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Article about parents' (over)involvement in the lives of their college students


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#1 Hoggirl

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:57 PM

https://www.theatlan...-parent/527097/

What do you think?

I'm sure I am giving plenty of unsolicited advice to ds about all sorts of things, but I can't even imagine this level of involvement. He either takes my advice or he doesn't - his choice. I can't fathom contacting his school directly about anything other than paying a bill.

I'm always amazed at parents who have access to their children's college log-ins and check on grades, etc.

You either trust your young adult children to figure things out or you don't.
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#2 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:00 PM

Ds pays his own bills. Even if I might reimburse him.


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#3 Hoggirl

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:02 PM

Ds pays his own bills. Even if I might reimburse him.


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We have to pay the school directly lest we incur the need to file a gift tax return.
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#4 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:13 PM

We have to pay the school directly lest we incur the need to file a gift tax return.

 

Ah.  So far, with the exception of helping to pay for some of his books, ds has actually paid for his school out of his own money.  When he was tapped out and needed the book help, then we reimbursed him then so that he wouldn't be overdrawn.  That may change though.  I will keep the gift tax in mind. 



#5 snowbeltmom

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:33 PM

My son calls me every day, but our conversations mainly revolve around his extracurricular activities.  I am completely hands-off with any type of academic advising, and I would have no idea how to log into any of his accounts to check his grades even if I wanted to, which I don't. 

 

I have no contact with the school, and my son would be mortified if I did.

 

 


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#6 Kinsa

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:35 PM

At every single freshman orientation that I took my kids to, I was always pressured into joining the college parent association. Like PTA on steroids, I guess. I looked at them like they were crazy. There's no way I want or need to share the college experience with my kids.
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#7 Kinsa

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:37 PM

Also, I don't monitor grades. I only monitor the student account. And I require my boys to call me each Sunday afternoon, because I don't think that requiring one phone call per week is asking to much. Lol
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#8 Hoggirl

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:43 PM

Also, I don't monitor grades. I only monitor the student account. And I require my boys to call me each Sunday afternoon, because I don't think that requiring one phone call per week is asking to much. Lol


Same!

#9 snowbeltmom

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:46 PM

At every single freshman orientation that I took my kids to, I was always pressured into joining the college parent association. Like PTA on steroids, I guess. I looked at them like they were crazy. There's no way I want or need to share the college experience with my kids.

This!  After sharing the homeschooling experience with them, I am too exhausted to share the college experience, too.  I am more than happy to pass the total responsibility off to my kids at that point.


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#10 whitestavern

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

At every single freshman orientation that I took my kids to, I was always pressured into joining the college parent association. Like PTA on steroids, I guess. I looked at them like they were crazy. There's no way I want or need to share the college experience with my kids.

 

Wow, I never imagined there even was such a thing! That's cray-cray.


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#11 Jenny in Florida

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:57 PM

This is timely for me, since I am spending this afternoon working through my options for dealing with my son's foot dragging. I was actually coming here to post about the issue, even though I feel pretty sure I know what the majority of the advice I receive will be.

 

In theory, I recognize that he is an adult and should be in charge of his college career. And trust me when I tell you that I would vastly prefer to be hands off at this point. But the reality is that he has proven he can't/won't manage the process on his own, and his dad and I are unwilling to throw away educational opportunities. 

 

In my son's case, he does anywhere from fine to great once he's actually enrolled, but year after year, he runs the risk of not going to school at all because he can't be bothered to do the paperwork and jump through the necessary hoops. So, year after year, I hold out longer and longer before getting involved, try harder and harder to let the chips fall, stand by while he misses a few more deadlines and allows a few more doors to close, hoping to see a fire lit under him. To date, though, despite occasional flickers, the flames haven't caught.

 

Sigh. Sorry. I'll go start my own thread.


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#12 Hoggirl

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:59 PM

Ah. So far, with the exception of helping to pay for some of his books, ds has actually paid for his school out of his own money. When he was tapped out and needed the book help, then we reimbursed him then so that he wouldn't be overdrawn. That may change though. I will keep the gift tax in mind.

Excellent! That's wonderful!

The annual exclusion for gift taxes is $14,000 per person. You can give $14,000 to as many people as you want! Haha! Husband and wife can each give $14,000 to each kiddo for a total of $28,000 per kid.

Even if you give more than that, you don't have to *pay* a gift tax, but the amount over that $14,000 exclusion amount reduces the amount of the overall estate tax exemption (I may be a bit rusty on this - consult your financial advisors-I make no warranties!) allowed on death. At least, this is my recollection. Consult your tax advisors! Lol.

