What to Expect When Your Child Leaves for College: A Complete Guide for Parents Only


According to experts in the field of psychology, more than half of parents experience some sort of separation anxiety when their child leaves for college. You may have been looking forward to your child's departure for 18 years, but now that the time has finally come you are experiencing mixed emotions. What to Expect When Your Child Leaves for College will provide you with valuable information and will help make the transition easier.

In this new book, you will learn how to ...

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According to experts in the field of psychology, more than half of parents experience some sort of separation anxiety when their child leaves for college. You may have been looking forward to your child's departure for 18 years, but now that the time has finally come you are experiencing mixed emotions. What to Expect When Your Child Leaves for College will provide you with valuable information and will help make the transition easier.

In this new book, you will learn how to encourage independence, how to offer support, how to handle the drop-off, how to deal with empty nest syndrome, how to talk to your child about his or her emotions, how to keep the lines of communication open, how to plan meaningful family time, and how to teach your child to live on his or her own.

Additionally, you will be provided with insight into your child's emotions, which will help you understand his or her behavior, such as spending excessive amounts of time with friends, ignoring you, or being disagreeable. You will learn how to handle the emotional rollercoaster, how to give your child time to adjust to college life, how to prepare for your child s first visit home, and how to help others deal with the transition.

By reading this book, you will learn how your life will change, and you will discover ways to fill the void. What to Expect When Your Child Leaves for College provides you with countless ways to prepare yourself for your child's departure, as well as advice from parents, students, and psychologists. Whether your first child is leaving for college or it is your youngest child going away to school, you will find ways to cope with this difficult time in your life.

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

This Atlantic Publishing eBook was professionally written, edited, fact checked, proofed and designed. The print version of this book is 288 pages and you receive exactly the same content. Over the years our books have won dozens of book awards for content, cover design and interior design including the prestigious Benjamin Franklin award for excellence in publishing. We are proud of the high quality of our books and hope you will enjoy this eBook version.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601382184
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/31/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 292,456
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Dedication     3
Preface     15
Introduction     17
Planning for the Big Departure     19
Leaving High School     21
Senioritis     22
The Learning Environment     27
Choosing a College Where Your Student Will Thrive     31
Choosing a College Close to Home     34
Choosing a College within Driving Distance (One Day or Less)     35
Choosing a College Far From Home     36
Traveling Back and Forth for Visits     38
Getting There and Back with Luggage     39
Choosing Between a Small or Large Campus     43
Attending Freshman Orientation     47
Campus Tours     48
Freshman Orientation     52
Pre-Orientation Field Trips     54
Early Starts for Athletes     56
Planning Finances and Health Insurance     57
Access to Your Student's Records     57
Money Management     58
Spending Money     61
Student Cards     62
Bank Accounts     63
ATM Cards     64
Credit Cards     65
Wire Transfers     67
Health Insurance     67
Learning to Budget     68
Paying the College Bill     69
Books     73
Scholarships     73
Getting a Job to Make Ends Meet     74
Things to Teach Your Children Before They Leave Home     77
How to Send a Thank You Letter or a Birthday Card to a Relative     77
How to Clean Leather Shoes     78
How to Separate the Lights from the Darks     78
How to Use Public Transportation     79
How Much to Tip     79
How to Spot Phishing or E-mail Scams     79
Where to Buy Necessities     80
How to Tell Analog Time     81
How to Lace Their Shoes (not just tie them, but insert the laces from scratch)     81
How to Run the Virus Scan and Clean Up Viruses and Cookies     82
E-mail Etiquette when Addressing a Professor or Person in Authority     82
How to Travel by Plane     83
What to Do if their Laptop Stops Working or is Stolen     84
What to Do if Their Car Breaks Down Halfway Home     85
What to Do if They Get in a Car Wreck     86
Packing for College     87
Clothing     88
Bringing a Car to Campus     89
Sheets, Towels, Dishes, and Other Miscellaneous Items     92
Food     93
School Supplies     94
Computers, Laptops, and Other Electronics     95
Departure Day     97
Logistics     97
Deciding Whether to Stay and Unpack     100
Shopping for Supplies     101
Meeting the Roommate     101
Saying Goodbye     102
The Student's Experience     105
Alone at Last     107
The First Night Alone     109
Then You Depart     110
The Early Weeks     113
Settling in     119
Fraternities and Sororities     120
Time Management     122
The Roommate     125
Residence Hall Life     129
The Dining Hall     131
The Recreation Center     132
Support from the Home Front     133
Staying in Touch     134
College Classes     139
Listening to the Professor     141
Developing a Strategy     144
Declaring or Changing Majors     146
Seeking Out Tutors     148
Mid-Terms     149
Learning How to Study      151
Dealing with Failure     153
Have a Plan B     153
Learning Independence     155
Far From Home     155
Coming Home for Thanksgiving     157
Random Acts of Independence     159
Buying Soap, Deodorant, and Other Boring Supplies     162
Handling Problems     167
Getting Sick     169
Serious Illness     172
Medical Insurance     174
Mistakes     177
Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol     179
Money Problems     180
Mars and Venus in College     187
The Parents' Experience     195
Missing Your Child     197
Focus on the Positive     201
Parenting a College Student     205
Changing Beliefs     207
Appearance     208
Communication     209
Eating Their Vegetables     211
Going to Church     213
Waking Up     214
Dealing with Their Problems     217
Identifying a Real Problem     218
Avoid Nagging     220
Growing Old Gracefully     220
The New Family Dynamic     223
Coming Home      223
Home Is a Hotel Syndrome     225
Do Not Make Plans for Your Student     226
No Expectations     227
It Goes Both Ways     229
Siblings at Home     233
The Transition into Adulthood     237
Develop a Life of Your Own     238
The Teenage Sloth     239
Summer Ultimatums     241
Accountability     244
Senior Year of College     246
The Boomerang Effect     248
Raising Children Is Like Whipping Cream     249
Revitalizing Your Life     251
I Had Simply Done It for too Long     252
Have Patience     253
Enjoy the Quiet Times     255
Start to Dream Again     256
Developing Hobbies and Interests     258
Motivation     260
Returning to Work after Staying Home     263
Re-Feathering the Nest     273
Roll up Your Sleeves and Get on with It     273
Spruce the Place up a Bit     274
When Should You Convert Their Bedroom into a Den?     275
A New Set of Wheels     276
Your Child's Appreciation     278
It All Works Out      279
The Reward     280
Bibliography     283
Author Biography     285
Index     287
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 23, 2009

