Becoming a Helicopter Parent: My Experience When My Son Went to College

Navigating Helicopter Parenting in College: Letting Go and Thriving

Are You a Helicopter Parent? How to Let Go When Your Child Goes to College

As a parent, it’s natural to want to protect and guide your child every step of the way. But when it comes to sending your child off to college, it can be challenging to find the balance between being supportive and being overbearing. In this blog post, we’ll explore the phenomenon of helicopter parenting in the college setting and share some tips on how to let go and allow your child to thrive.

When my oldest child was accepted into college, I vowed not to become a helicopter parent. I wanted to give him the space and freedom to navigate this new chapter in his life on his own. However, as I started hearing about helicopter parenting 2.0 and the frenzy of parent Facebook groups, I found myself getting sucked into the anxiety and hovering that comes with letting go.

The parent Facebook groups for my son’s new school were filled with posts about everything from dorm room decor to laundry detergent choices. I tried not to get too caught up in the frenzy, but it was hard to resist the urge to micromanage and control every aspect of my son’s college experience.

As we drove to his new school and moved him into his dorm room, I felt the reality of letting go sinking in. I wanted to unpack, organize, and decorate his room, but I could see in his eyes that he was ready to do it on his own. It was a bittersweet moment, but I knew I had to give him the space he needed to settle in and thrive.

Weekly FaceTime calls became our lifeline, and I learned to let him take the lead in his college experience. As I pulled back and gave him the freedom to make his own choices, I started to thrive as well. I had time to focus on my own hobbies, career, and relationship with my husband.

As my son prepares to move into a house with roommates, I still have concerns and worries, but I know that he will learn and grow from these experiences. I refuse to join the parents who are hiring cleaning companies for their child’s apartment or installing security cameras. I trust that my son will figure things out on his own and that he will be better off for it.

Letting go of your child as they go off to college is not easy, but it is essential for both their growth and your own. By giving them the space and freedom to thrive, you are setting them up for success in the real world. So, take a step back, breathe, and trust that you have raised a capable and independent young adult.

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