Let’s be honest, sending a child off to college seems to turn even the most sensible parents into blubbering, irrational idiots.
Starting college is not only a major transition for the student, but it is also a time of great anxiety for their parents. The reason behind a parent’s enormous uneasiness is that when their child begins college, it forces them to start the inevitable process of ‘letting go’.
This struggle to let go and hold on at the same time is the basis of most of the conflict between parents and college students. Having to ‘let go’ of a child by sending him or her off to a strange place with thousands of unfamiliar people for many months at a time scares most parents nearly to death.
To make the situation a little more relatable, imagine spending eighteen years building a remote controlled airplane. Eighteen years of labor and love have come and gone and now it is time to let loose and launch the plane into the air.
Now although launch day was always part of the plan from the beginning, it’s still unavoidable to not be frightened by the potential dangers the plane will face once it is up in the air and out of direct protection for the first time.
This type of ‘holding on while trying to let go’ phenomenon is a parent’s reality when their kid goes off to college which is the reason why some of them become overbearing and overall pains in the asses sometimes.
Truly understanding this is vital to understanding how to handle parents during college.
Even though parents of college students are fully aware that the time has come to start letting go, it is instinctive for them to continue to shield their kid from any obstacles that may arise. It is in this shielding effort that most parents lose their grip on the reality of the situation.
Parents forget that learning to dodge obstacles, or discovering how to bounce back from the ones that hit, is what makes students successful. That is how every student learns and grows in college to become better versions of themselves. Students don’t need protection, they need experiences from which to evolve from.
However, some parents have a difficult time processing that fact. That’s why the best way to deal with parents at college is to remember that the main reason they become overbearing is that they are trying to protect something that doesn’t require protection anymore. And although they may express it in annoying ways; wanting to protect something is a loving act.
Also, another reason for a parent’s overbearing protection is that they want to prevent their child from making the same mistakes they did. That is why parents preach about staying dedicated, making intelligent choices, and studying hard.
All their badgering about perseverance and dedication is most likely because they feel like they gave up on a dream, or they didn’t chase it hard enough; so they want to protect their kid from doing the same thing. This type of protect also comes from a loving place.
In the end, no matter how over protective a parent may be it’s still very important to maintain a healthy relationship with them during college. The reason for that is parents can make a student’s life torturous, or they can be a pillar of support and guidance.
In reality the role a parent plays in their child’s college career is ultimately up to the student. The student always has a choice to either fight against the onslaught of parental protection and cause the relationship to be even more disruptive; or the student can listen to their overbearing parents with empathy and reply with a smile, “I will. Thanks Ma,” or, “You got it Dad. Sounds good.”
That’s ultimately how to handle parents during college while further tapping into our inborn power. This will bring us closer to living as the most complete version of ourselves immediately.
* Action Step *
List one thing your parents are doing that is driving you crazy:
Now come up with one positive reason why they could be doing it:
Finally, you must bring your One Thing and One Positive Reason to your parents and ask what they think about them.
This will open a new line of communication between you and your parents and allow both of you to better understand each other. It’s that understanding which is the key to how to handle parents during college.
Extra Action Step For Super Overbearing Parents:
If your parents are being extra pushy, intrusive, and protective tell them the following:
“Thanks for everything you have done for me. You know I love you, right? I know you are just trying to look out for me now, but you did a great job raising me. Trust me, I can handle it.”
If they ask exactly what “everything” means, do not say anything specific and let them decide for themselves what they want “everything” to mean.
It doesn’t really matter what “everything” means to them because, in the end, parents just want to be recognized and loved by their kids. Handling parents during college is really that simple.
How To Handle Parents During College Now
– Written by Motivational Joe