Customer Reviews: You're On Your Own (But I'm Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years
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on March 6, 2004
I got more out of the first chapter of this book than I did from two days of Parent Orientation at my son's college! The author obviously empathizes with college students as well as with their parents. Kids who are starting college can do some pretty bizarre things that parents can't always understand. This book explains things from the parents' point of view as well as the students'. It just makes sense. And it gives me a lot of hope.
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on May 24, 2005
This is a great book for parents of high school seniors to help prepare for eventual empty nesting. Sending your kid to college is like potty training, you know you have to do it, but you aren't so sure if you'll live through it. But of course they do learn to use the toilet and they move away to college as well (hopefully in that order)!

Marjorie is very thorough in explaining what to expect every step of the way. It prepares you for orientation, moving, visits home, etc., so you can do your best to help you and your "child" navigate the college maze. She covers all angles, so if junior will be commuting or moving to the other side of the country, you'll get guidance.

I now have two daughters at University of Minnesota where Marjorie heads the University of Minnesota parent office and does a super job. My friends have kids at other universities and they are amazed at how in touch I am with the happenings on campus because of the weekly update U-MN parents get. It's so much easier to have a conversation with your kid if you are enlightened. She makes sure we know what they need to do when (like registering or paying bills) so we don't have to nag the kid. At U-MN we are lucky to have her, now everyone can benefit from her insight and wisdom.
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on March 8, 2008
If you buy only one book to help prepare for your child going off to college, this is it. The book starts out with the changes to expect the summer before college and how to prepare. It then goes on, chapter by chapter, following the process of adjusting to new life roles, parenting from a distance, how to offer support academically, socially, financially, and emotionally each step of the way. It even has a few chapters on post-college adjustment. In the back of the book is a handy four-year calendar detailing the main issues to be addressed, and, oh yes, at the end of each chapter are helpful tips for the student. As a result of this book I have now prepared a plastic file box with carrying handle for each of my graduating children. I put seven hanging file folders inside and labeled them: academic, financial, housing, auto, health, and computer so they have a place to store important information and can quickly retrieve it when needed. The seventh folder has "quick tips" which I gleaned form the end of each chapter and which I think will come in handy for my kids.
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on October 21, 2009
I heard about this book through the university my daughter was planning to attend. I got the book and I was really pleased with how helpful it was. I found out that I was as ready to send my daughter away to college as I was to become a mom when she first was born. How can people know what to do when these major life changes occur? Well, this book helped me. It covered so much information. The author explains what things parents should do to help their child be prepared for college and what things they should have their child do on their own. In addition, there are so many explanations about why college students behave the way they do (or will behave in the future). The explanations of your child's behavior helps the parent deal with issues that come up and I appreciated knowing that I shouldn't make all of my child's college adjustment issues, my issues. I also liked that the book looked at the different behaviors that could be expected throughout all four years of college. In addition, the book provides a good overview on how to prepare your child for their first home away from home. There are suggestions on how to prepare your child to manage their own finances, how to talk about using some self-control when they're on their own, how to work up to college standards, and last minute advice for taking care of yourself. I've already bought two books for friends of mine and they've really appreciated them.
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As a parent of a 17 year old who is heading to university this fall and also co-editor of the book "First Year University: A Survival Guide", which involved two years of visiting various university campuses and talking to students, the subject of preparing for university and making the most of it while there interests me greatly. So I bought a few different books on the subject, some for my son and some for me. This book was the best for parents, I believe.

I'm sure that I am not the only parent who struggles with finding the balance between 'letting go' vs 'assisting' as your kids grow up. It's a different age than when I went to university. Then, parents were not as involved as today. I can't recall my parents helping me to decide on residences or meal plans (well, they didn't have those then) or courses, or even for that matter driving the six hour drive to visit me except to drop me off my first year and come to my graduation my last year. But, as I said earlier, it's a different age and kids today involve their parents much more in their lives.

Thus learning to promote self-advocacy, encourage independence and empower your kids while supporting them through the challenges they will face as they move to adulthood is vital. This book offers suggestions on how exactly to do this. By explaining both parent and student perspective on every challenge and issue you can imagine from the summer before university right through to graduation, the book gave me a very good feel for how to prepare my son and myself.

The book begins with what to expect the summer before university and then continues to cover topics such as how to offer support to your kid for their first few weeks, financial problems, physical and emotional health issues, visits home, substance abuse, and much more. Each chapter touches on a topic, offers advice and helpful hints, illustrates with stories, and ends with quick tips for students that parents can quickly discuss.

I believe that reading this book will help me communicate with my son in a more effective non-threatening way than I would have had I not read the book. There is even an appendix with a detailed budget and summary of the four years.

This book is the perfect tool to learn how to support and assist without becoming a "helicopter parent".
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on June 27, 2011
I was struggling with the transition of my daughter going to college and I was searching for some guidance. I knew what I was feeling had been experienced by others. This book was just what I needed. It provided much needed advice, stories about other parent experiences, and other valuable information. I highly recommend this book.
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on August 20, 2012
As a bookie and a concerned Mom of an only child, I've read three books already, but I wish I had read this first. This book is right on target, the author has an excellent grasp of the pre-college changes both parent and child are dealing with and the challenges students face in college. She writes with empathy and wit and best of all, provides practical, chapter-by-chapter checklists of hugely useful tips for both parents and students. Do read this book, it will be one of the best things you do for yourself and your college-bound child.
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on October 13, 2015
Every parent that is sending a child off to college should read this book when the student is starting their senior year of high school. There were so many good suggestions on getting the child ready and what the parent can expect. We started with some of the suggestions such as having our son take an active role in his medical appointments. I got him his own copy of our insurance card and had him check in for an appointment and had him do all the talking. It was funny because the receptionist said to me "and who are you". When I answered that I am his mother but I'm helping his get ready for college and take the lead, she and the guy next to her thought it was a great idea.
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on September 7, 2009
The book is good to read through to remind you of things you and your college-age students should be preparing for. I left it lying around the house and found my son reading it as well.
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on January 17, 2015
Love this book for its helpfulness. I recommend it for before your child even begins their college search! I began reading it once the college choice was made & it still had loads of useful material. It is for parents who want to support their kids in a way that will help their child grow without having to just shove them out of the nest. I really benefited from the section on social media between you and your child. It is totally up-to-date technology-wise & otherwise. Plenty of practical tips for parenting a college student both through the process and culturally. This includes chapters that address each year in college, which have been very helpful for me (having one in college several years & 1 a freshman). I continue to refer to this well done book after nearly a year.
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