As a mom of a newly-minted high school graduate, I now understand the difficulty parents experience when it comes to letting go of their college-age children. As parents we dedicate so much time and energy to taking care of our children, guiding...helping. It is hard to recognize when we cross the boundary into new territory where the most helpful thing we can do is to let our children help themselves and make their own decisions.
I have been comparing notes with friends whose children also just graduated and are on their way to various New Hampshire Colleges and Universities this fall. Many have already attended orientations where the children are herded off to one session, the parents to another. The parent orientations talk about financial aid, what we can expect from our children once they are in college - but the main focus seems to be on teaching us to let our children have their own academic experience, complete with poor decisions and the occasional failure - and for us to resist the urge to do everything for them. Point taken.
Even though GSC is known for Adult Higher Education, we are seeing more and more traditional age students. As an Academic Advisor at Granite State College in Conway, NH, I have been in the position to gently point out to parents who are emailing or calling me for course suggestions, that perhaps it might be better for the student to communicate with me directly. Of course, there are also laws that prohibit advisors from sharing adult student's information.
For parents of new Granite State College students, however, it is a somewhat easier transition. Because we are not a residential college, the student is still living at home. Also, unlike many other colleges, Granite State College employs full time academic advisors who are designated student advocates. Parents can take comfort in knowing there is someone there to provide guidance and help when needed.
So, fellow parents, join me in learning how to let go so we can watch our children learn to soar.