Basically, if a kid's COA is > $28,000 (for married parents), the school should be paid directly. That avoids the gift tax issue completely.

I will say that my niece's college bills were under this amount and sil and bil would just give $ to niece and she would remit herself. That worked fine until she stopped attending her university and didn't bother to tell them until a year later!

Edited by Hoggirl, 20 May 2017 - 08:32 AM.

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#13 MerryAtHope

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:50 PM

https://www.theatlan...-parent/527097/

What do you think?

I'm sure I am giving plenty of unsolicited advice to ds about all sorts of things, but I can't even imagine this level of involvement. He either takes my advice or he doesn't - his choice. I can't fathom contacting his school directly about anything other than paying a bill.

I'm always amazed at parents who have access to their children's college log-ins and check on grades, etc.

You either trust your young adult children to figure things out or you don't.

 

I'm somewhere in between this and the article! I'm with the article in that the money (though we pay nowhere near 65,000) is way too much when compared to our income and life circumstances for me not to be involved. If I'm going to help pay, I'm going to coach my kids through some things. And frankly, even if I'm not going to help pay (which is the intention when my kids transfer), I'm still going to coach my kids through some things, because that's too much debt for a young person without the benefit of some wisdom. For me, it's not about trust--it's about making sure they are set up in life with a solid foundation, and ushered into adulthood well. I've seen kids who received coaching on things I had never even thought about coaching--how to navigate various things--and have been impressed at how far ahead that puts the kids from where I was in trying to figure things out on my own in my late teens/early twenties. I agree with this quote: "Kids with more involved parents were more likely to finish college and find good paying jobs after graduation."

 

Now, I do think wake-up calls are ridiculous! If that's the type of "involvement" a kid needs, I'd question whether they are ready for college! But I do have my kids log-in info (and they know I do, and they know I will check grades). I don't care about individual scores etc... but I do watch for midterm grades, and actually helped walk ds through a situation this spring. I know what he would have done on his own (and he knows it too)--he would have freaked out internally, and either not asked for help fixing a situation, or asked too late because he thinks he should just magically know things without asking questions. That's why he didn't ask for help at the first sign of trouble (making it still a "live and learn" situation). 

 

But my goal is to work myself out of a job. I don't do things *for* my kids at this stage--we do it together with me gradually helping less and them gradually doing more until they are ready to take it over themselves. 


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#14 Laura Corin

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:00 PM

We speak to Calvin every week.  My niece is a vlogger and did a really good video about how homesick she was in her first term - her parents had no idea and were giving her space, while she could really have done with more of a connection.  I don't follow Calvin's grades or anything.

 


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#15 fourisenough

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:00 PM

I got a direct-mail piece from Hillsdale College recently (it was addressed to me by name). I'm paraphrasing here, but it was promoting the 5 promises they make to parents of Hillsdale students. One of them was that they will send you (the parents) every report card. I was dumb-founded. It felt so much like elementary school. I have NO interest in getting my student's report cards. Not my job anymore. Obviously since we're helping to fund her education, SHE owes us an update at the end of each semester, but it struck me as wrong-headed that the college would circumvent that by sending grades directly to us. I've been around these boards long-enough to know that not everyone shares my opinion and some would actually really be attracted to this school for this reason. Different strokes and all that...
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#16 MerryAtHope

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:22 PM

My niece is a vlogger and did a really good video about how homesick she was in her first term - her parents had no idea and were giving her space, while she could really have done with more of a connection.  

 

She did do a great job-very fun to listen to. I teared up when she wanted to go home and her folks were not going to be there! But glad she stuck it out and is doing well now :-).


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#17 Laura Corin

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:35 PM

She did do a great job-very fun to listen to. I teared up when she wanted to go home and her folks were not going to be there! But glad she stuck it out and is doing well now :-).


She's now running the social media for an environmental charity, so she got her wish to move into that field too.
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#18 MerryAtHope

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:52 PM

She's now running the social media for an environmental charity, so she got her wish to move into that field too.

That sounds like an awesome fit with her obvious social media skills combined with her interests!


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#19 reefgazer

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:54 PM

I don't consider myself a helicopter parent, but I am a good steward of my money. If I am going to be laying out tens of thousands of dollars a year for an education, I expect to get what I pay for. So if the school is not delivering on something that I'm paying for and my children are unable to access something that we paid for, then yes, I'll make a stink about it. I will also require I be given access to my child's grade logs to be certain that my money is not being wasted; if they don't want to give me the access, then they can pay for their education themselves. It's like dumping your money into a mutual fund and then not pay attention to the returns. I don't look at this is helicoptering; I look at this as making sure I'm getting what I paid for (that is, that the school is delivering what they promised as far as services, and that my child is doing the work necessary to get the grades and degree for all the money I'm paying out). I do not plan on being active in any parent club, monitoring my kids social media, or demanding a phone call every day. But my money is another story, LOL.

