Just Food and Necessities
Some parents are willing to help out their kids, but only so far as their basic necessities are concerned. Many moms and dads agree to pay for food, toiletries, books, and other must-have items for their children. Outside of this, however, the kids are on their own. If they want to guzzle beers or rush a fraternity or sorority, they're on the hook for that money--their “fun money.” Many parents like that this method teaches their child some responsibility without leaving him or her completely without help. It can also severely limit the amount of time your young student spends partying and not studying. Others, however, argue, that it can ruin the college experience. It's no fun to be the one student who can't afford to go out. Talk with your spouse, partner, or even your child about this option and whether or not it will work for you.
You're On Your Own
For some parents, a kid is no longer a kid once he or she leaves the house and strikes out on his or her own. Though this may seem harsh, many parents who no longer support their children or provide them with money find that their children grow greatly in terms of responsibility and are more appreciative of their upbringing and proud of their accomplishments. However, working your way through college is certainly not easy, and students who are forced to work often end up with less time to devote to their studies and may make lower grades than their peers. If you believe that college is all about learning, growing, and experiencing, know that you could severely limit these opportunities for your child if you make them work for every last penny.
A Free Ride
On the opposite extreme, you have parents who provide for every single need (and want) that their children have. While some parents would never dream of doing anything else, this is not highly recommended. Students who have everything they want handed to them often don't learn the value of hard work. Sometimes, this passes over into the classroom, with these students doing minimal work and still expecting excellent grades. These students may also take advantage of their parents' “kindness” and party on their dime. Students who are fully provided for are also very unlikely to get a job, which can hinder future work opportunities and keep them from learning the value and importance of responsibility.
A Happy Medium
The vast majority of parents aren't going to go all-or-nothing with their children. For most, a happy medium is what it's all about. This tends to be a wise decision, since it shows children that you still love for and care about them but also that they need to love and care for themselves.
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