Recommended Reading for Parents

Books for Parents

She's Leaving Home: Letting Go as Daughter Goes to College.
by Connie Jones

Each year, more than 1.5 million American families see their children off to their first year in college. It's a momentous day in the lives of high school graduates and their parents, and during this transitional time, parents' emotions include everything from anxiety to hope, guilt to pride, fear to relief. In She's Leaving Home, author Connie Jones chronicles two years in her own life, from the days when her daughter, Cary, fielded bids from more than a hundred colleges to her first year as a student at Smith College in Massachusetts. A story of spiritual journey and growth, the intimate, journal-like essays perfectly capture one mother's love and letting go of a daughter as she transforms into an adult.

You're on Your Own (But I'm Here If You Need Me): Mentoring Your Child During the College Years
by Marjorie Savage

Parents whose kids are away at college have a tough tightrope to walk: they naturally want to stay connected to their children, yet they also need to let go. Kids often send mixed messages: they crave space, but they rely on their parents' advice and assistance. Not surprisingly, it's hard to know when it's appropriate to get involved in your child's life and when it's better to back off. This book helps parents identify the boundaries between necessary involvement and respect for their child's independence. Marjorie Savage, who as a parent herself empathizes with moms and dads but who as a student services professional understands kids, offers advice on wide-ranging issues, including:

  • How to cope with your family's mood changes in the months before move-in day on campus
  • Why students complain about the food but still manage to gain fifteen pounds their first year
  • How to teach basic financial responsibility, including the handling of credit cards and academic expenses
  • When parental intervention is critical

With anecdotes and suggestions from experienced parents and college staffs nationwide, the strategies and tips provided throughout will help you to create a loving, supportive partnership responsive to the needs of both you and your children.

Almost Grown: Launching Your Child From High School to College
by Patricia Pasick

This guide for parents to the final years of high school and the first years of college discusses not only practical issues such as developing a college search plan or handling questions of money, sex, and substance abuse, but also psychological issues that arise during this family transition. Writing as both psychologist and parent, Pasick tackles the key question of how parents can foster adolescents' growth and autonomy while maintaining family connections and stability. She also explores the unexpected: the impact of the changing family on siblings, the benefits and frustration of college students' returning home, the challenges that nontraditional families face, and more. Readers will find here advice from high school and college admissions counselors across the country and, at the heart of the book, stories of personal experience from parents and adolescents who are making, or have made, the transition.

Don't Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money
by Helen E. Johnson and Christine Schelhas-Miller

When children leave for college, many parents feel uncertain about their shifting roles. By emphasizing the importance of being a mentor to your college student, Don't Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money shows parents how to influence their college students while still supporting their independence. The authors offer valuable insight into the minds of college students and provide parents with simple suggestions for improving communication with their children. Filled with humorous anecdotes and realistic dialogues between parents and students, this comprehensive guide covers a wide range of issues including financial matters, academic concerns, social adjustment, and postgraduate choices.

Empty Nest . . . Full Heart: The Journey from Home to College
by Andrea VanSteenhouse, Ph.D.

The author chronicles the tumultuous journey from the senior year of high school, through the challenging summer, to the first year of college for students. Featuring an emphasis on the freshman experience, Empty Nest . . . Full Heart offers a lighthearted yet savvy look at this turbulent time. The book s generous and compassionate scope makes it lively, humorous, and emotionally resonant.

Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years
by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger

Letting Go leads parents through the period of transition that their student experiences between the junior year of high school and college graduation. The authors explain how to distinguish normal development stages from problems that may require parental or professional intervention. The new edition explains the differences between college life today and the college life parents experienced twenty or thirty years ago. It features a completely new resource guide that introduces parents to campus technology, useful websites, and other organizations providing information on a wide range of topics.

When Kids Go to College: A Parent's Guide to Changing Relationships
by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger

This practical guide will tell you how to make the most of these exciting years. Topics covered in this book are identity formation, values development, career exploration, social relationships, sexuality, alcohol and drug abuse, romantic relationships, dorm life, personal freedom, depression, discrimination, and college bureaucracy.

I'll Miss You Too: An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students
by Margo E. Woodacre Bane

A Parent's Guide to Sex, Drugs, and Flunking Out: Answers to the Questions Your College Student Doesn't Want You to Ask
by Joel Epstein

Books for Parents and Students

College Rules! How to Study, Survive and Succeed in College
by Sherrie L. Nist, Jodi Patrick Holschuh, Sherrie Nist

The Ultimate College Survival Guide
by Janet Farrar Worthington, Ronald Farrar

Your College Experience: Strategies for Success
by John N. Gardne

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