Edited by reefgazer, 19 May 2017 - 05:00 PM.

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#20 Julie of KY

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:04 PM

I consider it my job to continue to coach my teens as I have more life experience than them. I'm not their academic counselor, but I might remind them when it's a good time to go talk to one about a problem. I don't plan to micromanage their life, but I will still give life and school advice.


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#21 Lori D.

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:27 PM

This is timely for me, since I am spending this afternoon working through my options for dealing with my son's foot dragging. I was actually coming here to post about the issue, even though I feel pretty sure I know what the majority of the advice I receive will be.

 

In theory, I recognize that he is an adult and should be in charge of his college career. And trust me when I tell you that I would vastly prefer to be hands off at this point. But the reality is that he has proven he can't/won't manage the process on his own, and his dad and I are unwilling to throw away educational opportunities. 

 

In my son's case, he does anywhere from fine to great once he's actually enrolled, but year after year, he runs the risk of not going to school at all because he can't be bothered to do the paperwork and jump through the necessary hoops. So, year after year, I hold out longer and longer before getting involved, try harder and harder to let the chips fall, stand by while he misses a few more deadlines and allows a few more doors to close, hoping to see a fire lit under him. To date, though, despite occasional flickers, the flames haven't caught.

 

Sigh. Sorry. I'll go start my own thread.

 

:grouphug: Jenny, please be gentle with yourself. Your DS is very young -- only 18yo from your signature. I think there are very few teens who are gifted enough academically to college full time starting at age 16 AND be gifted administratively/organizationally to have all those deadlines and paperwork lined up and checked off. And some people NEVER have that second aspect figured out.

 

You also have a DS who is in the midst of changing his mind about what he wants to do career-wise. That is absolutely going to impact him as far as delaying on getting deadlines met, if he's not 100% sure this is what he wants to do and is excited about it.

 

From your many past posts, I think you have done an admirable job of walking that fine line of coaching a very young college student, and have never fallen into helicoptering. :)

 

 

I'm with MerryAtHope and Julie of KY on this one. For one thing, college paperwork, costs, and websites are FAR more complicated than decades ago when I was in college. But mainly, like Merry and Julie, I have 2 DSs who really aren't the best at admin. stuff and are growing into these skills. Both have told me they appreciate occasional double-checks to make sure they don't forget something, but neither wants to miss out on whatever the opportunity is that they're applying for, or have to school longer than needed. So no helicoptering here, but every once in awhile, when a series of deadlines is coming up, I do breeze into the room and casually ask "So, last week you were saying you were signing up for _____. How did that go?" or "So, what was it you said needed to happen for getting set up for ______; I forget -- when you say when the deadline on that was? And did you need any info from us for any paperwork?"

 

 

:grouphug: Jenny -- I think you're doing a great job! Warmest regards, Lori D.


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#22 Sadie

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:43 PM

I've had precisely one contact with dd's school - when she was in hospital over exam period, and I had to find out what to do. That was with dd's permission, of course.

 

Other than that, it's her biz. 

 

I did do a bit of hand holding around initial enrolment, which I think is reasonable.

 

I don't remind re assignments, exams, check grades, any of that. Tbh, if you are neurotypical, and not able to handle the responsibility of your own educational admin, maybe you shouldn't be at college yet ? I see plenty of kids who'd do better with a couple of years out in the world to mature a little more. I'd have no hesitation in suggesting this to a dc who wasn't managing her own uni admin beyond the first month or so.

 

I would do more hand holding as required for dc who were not neurotypical.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Sadie, 19 May 2017 - 06:47 PM.

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#23 Pawz4me

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:45 PM

DH is much more helicopter-ish when it comes to college than I am (but he's still not bad). I was glad to be done with that when they finished high school! I know he (we) have an account for paying tuition, seeing expenses, etc. I remember discussing the boys' giving us proxies to see their grades but I don't know if they did or not. It makes no difference to me at all -- if I want to know how their grades are I ask and they tell. It's not like they're ten and I'm going to blow a gasket over a less than stellar grade. It's college, not elementary school and sometimes it's HARD. And they know I understand that. If I don't hear from DS21 every two weeks or so I'll shoot him a "what's happening?" text and then we'll usually text back and forth for awhile catching up. I texted more frequently when he was a freshman and gradually backed off as he got more acclimated, made more friends and got a lot busier. I expect I'll do the same thing with DS18.


