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Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years, Third Edition Paperback – July, 1997

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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"The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting"
A radically transformative plan that shows parents how to raise children to be their best, truest selves, from the best-selling author of "The Conscious Parent." Learn more | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Letting Go is about what it feels like for parents when their kids go off to college. Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger provide a compassionate approach, practical information, and advice about the physical and emotional processes of letting go. They discuss the college-age child's search for identity, independence, and intimacy; give a succinct and accurate description of how college life has changed over the decades; and provide a year-by-year breakdown of what to expect. Plus, you can read about typical and not-so-typical problems including date rape, crime, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, and sexual issues. Of special note is the focus on orientation and the freshman year, including the disorientation parents feel once the drop-off has been made.


"A sensitive, informative, and well-written guide to help parents know what their children are getting into when they leave for college. Full of practical advice and psychological insight, it's a better antidote than Valium for the anxieties parents feel as they prepare to let their children go." -- -- Ben Leiber, Dean of Students, Amherst College

"As the father of two children who have left home to attend college and as president of an institution that receives, each year, hundreds of young women and men who are leaving home for the first time, I find Letting Go to be a must read for parents of college-going students." -- -- John Brooks Slaughter, President, Occidental College

"The original Letting Go has served as a seminal source of information to families and their college-bound children for many years. This updated edition adds contemporary elements (especially in technology and diversity of student population) which will make this volume invaluable for years to come." -- -- Larry Moneta, Associate Vice Provost for University Life, University of Pennsylvania

"The third edition of Letting Go is better than ever. It is must reading for parents embarking with their son or daughter on the college experience. Information is relevant, current, practical, and easy to understand. It introduces parents to college issues, challenges, and services available at colleges and universities in the 1990s." -- -- Dr. Patricia A. Whitely, Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Miami


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Perennial; 3rd Rev&Up edition (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006095244X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060952440
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Fast-moving book of advice for parents of college kids is written by a Dean and a psychotherapist, so be aware of the "leave it to the professionals" attitude and sense of fatalism (in guise of acceptance and tolerance) that sullies an otherwise very good guidebook.
A couple of chapters into it, I realized that this book might be a good one for parents of babies to read... no kidding. Because so many of the problems between college students and their parents could be easily handled or even avoided if parents always had a good solid communication line with their kids. From Day One! Simply, every parent lets go of their kid eventually, and it is sobering to consider that, 'round college time, you are either letting go of a friend or a stranger.
What makes this is an extremely useful guide is the authors' obvious close knowledge of and experience with almost every kind of pitfall a student can drop into. Parents are indeed given a thorough rundown of what they can expect to see happen. IN AMAZING DETAIL!
Students about to enter college are well-advised to read the chapter called "The Freshman Year." It is an excellent examination of what's very possibly in store, will prepare the student for some of the challenges faced by all Freshmen. The nervous 'newbie' may find some real solace in knowing that (s)he is not alone in her/his anxieties and uncertainties.
The authors' drugs warnings are a bit too complacent for my sense of health and self-discipline, meaning that there is an annoying hint of "well, that's what kids do in college." But I also took that as a helpful bit of data, because now I know that college administrators and professionals simply don't care if your kid is on drugs, until it escalates into an enormous problem.
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I do not have an opinion for this book as I sent it to my daughter as a gift. She has a daughter who will be going to college in the fall. I thought this might help her with "empty nest" adjusting.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book 10 days after dropping my only child, only 16 years old, off at college. I read it cover to cover in two days, and honestly, it was a life-changing experience.

I had thought I was prepared for this transition, but I found myself worrying so much I couldn't sleep at night. My day was either great or horrible depending on whether my college student called or not. I knew I needed some guidance, and this book was right on target.

Much like the best child-rearing books dealing with younger children, it points out the normal developmental challenges faced at each stage, from the start of the college selection process through college graduation. The book gives examples of ways that different students may face these challenges, and how parents can help or hurt along the way.

I found it especially helpful in reshaping how I communicate with my child. There are suggestions for how to get your child to open up and talk about whatever is on his or her mind. I tried some of them, and they REALLY WORKED! There are also examples of things parents might say or do that can completely shut down their student's willingness to share.

I also found the book helpful in coming to terms with the fact that I am no longer in control of my student's choices. Before I read the book, I found that idea quite scary, but afterwards I was able to realize how to make suggestions without being bossy or undermining her developing sense of control, competence, and independence. There is also a lot of good advice about the importance of supporting and affirming your student's decisions.

I recommend this book to any parent who wants to rethink their relationship with their child as they move on to the college stage of life.
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Format: Paperback
As a Career Coach and parent of two college students, I have used this book as a personal and professional resource. Too often parents can get swept up in the busy high school years of their teen's junior and senior years. Along with parenting other children, working their own jobs, managing the home, etc. the stress of supporting their son or daughter for college or post high school education can be overwheliming, espcially for the student who is reluctant to commit to the research or is apathetic about the process of preparing for college selection. LETTING GO is a helpful resource for hanging in there, getting grounded in your role as parent, and helping you prepare for the changing family dynamics. Sending a student to college brings up the big question, what's next, not only for the student but the parent. This book can support both of you as you wrestle with the issues of independence, decision making, and planning a successful future. Barbara Wulf, (...)
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I received this book as a gift when my son was a junior in high school. He is now graduated from college and my daughter is a college sophmore. This book is the BEST parenting book I have ever read during all my years as a parent. Both my kids are very different yet this book touched on each of their challenges with practical and thoughtful advice as to how to address the different phases that each child went through. Many times, I followed their guidance, sometimes not sure if it would work, and was always pleased when it did! I give this gift to all my friends who are at this stage and always get an enthusiastic response after they have read it. It was truly my guidebook for these years and is dogeared from use! I highly recommend this book!
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