You hold your breath as you nudge your little bird out of its nest, hoping that she will spread her wings and take off. Often parents are able to do this and not look back because their child is taking on independence and the adult world, as they should.
For students that attend college prep boarding schools, they’re taking the leap earlier than normal — earlier than you were ready to let them go from your watchful gaze.
The “Helicopter” Parent
Making the decision to let your child navigate the world without you may be the hardest one to make. You drop your daughter off at school and leave with a smile, only to hide the tears for your ride home. But for the parents who are brave enough to do it, it’s always important to remember there’s a fine line between parent involvement and over-parenting.
When you’re thousands of miles away still making decision for your student, they don’t learn individuality. As they grow beyond their years at their college prep boarding schools, their dependence will continue to grow, and it will be hard for them to trust their own judgment.
How to Manage
No, you don’t need to buy a house up the street from their college prep boarding schools. No, you don’t need to call the headmaster to handle situations in your place. No, you don’t need to hover, ready to swoop in at the drop of a hat. A big reason why your student left home to attend school was because they wanted to feel confident in their own decision-making.
As hard as it is to wait in the sidelines, you need to build a trust with the people who have taken over as parents in your absence. Rather than taking on every day-to-day problem your child faces, wait for them to ask for advice. Instead of questioning, “What do you need me to do?” shift to, “How can I support you?”
You want to raise strong, independent children — let them be just that.