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#24 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:37 PM

I haven't had even a twinge towards being helicoptery. But Ds lives at home while going to college and tells me things like his grades without me asking. And he asks for advice. So I give it. And then I sit back to see what he will decide to do. Despite being an Aspie I am very impressed with how well he has navigated this first year. The first time he got behind in a class I suggested that he talk to his prof about it but he set up the appointment etc. After that he's handled any communication with professors totally on his own.


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Edited by Jean in Newcastle, 19 May 2017 - 07:38 PM.

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#25 Attolia

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:24 AM

We speak to Calvin every week.  My niece is a vlogger and did a really good video about how homesick she was in her first term - her parents had no idea and were giving her space, while she could really have done with more of a connection.  I don't follow Calvin's grades or anything.

 

 

 

Oh my, she's adorable.  


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#26 Attolia

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:27 AM

DD will call and text often about random things and social things because we are very close.  I had no plans to ever contact advising or professors or anything.  Please tell me I don't have to do anything like that?  :ph34r:  :ph34r:  :ph34r:   I so don't want to be that involved. 


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#27 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 09:17 AM

I have never been involved in my kids' lives on campus.  But, I can tell you right now that if dd goes into a full blown flare at school, I will be.  I am already doing something I have never done before--I am going to orientation.  Not to go to orientation, but we have appts set up with the student health center and the disabilities office.  When she is in a flare, she is so sick that things go right over her head.so she wouldn't necessarily remember accurately what they have said to her. We are going to make sure that all the correct paper work is signed while we are there so that I can speak to them about her health issues.  We also have to work out how to get her meds shipped to their health center.

 

 


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#28 DebbS

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 09:42 AM

I don't check on their progress during the semester nor do I wake my kids up in the morning. But I do check over their course selections to make sure that they are on track to graduate on time. Both of my kids appreciate my input given they have both been misled by their advisers especially in the area of the general requirements needed to graduate. I hear of too many students who end up having to take an extremely heavy senior year or even an additional semester in order to fulfill the general requirements of their degree.


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#29 teachermom2834

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:01 AM

I consider my ds very responsible and independent. I don't check grades but he tells me. He also asks me to look over his course selections but I am mostly just listening. He likes to bounce things off me but he always has it under control and I just confirm he is on the right track. I do give reminders like "make sure you know when registration opens" or "remember to make sure there are no holds on your account" or ask questions like "when do you register for housing? " I frequently ask if he needs anything from us. None of that feels like over involvement to me. He does know plenty of kids with more involved parents. One kid gets a wake up call from his mom every morning and she flys in once a month and cleans his room.

I would give more support if necessary. My second kid might need more reminders. I can picture looking online and seeing a registration date coming up and informing him of when it is or actually looking at his account for him to make sure there are no holds. But I would not actually do any of it for him. I would not check grades unless I suspected a serious problem. That feels personal. Even if we are paying I don't feel the need to check midterm grades. That is theirs to manage and work out by the end of the semester. Now...I am sure if I thought there was a serious problem and our guidance could help a kid salvage a grade or take a W , I might access the grades.

I almost participated in the housing lottery for first ds and his roommates. Lol. They are athletes and had a game during their assigned time. But I wouldn't have called that helicoptering. They had a conflict and thought I was the most trustworthy person to secure their housing for them.

With all things teen and young adult related I find myself saying "it depends" as far as what kind of support we will offer and how involved we will be. I don't really want to be involved -so it is for their benefit if we are. Not because we need to control or be in the know on everything.
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#30 Kinsa

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:12 AM

The mom flies in once a month to clean the dorm room??? Wow.

Eta: Does the student have some sort of disability? Even at that, it would probably be more economical to just hire someone local to do it.

Edited by Kinsa, 20 May 2017 - 10:13 AM.


#31 Caroline

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:15 AM

The mom flies in once a month to clean the dorm room??? Wow.

Eta: Does the student have some sort of disability? Even at that, out would probably be more economical to just hire someone local to do it.


My nephew has a college friend who is the son of a celebrity. Said celebrity comes to do his son's laundry every once in a while. My sister just laughed when her son thought that would be leverage to get her to do his laundry.

That said, I did join the parents group for my son's school.

#32 teachermom2834

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:15 AM

The mom flies in once a month to clean the dorm room??? Wow.

Eta: Does the student have some sort of disability? Even at that, it would probably be more economical to just hire someone local to do it.


