Recommended Reading

Each semester, we will provide a reading list of 4-7 books that GW parents and family members should consider reading that include useful tips or provide insight into college parenting, college students, or higher education generally.  Most, if not all, titles should be available at your local library.  Please write me ([email protected]) if there are titles we should post for the following semester.

Recommended Reading  
  • Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College  
    Almost Grown is a guide for parents to the final years of high school and first years of college, offering intelligent counsel not only in practical issues such as developing a college search plan or handling questions of money, sex, and substance abuse, but also in the psychological issues that arise during this family transition.  Patricia Pasick also explores the unexpected: the impact of the changing family on younger siblings, the benefits and frustrations of college students' returning home, the challenges and opportunities that nontraditional families face, and more.
  • Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings
    Dr. Ken Ginsburg guides parents and other caring adults how to help kids from the age of 18 months to 18 years build the seven crucial "C's"--competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control.  These are the critical skills young people need to bounce back from life's challenges and thrive far into the future.
  • Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide to the College Years
    When children leave for college, many parents feel uncertain about their shifting roles.  By emphasizing the importance of being a mentor to your college student, Don’t Tell Me What To Do, Just Send Money shows parents how to influence their college student while still supporting their independence.
  • First in the Family: Advice About College from First-Generation Students
  • If we can do it, so can you! That's the message sent to students in this advice book, written with college students who were the first in their families to go past high school. It's tough to aim for college if other family members have not--so this book offers the kind of encouraging, practical guidance that an older sibling would give. Inspiring stories of the diverse student contributors--who end up at institutions from community colleges to elite universities--combined with warm and well-organized counsel and checklists.
  • Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-Reliance
    Today's rapidly changing world and challenging economy, young adults increasingly find themselves at a crossroads between financial and emotional dependence and autonomy. Drawing on Dr. Sachs' extensive clinical experience and his illuminating discussion of the latest psychological research, Emptying the Nest will support parents in their efforts to cultivate their young adult's success and self-reliance while simultaneously maintaining healthy family relationships.
  • iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us
    As seen in Time, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and on CBS This Morning, BBC, PBS, CNN, and NPR, iGen is crucial reading to understand how the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation.
  • Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years
    This best-selling guide has already helped hundreds of thousands of parents over the past decade, and it remains one of the best guides for parents of new college students. Now in its sixth edition, this guide is based on the real-world experiences of students and parents. It’s filled with practical, compassionate, and timely college tips for parents going through the college experience.
  • My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student
    After fifteen years of teaching anthropology at a large university, Rebekah Nathan had become baffled by her own students. Their strange behavior—eating meals at their desks, not completing reading assignments, remaining silent through class discussions—made her feel as if she were dealing with a completely foreign culture. So Nathan decided to do what anthropologists do when confused by a different culture: Go live with them. She enrolled as a freshman, moved into the dorm, ate in the dining hall, and took a full load of courses. And she came to understand that being a student is a pretty difficult job, too. Her discoveries about contemporary undergraduate culture are surprising and her observations are invaluable, making My Freshman Year essential reading for students, parents, faculty, and anyone interested in educational policy.
  • The UniversityParent Guide to Supporting Your Student's Freshman Year
    The UniversityParent Guide to Supporting Your Student's Freshman Year is packed with practical advice and insightful reflections. This guide is divided into time segments throughout your student’s first year of college: summer, early fall, late fall, and spring. Each division provides parents with all the information they need to help their student through each segment of the first year of college.
  • Secrets of a Financial Aid Pro
    This book is more than help for financial aid questions. In it you can find out how to give your student the financial skills they’ll need for life, with talking points and scripts to help you with important conversations you need to have before college. Jodi Okun provides parents with expert advice and in this book shares her experiences of helping parents pay for college.
  • Taking on Diversity: How We Can Move from Anxiety to Respect 
    A “diversity doctor” related stories that individuals have shared with him about their anxieties in situations involving people who are in some way different than themselves.  Dr. Rupert W. Nacoste regularly counsels individuals about their problems dealing with diversity of all kinds, including gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.  He shares his most effective techniques for handling the unavoidable realities of being in a neo-diverse community, whether that means in college or America as a nation.
Online Resources
  • College Parents Matter: Tools and scripts to improve communication with your college student, particularly around alcohol and high-risk drinking situations.
  • JED Foundation Families and Communities: Many resources to help you recognize the signs of a potential emotional problem and help your student find the proper support and treatment.
  • Anxiety and Depression Association: Tips for helping college students who may be dealing with an anxiety disorder, depression, or other mental health conditions.
  • Collegiate Parent. Collegiate Parent empowers college families with the information they need to maintain healthy relationships with their student and provide support throughout their student’s college experience.
  • Set To Go: A program that guides students and families through the social, emotional and mental health challenges related to the transition out of high school to college and adulthood.