So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Friday, October 18, 2013

Teach Your Kid to be a Good Roommate

Chick is liking college very much. She has integrated into the 'community' of it to some degree and seems to be thriving. Her only big issue is her roommate.

My school was a commuter school. They built a dorm after I attended -- which I probably wouldn't have used anyway since I lived a few miles away. But several of my friends have mentioned the wonderful, enduring relationships they have with their college roommates.

Many of them are still in touch and very good friends. In fact, the reason we found our current congregation was through a college roommate of a friend in South Carolina.

 Hubby's best friend was even his college roommate first. So I had great visions of the same thing for Chick.

But I don't think that's going to happen. She likes the girl well enough and the girl likes her too so it isn't a personality thing. It's a consideration of others thing and Chick is kind of 'done' with her at this point -- even a little disgusted.

The girl's mother chose her class schedule for her. She chose her roommate for her. (Guessing by her behavior, her mother also picked up after her without ever teaching her to do so. Or that she lives with other people who deserve consideration too.) In fact, it seems that her mother never let her do anything without first organizing and taking care of everything for her.

I think those kind of parents are calling 'hovering parents.' Much like a helicopter, they hover over their child micromanaging everything they do. The result is a child that takes no responsibility for themselves, has no inkling of their place in society, is unsure how to tackle anything, and is generally immature.

A child like that has never dealt with a life situation on their own. When they get thrown one suddenly, without any backup jumping in to take care of it, they simply don't know what to do or how to behave.

It honestly seems rather cruel to me. If a child has no chance to learn how to do something (like scheduling their own classes, for example) and then deal with the positive or negative repercussions (like having to be awake at an hour you don't like or do homework that you don't enjoy) in a safe environment like the home or with a parent, then they have been set up to either sink or swim. Unless they have the right motivation or personality, failure seems likely.

We try to have 'life lessons' in our house. Not just chores that they will one day do on their own, but things like setting up an allowance budget, having their own checking account, making their own school schedule, going with us to do adult chores like get license tags,etc., comparing prices at the store, and many other things.

Trying to include them in decisions and being open with our finances, talking about cause and effect situations, reinforcing that we aren't just making them do chores so we don't have to, and getting them involved in activities that they will one day be responsible for give them a chance to be successful when they actually are responsible for them.

That's one reason I feel certain Chick will be okay. I don't worry that her laundry isn't done because she can't figure out the machines or that everything she owns is now pink. I know she knows how to do it.

And, frankly, if she doesn't know or everything is pink, she knows how to learn from it and deal with it.

I don't worry that all her summer income will be gone in a month. Not only does she handle her money well (hence the cd's growing at the bank in her name) but she recognizes when to stop spending and when it's okay.

I don't worry about her school work getting done. I don't worry about suddenly finding out that her grades have plummeted. Or that she's set the dorm on fire. I don't worry that she's out running around at 3:00 am or hanging out with the wrong people.

I know that she can handle all that. She is sure of herself and knows what the repercussions of any of those situations would be. Based on that, she makes decisions and takes responsibility for them. I don't have to hover or worry about that stuff.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if her roommate's mother has an ulcer by now. 

(by the way, her roommate has not set the dorm on fire to my knowledge and I have no clue about her grades. those are all hypothetical situations -- well, many of them)

1 comment:

Morgan said...

This is great! An additional way to help roommates out is a new app HomeSlice. This mobile app is a private social network for roommates to communicate on issues such as bills, chores, supplies, and more. Check it out here: