Childrearing

College Students Are Adults, And Part Of Being An Adult Is Being Able To Blow Off Classes

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(photo: getty)

Our kids are always our babies, and it’s easy to feel that we are always responsible for them. But some parents are taking the helicoptering a little too far and demanding excessive supervision of their young-adult children, and that has to stop.

University students are full-grown adults, but according to Rocket News 24, some parents in Japan are worried that universities are not providing adequate care and supervision for their children. In response, some universities in Japan have reportedly taken to taking attendance digitally, and then uploading the students’ attendance records to a server where parents can check in with a smartphone app to see if their precious cupcakes are actually going to classes. Parents can reportedly use their phones to check at a glance if their child showed up to class at all, and even if the student showed up late or left early.

That is pretty ridiculous. I know my parents were very worried about whether or not I was going to class–an incident with an email auto-reply sent my mother off the rails my freshman year, as she did not understand what an “auto-reply” was and called screaming about why I wasn’t in class if I was online enough to send her a Thoreau quote the very second after she emailed me–but frankly, college students are adults and if they are going to blow off classes that is their right to do so, and they can reap the consequences. Skip too many and one could fail a class, or one’s parents could stop paying tuition, or any number of other negative events could happen, but part of being a college student is learning to be responsible for one’s own actions and deal with the consequences.

I totally understand the desire for parents to keep track of their kids’ attendance and school performance, especially if the parents are paying for the education. But it does not make sense for universities to be letting parents track their kids’ grades or class attendance. This kind of helicoptering has to stop at some point, and college is probably the safest time to cut the strings. Kids need to learn consequences and that bad things will happen to them if they do not show up and do their work, and college is a relatively low-risk time to do it.

Nobody is going to give us an app to make sure our kids go to work every day. If a student blows off a class here or there, he or she might have trouble learning the material or might even fail a class or get suspended. All those things are bad, but still relatively easy compared with getting fired and having to make rent while job-hunting. Parents need to back off and let their kids screw up in college, or they’re going to have to be following them to work for the rest of their lives.

(Photo: iStockPhoto/Getty Images/ MaksymPoriechkin)