Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

The cost of over-managing college kids

By
From page A6 | August 02, 2013 |

By Betsy Hart

I’ve long written against the practice of helicopter parenting, or over-managing our children’s lives. Good grief, I literally wrote a book on the subject.

And I admit that some of my children look at their friends’ families and then chide me for not being more aggressive about, say, forcing them into rigorous dance classes early in life. I guess I’m the reason my daughters are not on their way to becoming prima ballerinas. OK, I can live with that.

Eventually they may even thank me for encouraging some independence. And by the way, I’m far more involved in my children’s lives than my parents ever were in mine. For example, I will never leave a 16-year-old daughter home alone for a weekend while my husband and I go out of town. I still don’t know what my parents were thinking. But I’m getting off topic.

What I do find is that when it comes to college — especially as my oldest, a son, goes off to school as a freshman in just a few weeks — I want to get in and manage the situation more fully. I don’t know, maybe it’s because the stakes and the investment are pretty high. One of the biggest of both being, well, money.

Suddenly, it’s like I’m a hovering parent. Registration, orientation, choosing classes, preemptively arranging tutors, finding extra-long bed linens to fit his dorm bed, are all on my to-do list.

Just in time, along comes a study that just as helicopter parenting might have negative implications when kids are young, so too at the college level. A recent piece in Forbes magazine says, “A new national study has found that the more money parents pay for their kids’ college educations, the worse their kids tend to perform, at least when it comes to grades.”

Uh-oh.

“Want Your Kids to Succeed? Don’t Pay for their Education” is the headline of the piece in which Susan Adams looks at a study by Laura Hamilton of UC Merced, discussing these findings.

As I get ready to start writing checks from my 529 college saving plans for my son, I have to admit that looking back, this connection makes some sense. My parents covered every dime of my college expenses, but never even asked for a transcript. (I know, I sound like I was really spoiled. Don’t get my four older siblings started on that topic.)

Anyway, somehow, to me that made class attendance seem sort of optional. I guess as long as someone else was paying the bill I didn’t feel responsible for what it bought. Maybe it was a little like renting a house instead of buying one: not my problem!

Similarly, The New York Times recently cited this study and another showing that parents who are over-involved in their children’s college life itself, i.e., choosing their courses — gulp — also hurt their children’s chances of success. (It’s The Times that labels these practices “helicoptering.”)

I’m doomed.

Or, at least I see I have to back off a little. When it comes to the funding issue, Forbes doesn’t suggest I go to Vegas with the college funds. The author does suggest parents make sure one’s child knows what is being spent, what the expectations are for the child’s performance, and that doing well in school is their “job.” Also, the kids should have to get a job or participate in a work-study program, she writes.

OK. Agreed. And for a little more independence, I might even be able to turn over some course selection decisions to my son and his college adviser.

But call me a later-in-parenting life helicopter mom: my child is not picking out his own (and thus ill-fitting!) dorm bed linens.

— Scripps Howard News Service

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Woodland infant’s death remains a mystery

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

     
    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5