No disability as far as anyone knows. I asked ds that and he said that his only disability is his parents doing everything for him.
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#33 Plum Crazy

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:33 AM

As homeschoolers and parents, we see first hand how kids progress at different rates. Some kids read at an early age and some don't start until 8 or 9. Is it really that fair to cut them off at 18 no matter what? Different kids require different levels of involvement. I have a feeling all 3 of my kids will have different needs at 18, some much more than others. Our job is to get them to the point where they can be self-reliant. It's easy to think someone is overstepping, when they don't really have the whole story and are judging from the outside.

When I turned 18, the only support I got was financial. It was up to me to enroll myself, make a plan, figure out a balance between job and school. I can't say that was the best thing. I made a lot of mistakes and floundered. And I was in a rush to grow up and get out of the house. Dh had no one at 18. No family to fall back on or provide guidance. He had to put himself through school. He ended up sleeping on a friends couch for a year. Neither one of want that for our kids, but we want to be there when they need us and give them the space to discover what they want for themselves.

As a parent of a kid that is dual-enrolled full time, I have to check grades halfway through the semester as part of the program. Once he's enrolled as a degree-seeking college student, I won't need or want to monitor his grades. I'm sure he'll share with me if he wants to. Mostly, he'll need help with the paperwork end of it like making sure he meets all of the important deadlines having to do with admissions and financial aid.

The Middle had an episode where the mom reminded Sue by email she had to turn in her financial aid package and Sue forgot. She was kicked out of all of her classes and had to beg for them to let her back in. They would, at full price. This isn't such an uncommon scenario as we'd like to believe. This is every parent's nightmare. There is too much money involved, hoop jumping and pressure on kids these days to not worry about them forgetting some huge thing that impacts the whole family.
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#34 winterbaby

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 11:28 AM

 Is it really that fair to cut them off at 18 no matter what?

 

The "For $65,000..." at the beginning of the article tells the whole story to me. Families don't get in a position to pay that much cash, let alone accumulate intergenerational wealth, by following the "sink or swim the minute you turn eighteen" rule. And who made that rule anyway? Is it really to our benefit? It's not a law; the age of majority is the result of a mish-mash of policy decisions in different areas, and has shifted historically. It's not an expression of an unchanging moral code. Our family will use our own discretion TYVM.

 

That said, I think there is a hard boundary around actual academic work and relationships. (But one I see people talk openly about pushing.)


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#35 Hoggirl

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:38 PM

I certainly think one should always remain available to assist adult children, but, as they get older, those times where assistance is needed should be fewer and farther between. We have the weekly phone call with ds, and dh ends every conversation with, "Is there anything you need from us?" Usually the answer is, "I don't think so."

We have been helping ds navigate the steps for obtaining summer housing for his internship. For one thing, he couldn't do it without us as he needed a guarantor. Additionally, this is completely new territory for him - an area he has no experience with. He and his buddy did a good job researching and finding a place, but there have been a few questions about the process - e.g., getting renter's insurance. So, I don't think I'm in the "sink or swim" category. I am willing for ds to learn from making mistakes. However, not for those that could be expensive (for ME) or unsafe for him. I have heard of students/parents who lost financial aid because of failing to fill out the FAFSA. That would certainly be somthing I would stick my nose in. Likewise, when ds was applying to colleges, I was the one who checked on the necessity of filing the FAFSA for schools where he was offered merit money. Tens of thousands of dollars at stake was something I didn't think a 16-year-old should be in charge of.

What I don't agree with is rescuing young adults from every mistake they make or doing things for them that they should be doing for themselves. OR rescuing them when issues could have been avoided had the student been more pro-active in the first place.

I do agree that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Students with health needs are a great example of what should be an exception to the general rule of being hands-off.

Edited by Hoggirl, 20 May 2017 - 05:42 PM.

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#36 snowbeltmom

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:44 PM

I think there is a big difference between following the "sink or swim the minute your turn 18" and the behavior of the parents in the article.  

When my kids ask for input on something, we definitely give them our opinions.  However, we won't be calling their academic advisor when an interview doesn't happen as quickly as we think it should, nor will we be calling in the morning to make sure that they are out of bed. 

 

 


Edited by snowbeltmom, 20 May 2017 - 12:46 PM.

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#37 Plum Crazy

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 12:58 PM

I think there is a big difference between following the "sink or swim the minute your turn 18" and the behavior of the parents in the article.  

When my kids ask for input on something, we definitely give them our opinions.  However, we won't be calling their academic advisor when an interview doesn't happen as quickly as we think it should, nor will we be calling in the morning to make sure that they are out of bed. 

Well one set of parents are entitled and interfering and the other is supportive while trying not to be intrusive.

 

 

 

Coming from a mostly sink or swim family, my brother moved into his first apartment at 18, signed up for a year lease and then needed to leave after about 4 months because his construction job took him somewhere else so he just left. :leaving: He packed up his stuff and moved out without notifying the lease office figuring they'll know he moved out when he doesn't pay.  He ended up owing a lot of money for back rent and breaking the lease. One of those bonehead things that 18 year olds do because they honestly might not know better. 


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#38 jdahlquist

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 04:15 PM

I have been a college professor for 30 years--so I am now teaching the children of previous students.  I have seen a huge change in parental involvement over those years, and, for the most part, I do not think it is in the best interest of college students.  It may prevent a bad grade on an exam or in a class or keep a student from missing a class from oversleeping, but it interferes with a developmental process. The focus is on making sure every accomplishment is in place rather than whether the student leaves college a different person than when they entered college, even if they had some failures (and growth opportunities) along the way.  

 

DD just finished her junior year of college.  I have never seen a grade report.  I know that her grades are high enough for her to maintain her scholarship, but I have no idea what her current GPA is.  She has shared letters from when she has been congratulated for making the dean's list.  I do agree that any parent who is paying for college has the right to restrict that payment only if certain academic requirements are met if they choose.  That is about telling the student what the expectations are upfront, not micromanaging the outcome.

 

I do ask some questions about class formats, syllabi, etc. because I am interested from a pedagogical standpoint and am always looking for new ideas to adopt for my own classes.  But, I ask these kinds of questions of my nephew, my friends' kids, etc.  

 

 


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#39 winterbaby

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 04:30 PM

Costs have gone up something like 200% over that period. Not only do parents who pay have a right to their standards, but parents whose children are saddling themselves with debt have reason to be anxious that the investment be used effectively.



#40 winterbaby

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 04:35 PM

dp
 


Edited by winterbaby, 20 May 2017 - 04:35 PM.


#41 Hoggirl

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 05:21 PM

Costs have gone up something like 200% over that period. Not only do parents who pay have a right to their standards, but parents whose children are saddling themselves with debt have reason to be anxious that the investment be used effectively.

If you're referring to the post about the last 30 years, it's more like 500%.

I'm not sure what you mean by "right to their standards."

Children, themselves, can only take on a limited amount of debt for undergrad via Stafford loans.

If parents are anxious about a child's ability to get up on his/her own in the morning to get to class, IMO they probably shouldn't be borrowing to send them to college.

Edited by Hoggirl, 20 May 2017 - 05:22 PM.

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#42 winterbaby

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 05:55 PM

If you're referring to the post about the last 30 years, it's more like 500%.

I'm not sure what you mean by "right to their standards."

Children, themselves, can only take on a limited amount of debt for undergrad via Stafford loans.

If parents are anxious about a child's ability to get up on his/her own in the morning to get to class, IMO they probably shouldn't be borrowing to send them to college.

 

Standards: I was affirming PP's point that parents have a right to refuse to pay for a child to go to school who's not keeping up their grades. Or put more gently, to redirect them to where they may be more successful.

 

The figure I heard was 179% in the past twenty years. I don't know if that was adjusted for inflation or not. In any case it is extremely high.

 

The amount a kid can borrow is "limited" relative to some of the sticker price tuitions out there. It is not limited relative to prevailing incomes and the risk of finding oneself without a job that pays well enough to pay the full amount, or a health or personal situation that makes it difficult, having a debt to income ratio or ability to save that greatly delays eligibility for a mortgage, etc. etc. I keep looking on College Data and seeing figures in the $30Ks for average indebtedness across a wide range of institution types. As non-dischargeable debt for a person with no assets or established earning power in a country where the median household income is barely fifty thousand "limited" is not the word I would personally choose. I don't think it's unreasonable for people to feel this is a high stakes proposition and for parents to feel very invested in how it turns out for their children. Same goes for parents who "can" pay, but barely, for whom the choice to do so is an irrevocable turning point in the economic life of the family. People can't afford to spend that much money on personal growth. And there's a lot of gradations short of a kid who can't even get up in the morning. I just don't think there's some sort of character requirement to bravely let the chips fall where they may when it's a question of teenagers and tens of thousands of dollars.



