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A time of transition for parents, too...

Noted parenting expert and University of Minnesota professor of child development Martha Erickson was interviewed yesterday on Eyewitness News 5 about the emotional impact that students leaving home for college can have on the families they leave behind.

We know that seeing a son or daughter begin their college career can stir up a number of conflicting emotions in parents. Pride in their student's accomplishments and in their own parenting sometimes mix with feelings of emptiness and even a sense of loss.

Seeing their child on the cusp of an exciting new life stage, with endless choices and possibilities laid out before him or her, sometimes spurs parents on to reconsider their own beliefs and life choices. It may not be coincidental that parents often make life or career changes during their student’s college years.

This is an excellent time for parents to reexamine their own interests and priorities, and take up a new hobby, register for an interesting course at a nearby college, or reinvigorate their career.

One resource for parents to consider is the University of Minnesota’s College of Continuing Education, which offers credit courses via mail or the Internet through its Independent and Distance Learning program. In addition, parents considering a new career direction will find one-on-one sessions and workshops to help them map out career goals and develop a plan to reach them. Financial aid, including scholarships and grants, may be available. Visit the College of Continuing Education's Web site call 612-624-4000 for more information.