The front page of today\’s Wisconsin State Journal features an article about the UW-Madison\’s \”Parent Program,\” which provides services for parents who just can\’t let their little angels go. The article features mother and daughter team Amy and Alynna Smith, who apparently are a little… close. It appears that Alynna will not be able to live her college life without her mother knowing every move she makes, since that\’s clearly how it works at home now.
While her mother\’s intent in participating in this story was clearly to show how much she loves her daughter, she may actually have just put a target on Alynna\’s back when she shows up on campus. I\’m sure there will be plenty of guys in the dorms who would delight in being the first one to take a crack at Amy\’s little girl. Hooray for unintended consequences!
I don\’t necessarily fault the UW for having such a program, because these clingy parents are probably a royal pain. But instead of having a full fledged program to deal with them, the UW should just set up a hotline, that says the following:
\”If you are calling to pay your child\’s tuition, press \’one.\’ If you are calling because you are having anxiety about your child being in college without you there, then it might be time for you to grow the hell up and leave your kid alone. To return to the main menu, press the star key.\”
Naturally, I draw on my own personal experience with regard to parental involvement in my college life. When my dad packed our van up with all my stuff to drive me to college, I\’m not sure I\’ve ever seen him move so fast. I\’m sure as soon as he got back, the champagne corks were popping in my house. The day after I left for college, my mom converted my bedroom into her own personal art studio. So when I came home to visit, I had to sleep on the floor among pottery and pressed flower pictures.
It\’s not a crime to care about your children and wish them well. But we have reached a point where the kids might actually be more grown-up than the parents.
UPDATE: It appears Newsweek has named UW-Madison their \”Hottest Big State School.\” No doubt, this honor is due to the wide array of parental babysitting options the UW offers.