#43 K&Rs Mom

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:41 PM

I got a direct-mail piece from Hillsdale College recently (it was addressed to me by name). I'm paraphrasing here, but it was promoting the 5 promises they make to parents of Hillsdale students. One of them was that they will send you (the parents) every report card. I was dumb-founded. It felt so much like elementary school. I have NO interest in getting my student's report cards. Not my job anymore. Obviously since we're helping to fund her education, SHE owes us an update at the end of each semester, but it struck me as wrong-headed that the college would circumvent that by sending grades directly to us. I've been around these boards long-enough to know that not everyone shares my opinion and some would actually really be attracted to this school for this reason. Different strokes and all that...

This was the case when I went to Hillsdale 20-some years ago.  I was very unhappily surprised when my grades got mailed to my parents, though I was the one paying the bills.  I was angry that my parents opened the envelope (addressed "to the parents of"), but it didn't occur to me at the time that other colleges didn't do this.  At least they put it where I'd get it when I got home, or I would never have known what happened to my report card, because it would not have occurred to me to ask my parents.  I think after that I either convinced the registrar to mail stuff in my name or convinced my parents to not open stuff from my college - can't remember which.

 

I hate that it is just assumed that parents are paying.  



#44 Hoggirl

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:18 PM

Standards: I was affirming PP's point that parents have a right to refuse to pay for a child to go to school who's not keeping up their grades. Or put more gently, to redirect them to where they may be more successful.

The figure I heard was 179% in the past twenty years. I don't know if that was adjusted for inflation or not. In any case it is extremely high.

The amount a kid can borrow is "limited" relative to some of the sticker price tuitions out there. It is not limited relative to prevailing incomes and the risk of finding oneself without a job that pays well enough to pay the full amount, or a health or personal situation that makes it difficult, having a debt to income ratio or ability to save that greatly delays eligibility for a mortgage, etc. etc. I keep looking on College Data and seeing figures in the $30Ks for average indebtedness across a wide range of institution types. As non-dischargeable debt for a person with no assets or established earning power in a country where the median household income is barely fifty thousand "limited" is not the word I would personally choose. I don't think it's unreasonable for people to feel this is a high stakes proposition and for parents to feel very invested in how it turns out for their children. Same goes for parents who "can" pay, but barely, for whom the choice to do so is an irrevocable turning point in the economic life of the family. People can't afford to spend that much money on personal growth. And there's a lot of gradations short of a kid who can't even get up in the morning. I just don't think there's some sort of character requirement to bravely let the chips fall where they may when it's a question of teenagers and tens of thousands of dollars.


Thanks for clarifying.

I agree with much of what you are saying. The parents have to have a reasonable confidence level that their kiddo can have success or they shouldn't send them in the first place. The challenge, I think, with many parents, is that they don't see themselves harming their children by doing so much for them. They view it as "helping" when the opposite is true. These types of behaviors don't initially manifest themselves when kids go off to college. In my experience, they are ingrained, established habits of over managing their children. Parents should be in the best position to assess readiness for college. It's problematic when they can't be objective in their assessments. They see their children as achieving certain things without the realization that said children would not have had those successes without a lot of hand-holding and micro managing by the parent. There is too much vicarious living done through children.
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#45 The Girls' Mom

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:39 PM

I'm SO not a helicopter parent.  In fact, I have had other parents (IRL) question the freedoms I give my kids.  

 

However.

 

Having recently going through the process of applying and attending schools, I know how easy it is to drop the ball on something that can affect the next four years in a very negative way.  There is way too much at stake to throw them to the wolves.  I've let them do the calling and emailing and applying without my help. They've been free to choose (and change) their majors and colleges. But we do go over accounts, schedules, and the tracks they are supposed to keep up with to graduate.  I don't hover over grades, but I do expect to see them at the end of the semester, since I'm paying for a good chunk of the tuition/room/board.  I didn't pay to have my house built and never check on the progress, and I'm not going to pay for an education without checking on the progress either.  

 

My oldest has some executive issues, and needed more direction than my younger two have.  She's since thanked me for it.  If I had stayed completely hands off, she would have floundered and dropped out.  She also had some bad advising that she wouldn't have caught until it was too late and would have missed graduating on time because of it.  It was caught because I kept up with what she was supposed to be doing.

My kids DO give me access to their accounts.  It is to give them some peace of mind that someone else is keeping an eye on the financial aid tangle.

 

I don't hover socially.  I won't go and clean dorm rooms.  I won't go yell at professors for not giving little Susie a good grade.  I wouldn't even go to the advising appointment with dd this week, although she asked.  (I felt she needed to do that herself and she did just fine).


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#46 swimmermom3

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:52 PM

I don't know if I should weigh in. You all are going to think I am terrible.

