Here are a few books and online resources parents of first-year college students have found useful before, during and after the transition to college:
Letting Go: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years
By Karen Coburn and Madge Treeger (2003)
“Letting Go is about what it feels like for parents when their kids go off to college. Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger provide a compassionate approach, practical information, and advice about the physical and emotional processes of letting go. They discuss the college-age child's search for identity, independence, and intimacy; give a succinct and accurate description of how college life has changed over the decades; and provide a year-by-year breakdown of what to expect. Plus, you can read about typical and not-so-typical problems including date rape, crime, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, and sexual issues. Of special note is the focus on orientation and the freshman year, including the disorientation parents feel once the drop-off has been made.” ~Amazon.com Review
Don’t Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years
By Johnson and Schelhas-Miller (2000)
“This concrete, easy-to-use guide is designed to help anxious parents support and understand their newly fledged children as they weather the slings and arrows of the first year of college. Johnson (Assistant Dean of Students/Cornell) and Schelhas-Miller (Adolescent Development/Cornell) possess decades of professional experience as college counselors, and their easy expertise is obvious. Despite glib overtones--the work at times reads like a transcript from a Power Point talk given at a generic freshman orientation--the authors address difficult issues with varying degrees of success. Certain basic assumptions--parental acceptance of teen sex (even to the point of providing off-to-college birth control pills) and the equally underplayed acceptance of underage drinking and drugging--might be obstacles for some readers, as might gender- and class-based generalizations, such as those addressed to young women on campus and individuals who are the first in their (immigrant) family to attend college. Despite these caveats, however, most potential first-year situations--from academic probation and credit-card sprees to date rape and eating disorders--are discussed in level, clear language designed to help parents allow their children to cope. The authors' main message (that parenting style should evolve from daily care giving to more of a mentoring relationship) is clear and consistent, and seems sane and grounded guidance. Both a useful guide and a literary security blanket, offering familiar comforts and good, solid advice in a text-dense sea of boxes, lists, and resources for further reading.” ~Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved
A national membership association serving current and future college parents.
An interactive site that provides mothers of freshman the emotional rescue necessary to help them through their child's journey from high school to college. According to the site, "Our sanctuary of advice, forums, and tips also allows you to share your own experiences, funny stories, panicky moments, and coping skills with other moms in your position. So pull up a chair and chat with the only people who truly understand how you are feeling.”
This section of the College Board website is tailored specifically for parents and offers helpful information on every stage of the college process, including applying for, preparing for, paying for, and sending your students off to college. Each section of this website also offers additional helpful resources.
One resource from the College Board website that we found particularly useful: 10 tips for parents on how to help your child become more self-reliant. The ten life skills in this list are vital not only for success in college, but for all other areas of life.