    Great resource for college-bound families

    A mother of three, author Mary Spohn has plenty to offer parents of college-bound students.

    In nearly 300 heartfelt, witty pages, Spohn walks parents through the first months of college, exploring what their student will go through and how they might feel left behind at home.

    The text is peppered with anecdotal tales of her own sons' experiences and thoughts from other parents. The personal stories, including one about Spohn's son going without soap because he couldn't find it in the grocery store aisle, are funny and well-placed, flowing seamlessly in and out of surrounding passages.

    Spohn's writing is generally very good with the exception of a few language and punctuation errors and a couple of brief, odd stretches where the text is almost a word-for-word parrot of earlier passages.

    There is practical advice aplenty covering things that parents might be wondering about, and some things they might not consider.

    Can your student read an analog clock and tie their shoelaces? Strange-sounding questions, Spohn admits, but they're both important skills and in the age of digital watches and Velcro you might be surprised how often the answer is 'no'.

    In addition to absolute essentials like being able to stick to a budget, Spohn probes parents on whether their student knows how to figure a tip for a taxi driver, run a virus scan on their computer, draft an e-mail message to a professor and send a birthday card (by snail mail) to a relative.

    Spohn further touches on what the first few visits home might be like, the likelihood that your student won't attend church, when to let college-age children make their own mistakes and when to spot serious problems that require parental interference, the difference between sending off boys and girls and how long you should (not) hang around on move-in day.

    Ultimately, Spohn gently prods parents to get on with their own lives after their children move out, with new hobbies and renewed friendships.

    A wonderfully readable resource for parents who are anxiously facing one of life's biggest steps.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    Things to think about

    It¿s a bittersweet time you¿re little one is transitioning into adulthood. What to Expect When Your Child Leaves For College: A Complete Guide For Parents Only captures the madness of preparing students for college, as well as the social and emotional changes they (and you) encounter. Sophn shows that the transition from living at home to living on their own can be made easy or difficult, depending on the level of preparation parents have given their student. She takes special care to list the things students should know before going away to college, such as what to do if their car breaks down. But the primary purpose of the book is to explain to parents the things they should do before they drop their child off to the nearest college campus. Teaching students to use an ATM, fly on a plane and budget money, may seem mundane but, if taken for granted, can make the student¿s first year of college downright traumatic. This book provides an accurate glimpse into what a student will need to make the lifestyle adjustment. It¿s great for parents who don¿t know the first thing about preparing their child for college. Even parents that went to college-and are familiar with the procedures-can learn updated information about ways to improve the preparation process. They also learn how to cope with letting go and move on with their life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    Excellent, useful advice for parents of college-bound kids