 

I have my son's log-in to see his current classes and what's on tap for next term. I don't see grades until the end of the semester.  I see his overall progress on his degree. We agreed on this because he went in with 31 credits and the traditional timelines for certain things like declaring areas of focus, applications for study abroad, and for grad school are condensed. He did a great job registering for second semester, but not so hot for first semester and this coming fall semester.

 

Do I worry about hobbling his entry into adulthood because of my own involvement? Nope. He books his own airline flights, has his own Airbnb account, rents cars for the university's sailing team, books their hotel rooms, and drives Zipcars in D.C. traffic. He got a sweet internship without any help from me. His two older siblings were disasters when left on their own for higher education. Ds understands a certain level of involvement given the significant level of financial commitment.  His first term, he registered for two classes with three waitlisted classes. We caught the problem when dh went to pay and scholarship and grant money could not be applied because waitlisted classes don't count towards being enrolled full time. 


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#47 swimmermom3

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:56 PM

I'm SO not a helicopter parent.  In fact, I have had other parents (IRL) question the freedoms I give my kids.  

 

However.

 

Having recently going through the process of applying and attending schools, I know how easy it is to drop the ball on something that can affect the next four years in a very negative way.  There is way too much at stake to throw them to the wolves.  I've let them do the calling and emailing and applying without my help. They've been free to choose (and change) their majors and colleges. But we do go over accounts, schedules, and the tracks they are supposed to keep up with to graduate.  I don't hover over grades, but I do expect to see them at the end of the semester, since I'm paying for a good chunk of the tuition/room/board.  I didn't pay to have my house built and never check on the progress, and I'm not going to pay for an education without checking on the progress either.  

 

My oldest has some executive issues, and needed more direction than my younger two have.  She's since thanked me for it.  If I had stayed completely hands off, she would have floundered and dropped out.  She also had some bad advising that she wouldn't have caught until it was too late and would have missed graduating on time because of it.  It was caught because I kept up with what she was supposed to be doing.

My kids DO give me access to their accounts.  It is to give them some peace of mind that someone else is keeping an eye on the financial aid tangle.

 

I don't hover socially.  I won't go and clean dorm rooms.  I won't go yell at professors for not giving little Susie a good grade.  I wouldn't even go to the advising appointment with dd this week, although she asked.  (I felt she needed to do that herself and she did just fine).

 

The part in bold, my poor niece who finished her undergrad in three years, was denied entrance into a very competitive nursing program because she misunderstood that there was a second $40 application fee. She was one of their most qualified applicants and now has to wait yet another year to apply.  She works so darn hard and that was really tough to see.
 


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#48 EKS

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:08 PM

After being a *very* hands on parent, when my son left for his gap year, I became completely hands off.  He's been in college for two years, and I've never talked to anyone at the school.  I just pay the bills.

 

That said, he and I talk regularly.  I give him lots of advice about his life and schoolwork.  Sometimes he takes it.  


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#49 swimmermom3

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:14 PM

After being a *very* hands on parent, when my son left for his gap year, I became completely hands off.  He's been in college for two years, and I've never talked to anyone at the school.  I just pay the bills.

 

That said, he and I talk regularly.  I give him lots of advice about his life and schoolwork.  Sometimes he takes it.  

 

I would never contact the school or a professor, but I will always give the boy lots of advice. I can't help it. :D Much of the time, he does his own thing, but does have the good grace to occasionally come back and say, "Mom, remember when you told me  I should...well, you were right."
 


Edited by swimmermom3, 20 May 2017 - 09:50 PM.

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#50 swimmermom3

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:19 PM

I don't consider myself a helicopter parent, but I am a good steward of my money. If I am going to be laying out tens of thousands of dollars a year for an education, I expect to get what I pay for. So if the school is not delivering on something that I'm paying for and my children are unable to access something that we paid for, then yes, I'll make a stink about it. I will also require I be given access to my child's grade logs to be certain that my money is not being wasted; if they don't want to give me the access, then they can pay for their education themselves. It's like dumping your money into a mutual fund and then not pay attention to the returns. I don't look at this is helicoptering; I look at this as making sure I'm getting what I paid for (that is, that the school is delivering what they promised as far as services, and that my child is doing the work necessary to get the grades and degree for all the money I'm paying out). I do not plan on being active in any parent club, monitoring my kids social media, or demanding a phone call every day. But my money is another story, LOL.

 

We didn't ask for grade accountability from an older child. Never again. Yeah, you don't need to call me every day, but respect my money and the sacrifices it takes for you to be there.
 


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