I ask my students how much they text their parents.
“All day long.”
“At least six times a day. And we Skype. And we talk on the phone each morning to say ‘Good Morning’.”
“I check in with my dad several times a day while he’s at his computer. We chat on line about everything going on.”
I’m talking to students in my office later, and I tell them the concern my generation has that students don’t transition well to adulthood or gain any independence because they’re constantly over-communicating with their parents.
“Dr. H, you’re wrong on this one,” they insist. “Technology keeps us close to our parents. We have great relationships with them. But we make our own decisions and live our own lives.”
“But how do you figure anything out on your own if you’re always talking to your parents?” I’m actually scowling. I’m actually crossing my arms and tapping my foot.
“I figure things out on my own. But then I text them to tell them about it,” one says.
I find myself angry about this. I find myself convinced that technology surely delays adulthood.
But then later, I realize this: I’m not angry.
What I wouldn’t give to have had that kind of connection with my own family! What I wouldn’t give to have talked with my dad like that!
The more I study college students, the more I realize I’m not observing co-dependence; I’m observing love.
One student tells me to watch the Google Chrome commercial between a father and freshman daughter. “You’ll change your mind when you see this,” they claim. “This is what it’s like for us.”
I’ve changed my mind about this.
Do you think you would have texted your parents every day from college?
This is what it is like for Devon and Me and Abbie and Me. This is what it will be like for you when YOUR girls go to college. It helps me not miss them so much.
This will be interesting to see, as my kids are teens, soon to leave for college. The texting we do is so much more communication than I had with my parents. And they already find lots of ways not to need me.
I hope so!!!
Good point, Megan! They already find lots of ways not to need us!!
no i dont think i would have, i didnt have that kind of relationship with them, however my girls chat on line with me everyday, in addition to skype and phone, i wish i would have had that kind of support and connection when i was their age
I would have! When we started dating in college, Dave teased me that I called my parents about everything, including when I was going to the bathroom! I didn't call for permission to do stuff … just sharing my life with them. I didn't realize how rare that was until I was much older!