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Have a College-Bound Kid? Seton Hall's Orientation Offers Advice for Parents


June 26, 2014 at 11:38 AM

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Sending a kid off to college is a major milestone in family life, and many parents and students struggle with letting go.

While the incoming Class of 2018 attend Seton Hall's orientation program "Pirate Adventure," which started this week, their parents attend orientation sessions geared specifically for them.

In a presentation titled “We were all such good parents… before we had children!”, Vice-President of Student Services Tracy Gottlieb, of West Orange, provided tips on how to face the task of having a child more out of the house and onto higher education.

Some of the advice included “talk to them on their time, not yours” and “expect them to change.”

“They are going to be introduced to subjects they didn’t even know existed,” Gottlieb said. However, parents must also change to accommodate this new lifestyle. She described this change as a role shift from “head honcho” to “sideline coach.”

Another tip was, “Don’t blame others for (students') mistakes.” Students have a lot more freedom in college, and time management is a learning process parents should encourage but not necessarily intervene in.

“College is different from high school,” she said. “It has a lot more recess.”

Communication is key when it comes to transitioning into college life, and Gottlieb stressed a phone call, or at least a text once in a while, but overall she advised parents not to worry about students moving on too quickly. “Remember, they always come home,” she said. 

The reporter is a student participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.

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