike. So do what you can to find the perfect balance between semi-involved and overdoing it. It’ll make everyone happy in the long run.
- The “Did You Do Your Homework?” Parent. Similar to the helicopter parent, this culprit asks their kid every night if they did or if they’re doing their homework. If you want your college student to be successful—as well as responsible—they have to take matters into their own hands, or at least learn to remind themselves to get their work done. Give them the chance and they’ll prove they’re just fine without an authoritative reminder.
- The “I Want to Go Back to College” Parent. Of course, it’s good to think back fondly on your glory days, but you shouldn’t be reliving your college life alongside your kid. Memory lane should stay in your brain, so don’t get too excited when you hear your college student might have been socializing a little too much on the weekend. It’s your job to let them know it’s not the best idea to get out of control, after all.
- The Human Pocketbook. While an allowance—or “living stipend—is okay, it might be best to make it a thing of the past. In other words, college-aged students should be at least trying to land a job, even if it’s a simple work-study or school-related one. Not only do they put their own cash in their own pocket, but they also start to build up their resumes—all on their own accord. It’s a win-win.
- The “I Can’t Believe This Stuff Actually Happens” Parent. If you went to college then you already know: kids make mistakes, and a college campus isn’t necessarily always the prettiest, or most virtuous. But as long as your kid is being safe and taking on responsibility, and even maturing, then try to practice a little patience, if you can.