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When Your Kid Goes to College; A Parent's Survival Guide [Paperback]

Carol Barkin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 9, 1999

"During the summer before he went to college, he was obnoxious; he said, 'There's a reason I'm acting this way; it will make it easier for you to have me leave.'"

"When she was packing to leave, she was completely preoccupied with how many sheets and towels to take. I was thinking, 'My kid is leaving home forever, and life is taken up with minutiae.'"

It's an emotional rollercoaster, a combination of missing him and feeling happy and excited for him."

New Beginnings

You've taught them how to do their laundry, brought them a year's supply of toothpaste and shampoo, and lectured them on the do's and dont's of life beyond your home. The time has come for your child to leave for college -- but are you prepared to say goodbye?

Written by a mother who survived the perils of packing her own child off to school, When Your Kid Goes to College provides supportive, reassuring, and helpful tips for handling this inevitable but difficult separation.

Comprehensive and accessible, this practical guide includes info on:

  • Teaching your child how to live on his own, from balancing a checkbook to dealing with a roomate.

  • The difference between financial and emotioanl dependence -- and how to keep them separate.

  • Helping your spouse, younger children, and even pets deal with the transition when your child leaves -- and when she returns.

  • How to fill -- and even enjoy -- the hole that your child's absence leaves.

Saying goodbye isn't the end of the world; it's the beginning of an exciting new one for your child-and you!


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When Your Kid Goes to College; A Parent's Survival Guide + Letting Go (Fifth Edition): A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years + You're On Your Own (But I'm Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

You've taught them how to do their laundry, bought them a year's supply of toothpaste and shampoo, and lectured them on the do's and don'ts of life beyond your home. The time has come for your child to leave for college -- but are you prepared to say goodbye?

Written by a mother who survived the perils of packing her own child off to school, WHEN YOUR KID GOES TO COLLEGE provides supportive, reassuring, and helpful tips for handling this inevitable but difficult separation.

Comprehensive and accessible, this practical guide includes info on:
-- Teaching your child how to live on his own, from balancing a checkbook to dealing with a roommate.
-- The difference between financial and emotional dependence -- and how to keep them separate.
-- Helping your spouse, younger children, and even pets deal with the transition when your child leaves -- and when she returns.
-- How to fill -- and even enjoy -- the hole that your child's absence leaves.

Saying goodbye isn't the end of the world; it's the beginning of an exciting new one for your child -- and you!

About the Author

Carol Barkin, a graduate of Harvard University, has written more than forty books for both adults and children. A native Midwesterner, she has lived outside New York City for twenty years. She and her husband survived sending their son to college, and gained a great deal of valuable and surprising information in the process.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380798409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380798407
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
(16)
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By DD
Format:Paperback
After more than a dozen years as a dean of first-year students, I sent my own first child off to college five years ago, after an anxious and tearful summer. My own vast professional experience proved to be an embarrassment, as I forgot all the speeches I had made to parents encouraging them to "let go." This book is a guide that puts it all in perspective, from the practical preparations through the uneasy transitions of the first year. Having read it, I will be much better prepared when my second daughter goes off to college this year. In fact, I plan to keep it on my night stand.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very comforting guide for the whole family. April 20, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a comfort--a great guide that can handhold the whole family through the jittery pre-college summer and the first college year. We put so much energy and time into getting our kids into college that we forget that there is another whole phase of life, filled with all kinds of anxieties, that takes over the minute they are accepted. This book is great at identifying all of that in a readable and sometimes gently humorous way--and just helping you through. It really is a survival guide, and I recommend it for anyone whose kid has just been accepted to college or who is in his or her first year.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvelous book for parents July 23, 1999
Format:Paperback
Our freshmen advisors and other staff who interact with parents think that When Your Kid Goes to College is a "must read" and a great resource book for parents. Although my copy is still circulating around campus, I intend to get it back and keep it handy for my own personal use when my son goes off to college in a few short years.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of helpful information April 18, 2003
Format:Paperback
Having just sent our one and only off to college, without a lot of trauma, I finally had some time to investigate what I thought I "should" be doing! This was the first book I read, and I found lots of helpful information, especially about networking with other parents in the same boat. I appreciated the advice to give your kids the freedom to grow, while still allowing them to use the safety net - a balancing act we were already trying to acheive. I also copied the section on how to do laundry and sent it to my son - it should be required reading for all college students. I no longer get laundry brought home on school breaks! Yeah. The dirty dishes coming home were something else, but I couldn't ban the laundry - until he felt capable of doing it himself (with a gift of quarters of course!).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Preachy and not very insightful August 6, 2011
By C. Kane
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This books is rather preachy and the quotes of "other parents" seem to be contrived to fit the narrative rather than real quotes from real experiences. It is also out of date as it talks about mail and email as modes of communication. I had hoped for a book that would indeed be a "parent survival guide" and one filled with insights and tips on handling the jumble of emotions and stressors that occur as your child is getting ready to leave for college. Instead, its more like the stereotypical PTA president mom that wrote a book based on what she thinks is the experience and tries to validate those views by adding in other quotes and a few tidbits. Sorry to be harsh but it was really a huge disappointment. I just skimmed the book and put it in the donate pile for the library. The best tip I got from the book was to pack extension cords - which also proves the point that it is a book veers far from "survival guide" and professional insights on the transitions both parents and students are undergoing during the high school graduate turns into college freshman summer.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Of minimal use to most people July 16, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book might be useful in families where the child is the first ever to go to college, but for the rest of us it's pretty lame. There's no significant info here -- you can get more and better from your child's high school guidance counselor.
And there's really nothing about "parent[al] survival" in it. Barkin warns of feelings of loss and disconnect, but other than to say that many people go thru this, there's no useful info.
Check that: her suggestion to bring a toolkit and duct tape is excellent, but I didn't need a book to think of that.
Save your bux and post to a Yahoo forum instead.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book for soon to be empty nesters!! March 15, 1999
Format:Paperback
Very well written...lots of quotes from kids and parents...and chapter written by her son from a kids point of view. Lots of relevant information for parents who have their first...or only kid heading off to college. Definitely worth the money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a preschool director and gave this book to 5 of my teachers at the end of the year dinner in May. All but 1 were first timers sending a child off to college. They raved about the book and appreciated the tips. Even the parent who was sending a 2nd child off commented that it had a few ideas to learn.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of Date
This book is out of date - guess I should have looked at published date :(
Published 7 months ago by cindy masterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative information!
I found this book very helpful. Some is just common sense, but I also appreciated the college students point of view. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Karen Alexviczh
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great!
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, read this one first
Good information, many of the examples are outdated, but still relevant if you can get past the technology references. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Paige Dorsey
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better guide books
It's one of the better guide books of its ilk. There's so much schlock in the book market self help section, but this one is worth reading and keeping and then passing on to... Read more
Published on May 6, 2013 by Longbright
5.0 out of 5 stars Nan
This was the best of about 5 books I read - it was easy, to the point, and very clear. High recommended!
Published on July 30, 2012 by Nan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Parents with High School Students
This is one of the best books for parents with high school students. It will help you anticipate and handle the transition you and your child will go through as they become a young... Read more
Published on November 6, 2011 by TJ Haygood
4.0 out of 5 stars helpful, just a bit too late for me. .. .
This is a books I suggested our school guidance department recommend to the parents of the high school seniors. Read more
Published on August 21, 2006 by looking for some fun
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