I'm the parent of a seven and three year old. I have an innate sense to not let my daughter get to close to railings or run with a sharp object. I'm always aware of my son getting out of my site or putting something in his mouth. I'm not sure this concern and desire to protect will ever go away. I think being protective (or do I dare say, overprotective?) is much better than the alternative.
From 13 years of experience in higher education, which includes 13 move-in days, I know that the day will come when I must show confidence that my children are ready to move on without my (our) direct supervision. Colleges put a lot of time and effort in preparing to assist students with the transition to college. Part of that transition is dealing with homesickness and missing family. Not as much assistance is provided to the families who suddenly are minus one in their homes. I've seen many a parent, and yes as many dads as moms, in tears as they say goodbye to their child on move-in day.
But we all know that students and parents still stay in touch and that technology has made it a lot easier. No longer do freshman pile up the huge phone card bills. The digital age has provided us with text messages, Skype, email, cell phones, and many other ways to stay in touch with home and hopefully ease the transition for students and parents. However, there needs to be a discussion concerning the use of this technology in order to make sure it is assisting with a transition and not sabotage it.
The following articles are great advice for students and parents to review to discuss these transitions (students and parents). Hopefully they will prompt a discussion concerning both parties' expectations of how they will handle their transitions. These are great for rising college students preparing for move-in day and the freshman year, but also students carrying out their college search as preparation for the day that will inevitably come!