An expert has said that constant contact with college students away from home may hinder a student's development in the new environment
Karen Levin Coburn, senior consultant in residence at Washington University in St. Louis and co-author of the best selling book, "Letting Go: A Parents" Guide to Understanding the College Years, insists that with today's ubiquitous cell phones and access to Twitter, Facebook and texting, it may seem as though your child has never left the house.
AdvertisementFor students, there is the ever-present possibility of an available parent at the end of a cordless tether, which has the potential to hinder the letting go process.
"Today's parents have been more involved in their children's lives than generations of the past, and many are justly proud of the fact that their teenage children are closer to them than they had been to their own parents," she said.
But as their children head off to college, it's time to revisit the questions: "How close?" and "How involved?"
While keeping in touch with family is reassuring to students and parents alike, constant contact may hinder a student's development in this new environment, warns Coburn.
"It's important for parents to support their child's growing independence and to acknowledge the transition their child is making from high school to college.
Just because their son or daughter is still accessible via technology, does not mean things are the same as when they were in high school," she added.
"With today's fast pace and easy access, it's tempting for parents to keep in constant touch, to check in the way they did when their children were in high school, to try to protect them from all disappointment, hurt or failure," said Coburn.
"However to do so is to deprive them of developing a sense of confidence and competence and of taking ownership of their college experience," she added.