I said a tearful goodbye to my daughter last fall as we parted ways on the steps of the university library. It had been a long and emotional weekend of moving her into the dorm, attending parent orientations, sizing up fellow students, and reminding her to take her vitamins. When the final goodbyes were exchanged, my son and I walked to the car. He put his arm around me and said "Don't worry Mom, you can Skype with her soon." A definite sign of the times!

Throughout the first year of university, my daughter and I texted, called, emailed, Facebooked, and Skyped. We would have Tweeted, but she would just roll her eyes at me when I suggested that. I listened as she told me about friend squabbles, and offered my (virtual) shoulder to cry on when she was homesick. I offered my opinion on essay structures and yoga classes with equal regularity. She asked for my advice on occassion, and often asked for updates on family and friends. Frequent contact was especially comforting for both of us, as my daughter attends university outside of the U.S., making home visits few and far between. I think that we had a great year, bridging the distance with the help of technology.

After reading The iConnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up... I felt like I might have done it all wrong.

Are College Kids Too Connected to Parents?

Authors Barbara K. Hofer, Ph.D., and Abigail Sullivan Moore paint a startling view of the 'iconnected' college campus. Examples in the book point to extreme cases — students talking to their parents during multiple calls per day (seemingly incapable of deciding what to eat for lunch without a consult), papers proffered by parents willing to overlook academic honor codes, and administrators called upon to counsel the broken-hearted after soured college romances. The authors have done extensive research and collected pages and pages of data from students, parents, and educators. I have no doubt that they have heard tales of helicopter parenting at its worst.

As I read through the book, I was shocked by the antics of parents, perplexed by the kids who haven't learned to make decisions on their own, and angered for the administrators who are thrust into a big-brother-esque role. Let's be honest — through it all, I was mostly worried that I was doing those things, too. I questioned my habits and the routines that my daughter and I established. Were we talking too much? Texting too often? Should we stop Skyping? Would it be best to unfriend each other? So many questions!

Follow Your Instincts

Much of this book reads as a cautionary tale of what NOT to do. The final chapter of the book finally eased my mind with common sense suggestions on maintaining healthy balance in communicating with your coed. Wise advice to "give them space to lead their own lives, and know the boundaries," along with "know the college resources and promote help-seeking" resonated.

At the end of the day (and the book), my advice is this — do what works for you and your child. My daughter and I have an easy, unstructured flow of communication. A day, or even two, may go by with nary a text or Facebook post. Other days may be filled with banter. I am not concerned that these exchanges are preventing her from establishing her independence. I am confident that they are teaching her how to maintain relationships and open lines of communication.

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