Getting College Parents To Say Good-Bye Already

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It's traditionally a bittersweet ritual — parents dropping their kids off at college for the first time.

But for a generation of moms and dads known for their "helicopter parenting" — for being overly attentive to every detail in their children's lives — the college drop-off seems to be especially difficult.

So to help parents cut the cord, some colleges and universities now have special programs and good-bye rituals to assist the separation process.

At Morehouse College in Atlanta, for example, there's a formal "Parting Ceremony," in which students march through the gates of the campus ahead of their parents, and the gates swing shut before their parents have a chance to follow.

Other schools, including Boston University, intentionally schedule separate events for parents and students during orientation as a way to minimize time for parental hovering.

Are you a parent who recently dropped off a son or daughter at college? How did it go? Was it difficult? Have you been texting your kids nonstop since you said good-bye?

Are you a student who's gone through the process, and did your parents' hovering drive you crazy? Or are you a college administrator or professor who has seen first-hand how parents have trouble letting go?


  • David Zamojski, assistant dean of students and director of residence life at Boston University
  • Joyce Holl, executive director of the National Orientation Directors Association

This program aired on September 1, 2010.


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