    The leap from high school to college is more than just a much-anticipated step for eager young 18 year-olds¿it¿s a major adjustment for their parents as well. Mary Spohn is the mother of two college-aged sons, so she knows a thing or three about those adjustments. Her book gives parents honest and specific information on making the transition as easy as possible for maturing teenagers, and coaches them on what they need to know to successfully parent a modern college student. The book begins with detailed advice for parents helping their high schooler pick a college: Spohn explains how to weigh the pros and cons of a distant versus relatively close school, how to decide between campuses with small or large student populations, and how to help your child determine if the campus culture will be the right place for them to spend the next several years of their lives. Spohn gives parents a check-list of things to help their children with before the big Departure Day arrives. The list includes everything from setting up health insurance and bank accounts, to teaching them how to run a virus scan on their computer, what to do if 'God forbid!' they get in a car wreck, and how to clean leather shoes. The final two sections of the book deal with the college experience from first the student¿s, then the parent¿s point of view. In the Student¿s Experience section, Spohn gently reminds parents that although their children may deal with bouts of homesickness and exposure to unsavory influences, their role as a parent has subtly changed: while they still need to be there for their children as advisors, listeners, and comforters, they need to constantly guide their college-aged kids towards adulthood and independence. In the Parent¿s section, Spohn encourages parents to combat empty-nest feelings by recapturing and striving towards the old dreams and goals that they may have put on hold while raising children. Throughout the book, Spohn speaks to parents in a kind, straightforward, reassuring tone. She acknowledges that some of the college years may be rocky for parents because they are learning to transition from ¿parenting a child to becoming the parent of an adult.¿ However, with its helpful information, this book should ease the way for many parents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2008

    Lots of Information

    A recent article in the Arizona Republic newspaper notes that the current generation of parents are more involved in their children's lives--and it doesn't end when the kids go off to college. According to the article, colleges across the country apparently report huge increases in the number of parents clogging freshman orientation programs meant for students only. Mary Spohn's heartfelt book to some degree seems to reflect that trend. Spohn guided her sons into top colleges, and as a result, they appear well on their way to successful professional careers. She rightly points out that 'generally speaking, high school does not equip your child with any special life skills beyond balancing sports, and homework, dealing with peers, and cramming for exams.' Drawing in part on Spohn's own personal experiences, her book provides insights into what students are going through and how to support them and at the same time help them transition to becoming self-sufficient adults. In the first main section of the book, which concerns itself with planning for college, topics covered include how to chose a college where your son or daughter will thrive, money management for the new freshman, what life skills to teach your children before they leave home, and what to pack for the big move. The second main section discusses the student experience after your son or daughter gets to campus (which includes time management, residence hall life, academic strategies, and so on), and the third section addresses the parental experience in confronting the so-called empty nest. The book is loaded with practical and reassuring information, although some readers might find certain portions of the content a bit mundane. The table of contents and index can assist readers in accessing the material that is most useful to their particular circumstance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Very Helpful Book!

    ¿When your Child Leaves for College¿¿ This is an excellent resource for all of us parents who have junior or senior high school students who plan to head off the college after graduation. This transition is life changing for parents and children. If you are looking for great advice to help you and your child through this transition, look no further! This book provides parents with all the information we need to give our children the tools they need to succeed their first time away from home. Chapters include (not comprehensive list): ¿ Planning for the Big Departure- this covers growing pains like senioritis, gives a list of basic skills that your child needs (and most likely does not have) like managing money, choosing college courses based on pre and core requisites, and covers the differences between the high school and college learning environment. ¿ Choosing the Best College for your Student ¿ Planning Finances and Health Insurance ¿ Things to Teach Your Child Before they Leave Home- this includes writing thank-you letters for birthday presents, laundry tips, how much to tip, how to spot phishing and other internet scams, email etiquette for emails to professors, what to do if they get in an accident, what to do if their car breaks down halfway home and more. ¿ Packing for College- A great help, ensuring nothing is forgotten! ¿ The Students Experience- Covers the first night alone through the early weeks. ¿ College Classes- Discusses learning and studying strategies, the college atmosphere, tutors, dealing with failure and more. ¿ The Parent Experience- How to grow past missing your child, revitalizing your life and parenting a college student including how to handle children¿s return home and the new boundaries. This book provides an abundance of helpful information on how to grow through the college experience with your child, while helping your child learn independence and succeed. Highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2008

    Sending Them Off!

