Letting Go SC Parents’ Guide Understanding College Years Coburn Treeger


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Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years, Third Edition Paperback
by Karen Levin Coburn (Author), Madge Lawrence Treeger (Author)

Letting Go is about what it feels like for parents when their kids go off to college. Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger provide a compassionate approach, practical information, and advice about the physical and emotional processes of letting go. They discuss the college-age child’s search for identity, independence, and intimacy; give a succinct and accurate description of how college life has changed over the decades; and provide a year-by-year breakdown of what to expect. Plus, you can read about typical and not-so-typical problems including date rape, crime, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, and sexual issues. Of special note is the focus on orientation and the freshman year, including the disorientation parents feel once the drop-off has been made.

Thoroughly revised and updated, a popular guide for parents to dealing with their feelings during their children’s time away at college advises them about when to encourage their children’s independence and when to come to the rescue. Original.”

“A sensitive, informative, and well-written guide to help parents know what their children are getting into when they leave for college. Full of practical advice and psychological insight, it’s a better antidote than Valium for the anxieties parents feel as they prepare to let their children go.” — — Ben Leiber, Dean of Students, Amherst College

“As the father of two children who have left home to attend college and as president of an institution that receives, each year, hundreds of young women and men who are leaving home for the first time, I find Letting Go to be a must read for parents of college-going students.” — — John Brooks Slaughter, President, Occidental College

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Perennial; 3rd Rev edition

Fast-moving book of advice for parents of college kids is written by a Dean and a psychotherapist, so be aware of the “leave it to the professionals” attitude and sense of fatalism (in guise of acceptance and tolerance) that sullies an otherwise very good guidebook.

A couple of chapters into it, I realized that this book might be a good one for parents of babies to read… no kidding. Because so many of the problems between college students and their parents could be easily handled or even avoided if parents always had a good solid communication line with their kids. From Day One! Simply, every parent lets go of their kid eventually, and it is sobering to consider that, ’round college time, you are either letting go of a friend or a stranger.

What makes this is an extremely useful guide is the authors’ obvious close knowledge of and experience with almost every kind of pitfall a student can drop into. Parents are indeed given a thorough rundown of what they can expect to see happen. IN AMAZING DETAIL!

Students about to enter college are well-advised to read the chapter called “The Freshman Year.” It is an excellent examination of what’s very possibly in store, will prepare the student for some of the challenges faced by all Freshmen. The nervous ‘newbie’ may find some real solace in knowing that (s)he is not alone in her/his anxieties and uncertainties.

The authors’ drugs warnings are a bit too complacent for my sense of health and self-discipline. But I also took that as a helpful bit of data, because now I know that college administrators and professionals simply don’t care if your kid is on drugs, until it escalates into an enormous problem. That in itself helps me as a parent, because I see the limitations of the average administration’s care. Another annoying facet to the book is a pervading sense that all professors are right, or at least unquestionable (authors definitely side with academic authority). Frankly, there are a large number of professors preaching utter garbage or who have no desire to really see their students actually learn something concrete. This possibility is never suggested, whereas I would firmly state that there are some students who are bright and capable who would never “make it” in a college environment. Dropping out is mentioned only once & only as a kind of last resort of degradation and shame.

So despite the flaws, I still recommend the book as a collection of scenarios and phenomena the parent would not necessarily have anticipated. Read the book, talk to your kids, let go gently.

Definitely prepares the parent for what college life can be all about, and offers some ideas for how friction and conflict can be avoided. Liberal use of student, teacher, dean, and parent statements (however edited they may be) ring true and make this a wonderful, and even, at times, a heartwarmingly humorous read.

Book has a little wear. Rounding to corners. 0-06-095244-X.


Book is in near mint condition.