Support for Parents of College Freshmen

Part of my job as an educational consultant is to prepare parents for their new role as a support person for their child transitioning to college.  The freshman year is often a make-it or break-it year.  Parents have a reason to worry- the United States has the lowest college completion rate in the developed world, at least among the 18 countries tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  In a previous post I discussed how only 55 percent of students at four-year institutions and an astounding 29 percent for two-year colleges graduate. Some state universities graduate fewer than 25 percent of students within six-years of enrollment.

Parents often look for reading materials to best support their transitioning role to support person for their rising college student.  Below is my go-to list for most parents:

Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years by Helen Johnson.  This is a great book for the anxious “helicopter parent” which is a practical guide that addresses specific situations and provides effective guidelines for changing the parent-child relationship.  The main message in this book is that that parenting style should evolve from daily caregiving to more of a mentoring relationship.

A similar book for anxious parents is, Letting Go, Sixth Edition: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Coburn.  This book is based on both research and real life stories and experiences which serves as a guide for parents of college students.

The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only by Harlan Cohen as a guide for parents of college freshman which details, “when to butt in, and when to butt out.”  Harlan uses tips and stories from students and parents to show us real-life college experiences.  The author covers all the topics from the summer before college, to moving day, to the first few months, to parent’s weekends.  Harlan writes about controversial topics like drinking, sex, eating disorders, and even campus safety, offering parents direction and advice on how to discuss and handle them if and when they arise.

If you are looking for the right college fit for your unique student, I can help.  Additionally, I will can be your guide and support person in your transitioning role from being a primary caregiver to a support person and mentor for your child.

A primary focus area of my practice is assisting families with students who have unique needs- educational, emotional, and behavioral.  I have helped families find the best fit and successfully transition their student with learning disabilities including dyslexia; specific learning disabilities such as reading disorder or dysgraphia; and behavioral issues such as ADHD.  Additionally, if your student has unique issues such as autism or Asperger’s syndrome, I can assist you in finding the best college fit or transitional program in Florida and beyond.  I understand the accommodations and settings needed for success and the unique environments different educational institutions offer.

If you need help, please call me directly at 813-454-1050.