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#11 - A Baby Boomer Real Story Series about Helicopter Parents -------- by Nancy Geiger

July 12th, 2008
Do College Kids Still Need Their Parents? Aside from putting a roof over their heads and paying the tuition, do college kids still need their parents?

Do College Kids Still Need Their Parents?
By Nancy Geiger

Aside from putting a roof over their heads and paying the tuition, do college kids still need their parents?

Earning their own money will make kids independent faster then anything else.

This summer Brittany has had so many jobs I’ve barely seen her.

She worked weekdays for the Jackson Group downtown and loved getting dressed up and working in an office. She worked evenings and weekends at Jersey Mikes and she has had back to back house sitting and dog sitting weeks. She has watered plants, taken in mail and newspapers, walked dogs and babysat.

Because of her constant motion, which often included spending up to two weeks away from our house (although she always came home to use her own shower - only a pile of wet towels on the floor let us know anyone had been there) I’ve had very little say in her life this summer.

She’s done really well with everything. At least as far as I know she didn’t get mixed up and make sandwiches for the Jackson Group, or water any dogs. She did however water the outdoor plants at 6 a.m. one morning for people who didn’t go on vacation until the following day, but, hey, they got a bonus!

I got so used to her never asking me for help anymore I was surprised one Saturday afternoon when John and I were having lunch in Blowing Rock. He answered his cell phone and it was Brittany who had taken a weekend off to visit friends in Charlotte for the Brad Paisley concert.

I saw John’s brow furrow and immediately thought, “Oh, no, she’s had an accident.” Then I heard him say, “Well, you’d better ask mom about that.” And I thought, “She wants to go somewhere or do something he knows I won’t like.”

What happened though was she and her friend had bought facemasks and when they took them off their faces were bright red! She asked me what to do. (I admit I did raise her to believe moms knew everything.) She sent me a picture over the phone of the two girls in their facemasks. It looked like something out of Silence of the Lambs. Really creepy! Then a picture of their faces without the masks. They were red.

It’s nice to feel needed. But, I realized that at this point in life it was more important to show her where to get the answers herself. I told her to look on the box for the 800 number and call customer service and ask what to do.

But, still, it is nice to know she thought of me first.

Nancy Geiger and her husband are Baby Boomer empty nesters with their daughter Brittany (their only child) now a junior at college. When she left home Nancy started writing a monthly column for their local weekly paper about parenting a college student long distance. After 17 years as a travel agent for American Express, Nancy decided to commit herself to freelance writing and starting an online store, 2 blogs, a website and LOTS of volunteering! She even just published a cookbook called A Brides Cookbook or surviving the First Year.

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