September 2, 2006

Kids & College

Though my sons aren't off to university just yet (though it's getting scarily close), this article today left me feeling more than a little disturbed. It's dealing with how universities and colleges handle kids who aren't coping well - running the gamut from committing suicide, to needing some counselling on more minor issues.

How quickly adults forget the pressures of trying to grow up, trying to adapt to huge changes, trying to forge a way in a world that is increasingly unstable and unwelcoming. My kids watch me get frantic about everything from income to terrorism to health concerns, and I wonder why they want no part of getting to the magical world of adulthood?

For kids going away to school, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect some huge tremors. Different kids handle things different ways. My concern upon reading this article, which points out that some schools are just evicting kids that need help, is that a huge problem is being shuffled around like a bunch of people playing hot potato.

Here in Ontario we got rid of grade 13 a few years back. This means ever-younger kids are being sent out into the academic world. This is also happening at a time when too many parents have been making all their kids decisions for them. Ill-tested, ill-equipped and unready. And we wonder why some have a hard time coping.

Depression is real; fear is real; anger is real. And so is adult responsiblity in helping kids cope with all of these things. While I fight desperately hard every day to create an environment where I hope my kids can talk to me, I also give them alternate avenues to go down. Other people, other resources, anything that could help them out of a situation that seems insurmountable - to them.

It seems to me that if a college is trying to keep their hands clean of troublesome students, sending them back to the very place the child obviously doesn't feel safe to go to in the first place is not the answer.

One teacher, one counsellor, one friend, one connection somewhere can save your life. If anything, we need our kids to know there is more help for their very real concerns, not less.

All clouds eventually clear.


Blogger Rainypete said...

Yet another reason why the disconnected parent of today should ake up and notice what's around them. Too many parents think that kids are like fire and forget missiles. They need guidance and help to navigate the mess that we have built for them to traverse.

Maybe the universities are afraid that students will try to cash in on the myth that if your roommate dies you get a free pass to your semester.

September 02, 2006 4:23 PM  

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