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Old 09-01-2017, 07:26 AM   #21
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The parent part of me really feels for you Ray.

The forever 20 year old part of me recalls having a great time in college. Drank too much, enjoyed my time with young women, made lifetime friends, graduated with honors and was married to my last college girlfriend for 30 years. The degree opened doors, but the life experience was invaluable.

<snip> ETA - some lessons can't be taught, they must be learned. The learning is cheaper when you're young.
I went to college in the 70s and my experience was similar although I only dabbled in alcohol and drugs. I was too busy enjoying the heady experience of being the only female in many of my classes. Kid in a candy store. It was simpler then, of course- any disease you got could be cured with a course of penicillin (although I never got any). It's a lot scarier now. Apparently even the content of funny cigarettes can be laced with substances more deadly.

My son took a long time to get his act together academically but straightened out once he joined a conservative evangelical church and got a good counselor to help him manage his ADD. I haven't "helicoptered" too much- other than his poor grades early on he gave me no reason to worry- but a couple of years after he quit the counseling and had started a PT job I was browsing through the health insurance Web site (I had him on COBRA) and noticed he wasn't filling his Adderall prescription anymore. I asked him about it and he said he had run out and realized he felt better without it. That was about 12 years ago and he's doing fine so apparently he was right. I wonder if he ever would have bothered to tell me.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:39 AM   #22
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Ray, you missed the boat on this one by not having a microchip implanted before he left for school. Three Square Market becomes first US company to offer implanted microchips to all employees - TechRepublic

Checking meal bills and hoping for useful updates via phone calls won't work. At best, you'll have just enough info to worry, but not enough to really understand what's happening. You might give him a new cell phone for Christmas, and install some tracking SW before he gets it. Likewise a new laptop. You can even enable the cameras and get a peek for yourself.

Are you sure you really want to do this? Maybe it's time to give him some room and see how he handles it.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:55 AM   #23
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You can even enable the cameras and get a peek for yourself.
Dayum, I'm glad my parents didn't have that option.
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The Technology of tracking your college freshman...
Old 09-01-2017, 12:29 PM   #24
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The Technology of tracking your college freshman...

Just a point of order - the Mrs and I are sitting here discussing whether we should expect him home this weekend. I'm guessing no. We haven't spoken to him in several days.. we are giving him space. Yes the food thing worried me.

Spy on him? Naah I'd rather not know.
I missed the boat on that whole chip thing. Maybe next time.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:04 PM   #25
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Funny thing with our kids - the one that gave us the most worries in high school and were sure would get into trouble in college had a great time, behaved himself, and had a smooth 4 years. The one who gave us the last angst through high school, displayed great leadership qualities, and we thought would breeze thru college on scholarship ended up getting kicked out of 2 schools and wandered in the "desert" of seedy life, including jail time, before straightening his life out and getting his degree at 29.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:50 PM   #26
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,,,,,........ You do realize that you can't even legally get access to your son's grades without his permission?
these are just technicalities, hahah, no jury would ever convict
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:11 PM   #27
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these are just technicalities, hahah, no jury would ever convict
Especially if Dad is writing the checks for the student's tuition, books, room & board.
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:31 PM   #28
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How does the student feel about such monitoring?
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Old 09-01-2017, 03:33 PM   #29
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How does the student feel about such monitoring?
What he don't know, won't hurt him
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:27 PM   #30
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I am at a complete loss as to why a parent would want to 'spy' on the child at college or university. What good would come of it?

If you do not trust your child at this point, then it is game over.

Let them be themselves, make their own mistakes, learn from them, move forward, mature, and above all enjoy the college/university experience. And get on with your own life.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:07 AM   #31
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Your son will know soon, due to strange questions from you, strange looks and talk.
If he has self respect, he will put a lot of effort into hiding his private life from then on.
It will undermine your relationship long term.
If you believe to have done a good job in parenting so far, you better think twice and respect privacy of this young adult.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:20 AM   #32
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Three day weekend and he's an hour and a half away. I guess we will know if he's coming home when the door opens...
I loved my parents dearly. When I first went off to college, I did not go home for 8 weeks. Did I mention that home was only 80 miles away!! If I recall correctly, they have women, beer and football weekends at college. Now that I think about it, does your son need a room mate?

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Old 09-02-2017, 05:48 AM   #33
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I am at a complete loss as to why a parent would want to 'spy' on the child at college or university. What good would come of it?

If you do not trust your child at this point, then it is game over.

Let them be themselves, make their own mistakes, learn from them, move forward, mature, and above all enjoy the college/university experience. And get on with your own life.


+1

Trust that if they get into trouble they don't want to handle on their own, the first call will be to mom and dad.
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The Technology of tracking your college freshman...
Old 09-02-2017, 06:44 AM   #34
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The Technology of tracking your college freshman...

Quote:
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I am at a complete loss as to why a parent would want to 'spy' on the child at college or university. What good would come of it?

If you do not trust your child at this point, then it is game over.

Let them be themselves, make their own mistakes, learn from them, move forward, mature, and above all enjoy the college/university experience. And get on with your own life.


