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Your Top Back-to-School Questions, Answered by These Experts

Three parenting pros answer questions for kindergarten through college

Published on: July 27, 2018

Your Top Back-to-School Questions, Answered by These Experts

Group of young college students

College: How much should I hover?

Ross Greene: Here’s the deal: Throughout development, the goal is to promote as much independence as possible while making sure that the kid gets the help they need on the things they’re struggling to master. That’s true at very early ages, and it doesn’t stop once the kid is in college. 

So, if your kid is doing fine in college and is living a lifestyle that seems okay, then you have every reason to continue promoting independence. That’s the kid who is saying, “I don’t really need you much anymore, but I’ll let you know if I do.’”

If your kid is not doing as well in any realm — social, lifestyle and academic — let them know you’ve noticed and ask them if there is something you can do to help.

Acknowledging that we need help often isn’t easy, so the kid may put you off initially. But that doesn’t mean you should drop the issue completely. Just agree to keep an eye on things and come back to it if necessary. 

If the kid self-corrects, your observation may have been all that was needed. If self-correction doesn’t occur, raise the issue again and remind your child that help might be useful. 

Sometimes kids need to struggle for a while before they’ll acknowledge the need for help. Struggling isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most human growth comes from it.

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