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  • Writer's pictureBeth & Tim Manners

The Education of the College Parent

The Atlantic: "Many undergrads, especially those who live on campus, are caught in a sort of limbo between dependence and independence, making their own rules and schedules but relying on their parents to help them navigate financial-aid applications and health insurance. Students may have to do their own grocery shopping, but there’s a good chance their parents are still footing the bill; they may live in a dorm, but their home is still likely their parents’ house, a place to which they return on breaks and during the summer. And this limbo, it turns out, may spur a healthy evolution in students’ relationship with their parents."

"In one recent survey of roughly 14,500 college students across the U.S., three in five respondents said their relationship with their parents had improved since they started college; a quarter said the relationship was 'much better.' Perhaps that’s in part because geographical distance fosters in students a greater appreciation for their parents. Students’ tendency to describe the relationship as improved 'could be indicative of a shift in how young adults view the role of the parent as one of confidant and adviser rather than authoritarian,' says Tisha Duncan, an education professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina."

"As long as parents embrace their role as advisers—rather than trying to hold on to their authority into college and beyond—they can not only better prepare their emerging-adult kids for full-fledged adulthood, but improve their bond with them, too."

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