Parenting a college-bound student is a tricky business--combining your emotional and financial support with your child's newfound independence can seem nearly impossible. The authors of Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money are all too familiar with these difficulties and have created a practical guide that addresses specific situations and provides effective guidelines for changing the parent-child relationship. Topics are addressed frankly, and many parents may have trouble reading the sections concerning controversial subjects such as drug and alcohol use, birth control, homosexuality, and changes in religious and political beliefs. The emphasis here is not on changing your kid's mind about any of these things, but rather how parents can approach these sensitive topics while maintaining a positive and honest relationship. Most pages contain small text boxes highlighting what's on your mind and what's on your child's mind, as well as practical lists suggesting what to do and what to avoid, and these can be extremely helpful as a quick reference when faced with a sudden announcement from your student who's decided to change majors, stop living in the dorm, or study abroad.
With a down-to-earth tone and clear insight into the minds of both parents and college students, this is an easy-to-read book that manages to handle difficult topics without preaching or downplaying important events. Ultimately, this book aims to help parents and their nearly adult children make the transition to a new kind of relationship, ideally one that is open and mutually respectful. With careful reading and consideration, the suggestions presented will help create a handy road map to lead you through the twists and turns of parenting your college student. --Jill Lightner
From Kirkus Reviews
This concrete, easy-to-use guide is designed to help anxious parents support and understand their newly fledged children as they weather the slings and arrows of the first year of college. Johnson (Assistant Dean of Students/Cornell) and Schelhas-Miller (Adolescent Development/Cornell) possess decades of professional experience as college counselors, and their easy expertise is obvious. Despite glib overtones--the work at times reads like a transcript from a Power Point talk given at a generic freshman orientation--the authors address difficult issues with varying degrees of success. Certain basic assumptions--parental acceptance of teen sex (even to the point of providing off-to-college birth control pills) and the equally underplayed acceptance of underage drinking and drugging--might be obstacles for some readers, as might gender- and class-based generalizations, such as those addressed to young women on campus and individuals who are the first in their (immigrant) family to attend college. Despite these caveats, however, most potential first-year situations--from academic probation and credit-card sprees to date rape and eating disorders--are discussed in level, clear language designed to help parents allow their children to cope. The authors' main message (that parenting style should evolve from daily caregiving to more of a mentoring relationship) is clear and consistent, and seems sane and grounded guidance.Both a useful guide and a literary security blanket, offering familiar comforts and good, solid advice in a text-dense sea of boxes, lists, and resources for further reading. -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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