December is prime time for college neurosis. Seniors are waiting for early decisions and juniors have just received scores for the SATs they bombed. But if your child is under ten, or better yet, still in utero, you can alleviate a lot of stress by adhering to this handy timeline:
When my daughter was a junior in high school, she signed up for a six-week summer program in Brazil. I couldn’t imagine how I would cope for that long without her. If I couldn’t face putting her on an airplane for a six-week trip, how would I handle a college drop-off? I joked with her that after she said good-bye to me on freshman move-in day, she should check under the bed in her dorm room. She was not amused.
I stand with every dad who drives a minivan full of his young adult's belongings to Kenyon with their freshman son, wife and second child.
In a reversal of that helicopter hovering we hear so much about—parents who don’t think grown children can remember what to do—I told my son that he would have to call us from Kenyon every morning this fall so that his father and I would remember to get up.
Parenting a child through the college search process is a bit like taking a journey to the moon—a terrifying passage through dark space with a suspenseful landing.