The following is an excerpt from Irish writer/poet John O’Donohue from his book, Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on our Yearning to Belong (italics added).
I hear in John’s words the very heart of the message of what it means to parent well and to be an attentive human with strong intention. May his words serve us well…
“The loneliness and creativity of being a parent is the recognition that family is inevitably temporary. Good parenting is unselfish and, to encourage independence in a child that has received unconditional love, acts to reinforce the sense and essence of belonging. Nothing, not even departure, can sever that intrinsic sense of belonging. Children are created to grow and leave the nest. Family provides the original and essential belonging in the world. It is the cradle where identity unfolds and firms. Such belonging outgrows itself. Home becomes too small and too safe. The young adult is called to new longing to leave home and undertake new discovery. The difficulty for parents is Continue reading →
- New relationships
- Testing new freedom
- Money, Money, Money
Tips for Successful Parenting
Being homesick is often just as much of an issue for you as a parent as it is for your student. The first few weeks of college are packed with events to help students become engaged in campus life. The challenges of meeting new people and learning the campus culture take time and energy. Even if they don’t Continue reading →
As this new academic year begins, I recognize that it is often easier (read: less hard/difficult) to fall back on what I know, or how I have always done something. I bump into the temptation every year, as I prepare the syllabus for a course I’ve taught a dozen times, to change the dates and hit “Save As”, then move on to the next item on the endless list.
So as I sat with the choice again late this summer. I was faced with the question of how I might do this very familiar thing differently. How might I consider another vantage point? How might the opportunity present itself in ways I hadn’t previously considered? In what ways might I engage with the students, the material, and my own sense of the experience differently so as to create a different outcome?
I did, ultimately, completely retool an assignment. Time – and the student’s experience with it – will tell if the retooling is successful, but Continue reading →
In light of my regular admonition to speak an intentional “Blessing” to your daughter/son as s/he move across this significant threshold, I find the words here from Irish poet John O’Donohue to be so appropriate and thoughtful; both for the giver and the receiver.
As you consider crafting your own “Blessing”, may O’Donohue’s words serve to help you know what you hope to convey for yourself.
Hear his words: For a New Beginning
In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
From: To Bless the Space Between Us, John O’Donohue:
The following is a month-by-month walk through the major transitional issues in a fairly typical freshman year. Certainly these will look a little different from student to student, but after many years of observation and experience, these major themes remain fairly consistent.
Following them to the letter won’t assure you and your student a trouble-free year, but, hopefully, knowing what to expect might minimize the anxiety just a little; for both of you.
- Excitement & Anxiety about the unknown
- Making sure reminders of home are packed
- Celebrate the transition from High School to College
- Conversations about Alcohol & other drugs
Tips for Successful Parenting
This is the most significant transition in your student’s life to date. It presents a great opportunity to Continue reading →
As we lean ever further into this idea of “letting go” of our agendas for our daughters and sons, there is a point at which we can find the core of our hope. I don’t believe we can parent without having some basic hopes for our children: hope that she will be healthy, hope that he will be successful, hope that she will live a meaningful and productive life, and our list of hopes can go on and on.
The poem below presents the same question in a different form; an opportunity to see and experience our daughters and sons differently. When we encounter the invitation to do the work of letting go of OUR agendas – and it is OUR work – we may find that Continue reading →
As we consider again (and again, and again) the perpetual invitation to examine the ways in which we bring a sense of intention and purposefulness to being a parent, it is essential that we look at the parts we play in our children’s lives.
In my College Parent 101 presentation, I pose the following question to parents: “What roles do you hold with your daughter or son?” Another way to view this might be: “What roles define your relationship?” An additional way to consider this might be to ask, Continue reading →
I rarely give attention on College Parent 101 to anything resembling a business, but I am glad to pass on to you some information you may find helpful both physically come Move-In Day, as well as an intriguing work opportunity for your daughter or son to consider.
Bellhops is changing the way young people move…with college students. Bellhops started as a collegiate moving service at Auburn University in 2011, is now a nationwide moving solution serving 121 cities across the country. Bellhops, is a tech-based service and contracts over 8,000 college students to provide small-scale moving services to their local communities. Their market: other students, young professionals and anyone else needing simple moving help. As opposed to traditional movers requiring you to use a quoting process, as well as deal with hefty hourly minimums, Bellhops can be booked in under a minute on-line, and only charge you for the amount of time they actually work for you.
Bellhops empowers student ‘Bellhops’ to work. For example, when someone books a move in Nashville, all 110 Bellhops in Nashville get pinged on their smartphone notifying them of an available job. The Bellhops are able to ‘claim’ the job from their mobile device if they wish. The Bellhops pick up jobs on a first-come basis, which is why they provide such high levels of customer service; creating a powerful dynamic…Bellhops who choose to serve you.
For many of you who have students in college, you may want to take a look at their website (www.GetBellhops.com) to see if they are operating in the city your student is living in or even if you need help locally. Whether you want your daughter or son to apply for a great flexible job, or just don’t want to deal with moving them for the rest of their college career, it is worth giving them a look.
I have asked for a discount for CP101 subscribers, and the Bellhops team has graciously offered 5% if you use “CP101” as your code.
I hope this makes some of the transition “move” more smoothly!
As I again enter into the Orientation season, I am reminded of the power inherent in the core of what I call the “Family Blessing.” The core of this message is focusing on building self-competency for your daughter/son: that she/he can do this, and that she/he is not alone!
Each student has “landmarks” in his journey, often people, who helped guide him to this pivotal point. Each landmark – a family member, friend, neighbor, or mentor — took a sincere interest in helping guide his journey, and as such, each person has a vested interest in his success.
I believe it is essential to Continue reading →