Checking that your child is eating when he told us he was skimping on dinner is "spying"? your kidding right? If it is I plead guilty- did you ever wonder why so many college kids get mono? I reminded him how it is important to get a balanced meal in him. He knows we care.

We also check on his grades... guess what it's my dime and I told him if he doesn't do well it's community college for him. I'll buy myself a nice fishing boat with the money we save.

This isn't my first rodeo - his summa cum Laude sister landed a very nice position with a huge firm and is in graduate school. Same deal do well or I pull the plug. I knew she was eating and hit the gym daily.
Do well and you get a semester in Australia, she loved it.

A bit of background...

Finally I know this kid ... he stopped doing his advanced math homework when he realized his high test scores would get him a B. His personal life is his own but when it comes to his grades and health yeah we get involved.

A year or so ago he was an addicted puffy computer gamer - staying up all hours to play. So we mandated he get a job ... he did and at the same time hit a growth spurt and lost a good deal of weight. This taller kid needs to eat as his 32 inch jeans are falling off him.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:48 AM   #35
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I hear ya, Ray. Leaving in a few minutes to make the 80 mile drive to visit our freshman college son. Dropped him off ten days ago and have heard little from him. Exchanged a few texts and emails to take care of business matters (tell him his last summer paycheck arrived, a scholarship check came in the mail, and coordinate purchase of textbooks).
Mom is disappointed he hasn't called to talk.

We've got a cover, the HS soccer team he was a varsity player on just a year ago opens its season today at the HS right across the street from the college campus. Plan to go to the game with him, have a late lunch, and head home. Fully suspect he will spend half the time with his old teammates.
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Old 09-02-2017, 07:47 AM   #36
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If I had to do it again, I'd have a self-reporting agreement in place. I'd start at age 12 with "If I pay for college, I want a weekly report of your academic status". That may sound "helicopterish" but I'm sure that a bit of advice would have saved a lot of teeth gnashing. All that being said, both graduated in 4 years from internationally recognized universities.

As to finances, I first tried a detailed approach, which got zero cooperation. So I changed over to using the university budget, and sending a weekly amount. Before going there, I made sure they knew that if they didn't plan properly, they couldn't come to me to bail them out. That worked great...I set up the periodic transfer and never heard boo about their financial decisions, and they never hit me up for more. Now, if we get audited on the 529 spend, we will have to dig up the credit card details, but I doubt that will happen.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:51 AM   #37
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So DD was a gymnast throughout her younger years. She was thrilled to find out her college of choice had a gymnastics club in fact, it helped finalize her decision.

Like most parents, I worried a lot when I dropped her off there - 800 miles from home. She was pretty shy throughout high school. Would she make enough friends? How will she handle partying? Would she go out drinking to make friends, etc, etc.... The alcohol and parties had been my sons downfall

About two weeks after we left her I get this message from her....

DD - im so proud of myself. I did the bars tonight!

Me (*bad feeling in the out of my stomach....but not wanting to lose it* - Really, honey? But your only 18. I didn't think you were old enough to do the bars. Or do they just let you in but not serve you?

DD - *silence*

Me - Hello?

DD - are you serious or was that just a bad joke?

Me - What?

DD - OMG, Ma! I did the bars. I went to the gym and worked out....on the UNEVEN bars. What the hell...?

Me - Whoops

I stopped worrying about her after that
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:11 AM   #38
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Well....since you are paying for the whole shot you might just want to move into the dorm with him and shadow him for his entire first year. And perhaps have is marked assignments given to you for verification since you paid his tuition.

I did very well at university and landed a great job and a great career. This had nothing to do with how we treated our son or daughter. We certainly did not spy on either of our children when they went to university. Nor did my parents 'spy' on me when I was in college and then university.

Bottom line is that they are either mature or they are not. They either want to do it or they do not. At the end of the day nagging and spying won't work. They are in charge of their own lives now, regardless of who is paying for it. Your work is complete.

The real question is whether or not you think that your child is mature enough to attend a post secondary institution (local or remote) and be successful academically and socially.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:16 AM   #39
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Ray, When you first posted he had only been gone about a week and you had 2 conversations and were checking up on his eating habits.

Does he have a eating disorder that he's not eating?
When he was home, he was "on his computer gaming staying up until 2am and getting up at midday." Did this same behavior follow him to college?
We are all different, it sounds like you are comparing him to his sister.

My roommates' mother called all the time and would drop in for visits. She didn't want to go home during the holidays and breaks because her mom was driving her nuts. She came home with me a couple of times and her mother called her twice a day and called my mom to check on her.
Parents worry, that's their job but maybe take another look at how you and Mrs. Ray are treating him.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:52 AM   #40
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I and my two best friends flew 1000 miles and made the mistake of surprising DD on her birthday late in her freshman year. Someone in DD's college/dorm was laughing quite hard when she let us onto their floor late morning, where in DD's room we found several young people still asleep (I mean passed out) in the room, and someone had obviously thrown up in a trashcan. Everyone in that room graduated with honors but oh my!

Neither of our kids' schools ever sent parents the grades, ever.
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