    Sending your child off to college is one of those terrifying experiences that can result in heaven or hell--or so it seems. Your mind has been wracked by the horror stories of children estranged, sick, pregnant, partying, falling from their parent's faith, slipping into terrible lifestyles, being corrupted by sickening and demented ideologies but your conscience has been just as wracked by the image of the helicopter parent, the nagging, puritanical, ultimatum-giving, hen-pecking, fun-stealing, ultimately repudiated parent. What will you do? How will you cope? Just what is college like today? And not only this, but how will you pay for this headache? What's the deal on scholarships, financial aid, saving for college? Most parents have to deal with it. As with any major event in life--it's best to be prepared. And in this book we have a fascinating and searching opportunity for you to become prepared. Starting right out from the beginning--the last days of highschool, the process of picking out which college your child will attend--Mary Spohn describes what you can expect in very readable, frequently humorous, prose. She doesn't skimp on the details, either. I laughed at chapters like Things To Teach Your Children Before They Leave Home, when they included things like How To Send a Birthday Card or Thankyou to a Relative--but I had to shake my head, remembering my own unpreparedness in these very areas. It took me two years and several estranged Aunts before I got around to learning how to write thankyou cards--some things parents expect their children to pick up by osmosis, which they would learn better with a little explicit advice. The book is divided into three main sections--Planning for College, The Student's Experience, and The Parent's Experience. This is wise--as is much else in the book--in that it emphasizes the most important things in considering college. First planning. No amount of preparation is too much. Second, the value of maintaining the perspective of the student while dealing with your own experiences--especially your worries. Things like the 'random act of independence' are sympathetically described, so that if you come home during one of your child's breaks to discover your clothes being improperly washed (and shrunken) you too will be able to see the assumption of responsibility, clumsy though it may be, for what it is. The section on financial concerns--the subject of so many other off-to-college books--is not reason to buy the book. As far as it goes, the advice there is accurate, but you will not discover how to pay for college from this book. Instead, the real insight is into the daily concerns and tiny details of living that both children and their parents must deal with when they go off to college. Particularly valuable is the chapter that addresses the college student's changing relation to 'home'--especially the routinely messed-up ritual of coming home for the summer. Wisely and graciously, Mary Spohn advises parents and college students how to get along with one another during these difficulties periods, and how to shepherd their relationship through the changes that come with independence and changing beliefs. I would recommend this book to any parent anxious to know what will come of the momentous event of sending their child off to college. It is surprisingly inoffensive considering the many potentially difficult subjects it addresses, putting forth an idea of the good parent as one easy-going yet strong, accepting yet firm. And it brings to light many aspects of the event that will simply not occur to you unless or until you actually encounter them. I give it a five.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2008

    What to Expect When Your Child Leaves for College

    There are 2 types of parents those who count the days until graduation and those who suffer from ¿empty nest syndrome.¿ Regardless of which type of parent you are, this book offers a practical guide on a range of topics from ¿Choosing a College Where Your Student will Thrive¿ to ¿Re-Feathering the Nest.¿ This book is one of the most practical guides you¿ll ever need while navigating your child onto the path of adulthood and college. This is the first book I¿ve seen that addresses not only the finances but the emotional separation issues. Not only does this book provide valuable information for parents, but also the student. A must buy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2008

    Cute and informative

    What to Expect When Your Child Leaves For College by Mary Spohn Believe it or not, you will need to remind your college-bound teenager to remember to send a thank you letter, or a birthday card to a relative¿with the return address. In fact, you may have to send an IM, or a text message to their phone every now and then in order to remind them to separate the lights from the darks when they wash their clothes. It may be basic information, but you may miss these details amid the well of tears that have formed in your eyes in preparation for you child¿s departure from the nest. In the meantime, your child is relishing in the freedom they will soon explore. Author Mary Spohn¿s book aids all parents, especially those still grappling with the fact that their child is growing up. She provides informative tips that you may miss and often hilarious accounts dealing with her own college-bound children. It begins by setting up and reminding parents about the college experience. It lets them know what to expect from the school and describes how to handle the college search and select schools that are appropriate for you and your child¿s comfort level. It describes what to review with your child when they are away, and it slowly reassures parents and eases their emotional grip over their child¿s well-being. One very important piece of information she addresses well and that¿s often overlooked are the miscellaneous expenses. Higher education isn¿t cheap, and a distinct picture of financial expectations is extremely helpful. For instance, Spohn says besides the tuition, books and room and board are health insurance, fraternity fees and storage fees. She reminds you to factor in the cost of transporting your child to and from school during breaks, and what that could possibly entail, such as dirty laundry and band equipment. Most importantly, she relieves the emotions of the newly distant relationship by reminding you of parent days and sharing her techniques to cheer up her sons. The book is an entertaining read that will provide a sense of comfort during the transitory period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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