Staying connected (but not too connected)

Corday Goddard, Assistant Dean for Student Development

As a follow-up to conversations during summer orientation about how to avoid being labeled a “helicopter parent,” I’m pleased to point you toward an interview with authors Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore about staying connected to your student in healthy, helpful ways. The link to the full article is below.

The themes of the article match very neatly with a number of the questions we suggested you discuss with your student following orientation. We hope those conversations are going well, and if they haven’t started yet, it is never too late! 

The fundamental messages:

Just because you can connect with your student 24/7, doesn’t mean you need to do so. Follow their lead.

Just because the web makes it easy for you to manage your student’s schedule, classes, assignments and overdue library books, doesn’t mean you should. This is a great opportunity for them to begin learning how to manage those things themselves. 

Just because Facebook lets you know way more information about your student’s roommate than you’d ever want to, doesn’t mean you can use that information helpfully. Let the students try to manage their relationship themselves.

And, finally, just because might make it easy for you to “encourage” your student’s romantic life …

Please remember that your student is surrounded by resources at St. Norbert College, and that we are here to help. You would not be the first person to call Corday Goddard or Chris Betcher and begin the conversation with, “I really don’t want to be a ‘helicopter parent,’ but I need your help …”

That, truly, is what we are here to do.

The iConnectedParent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up
(Free Press), Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore

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