The Changing Role of Parents during the College Years
- Wednesday, September 08, 2010
As I talked to the parents of incoming freshmen, I wanted them to be particularly alert to three things:
1. Your child is beginning one of the most significant and challenging stages of his or her life. Perhaps for the first time, that child is on his or her own and it is a proverbial "make-or-break" situation. (Hopefully, you have spent the previous 18 years preparing them for this day — emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and spiritually.) They need to know that you will continue to be there as a parent to provide support and/or guidance as they request it.
2. Over the four years of college or university life, students will make many of the most important decisions of their lives. Wise parents will anticipate the challenges and temptations and prepare their children with the character and arguments that they need to avoid risky and destructive behavior; loving communication and wise counsel can help your child resist temptation and make good decisions.
3. Over the next four years, your child will sit under the influence of a few professors who enjoy tearing down the moral and religious views of their students. For such profs, teaching is a game, and the intellectual seduction of their students is the conquest that makes their teaching challenging. Their agenda is to separate students from their parents, thereby, they hope, removing the influence of traditional, Judeo-Christian values. Wise parents will listen carefully and be ready to help counter such pernicious nonsense.
There is no reason for parents to accede to the condescending and patronizing attitudes of those who believe that parents are superfluous in their children's lives once they reach college age. Of course a parent's role must change, but the parental role is still important, and I can attest to the fact that it can be as meaningful, memorable, and significant in the college days and into adulthood as it was during all the previous stages of your child's life. Nothing is more gratifying to a parent than to see a child become a mature adult — well-adjusted, well-educated, and well-prepared to make their own decisions.
Originally posted September 10, 2010.
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse is a Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America's Beverly LaHaye Institute. She writes about contemporary issues that affect women, family, religion and culture in her regular column "Dot.Commentary."
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