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« Empty Nest... | Main | Off to College: Hello Target... »

August 15, 2007

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The thought of college scares me to death, almost literally; my 15-year-old at this point has led a rather sheltered life, and I shudder to think what she will have to contend with. Helicopter parents, at least the one's I"ve encountered so far, seem far more concerned with grades and prestige than an ethical and fair treatment of self and others.

The circle of life...when he was 10 years old, fatherpie moved his sister into the same dorm that he now moves his daughter into! Back then we had curfews...1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 p.m. all the other nights except one 11pm of our choice. Men had to yell out "man on floor" when they came down the hall...now they live with no curfew at all on any night and men live on the same floor with women! Due to sorority rules, we couldn't wear pants to class. My,my...haven't things changed!

My kids went to small private colleges. Fortunately, they got scholarships. We looked for schools where they would be comfortable after coming from a fairly strict, rather old-fashioned upbringing. Both wound up with a perfect fit. :) I took this cue from my own experience when I went to a large state university from a very strict upbringing and it was a disaster and I wound up dropping out. 18 years later I went back and finished my degree at a small college here and thoroughly enjoyed myself and saw the difference that a professor knowing my name and small classes can make.

When I was raising the Dynamic Duo, we had different rules than most of the other parents who seemed to be afraid of their children or more worried about their kids being popular than their becoming successful adults. It scares me.

I do think parents -- not all -- more than there used to be -- are afraid of their kids. And the kids know it. Sometimes, I feel like I am -- and then I have to rein myself back in...

I know one of the boys who died at SMU, having taught his friends and with his mother for several years. It's a tragedy no words can touch, and sends enormous spikes of fear through me when I think of sending my one and only son off in a few years. I can't understand what's happened to our society, the culture of "youth" who think that partying like this is okay.

North Central College, in our town, has established a rule in which any student caught intoxicated on campus is immediately taken to the hospital whereupon the Dean is called who in turn calls the parents. I think it's come to this, and it's necessary, since so many kids will not be responsible for themselves.

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