“How a Mother Can Make or Break Their College Student” Oh Really?

Hi Folks! A publicist sent me this infographic titled, “How a Mother Can Make or Break Their College Student.” It’s about a new service called mygofer that apparently ships basic toiletries and food to college students because otherwise they would stink and starve.

“HELP THEM OUT, MOM!” reads the copy. “Clearly they cannot be trusted on his or her own yet.” (The grammar alone is killing me.) “Shop for your busy student and have the items delivered right to their campus.”  The benefits of doing this? “No off-campus shopping = more time for rest, healthful habits and studying.” I leave you to supply your own guffaw. Also: “Send them reminders of home — favorite brands and foods.” Because it’s so hard to find an Oreo once you leave Topeka. And: “More of the money you give them is freed up for fun, not necessities.” Uh…great.

“College is a time for coming of age, making big decisions and becoming independent…and while all that is important, it’s a lot for a student to handle!” (Especially if they have to spend all their beer money on food.)  “Let them know they’re loved by Mom, not snubbed by Mom.”

Because only a mom who snubs her kids would expect them to learn how to buy a bottle of shampoo without her. – L.  (who, speaking of college educations,  can’t figure out how to shrink the graphic to fit quite right, but wanted to give you an idea of it anyway)

166 Responses

  1. And they sent this to you?!?! Crazy!

  2. If my mom had hired a delivery service to send me “care packages” I would have felt “snubbed by Mom”. She sent the occasional box of homemade cookies. That made me feel much more loved than a box of generic groceries.

  3. Words fail me…

  4. Oh no, what if your precious boy has to drink water FROM A SINK!!! SINK WATER!!! He won’t make it through the first year.

  5. What will their frat brothers think?

  6. Let your child spend more on “fun” by continuing to mask the need to purchase necessities, thus resulting in pushing the entire lesson on budgeting down the road once again.

    The credit card companies WILL LOVE YOU.

  7. Food is discretionary spending?

    Why include the binge drinking stats? Is this service pro- or anti-binge drinking? Freeing up that spending money would sure allow for more beer purchases instead of those pesky necessities.


  8. No wonder college was so hard for me — my mommy didn’t love me!!! Didn’t even let me do my own laundrey. (I’d bring it home every couple of weeks. ((If it needed washing that often – LOL)))

    Also Mom, off topic, but: http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/flies.png

  9. If Junior or Susie can’t afford to buy groceries, or hygiene supplies, or toilet paper, they need to get this thing called a “job.” I wrote for a few Web sites, which kept me from having to ask Mom to donate toilet paper. Some of the other people in my dorm did laundry for other students (some adults have no idea how a washer and dryer work), tutored (through the school), or worked off-campus jobs at fast-food restaurants and other stores.

    Oh, and in emergencies, there was a plasma center right up the street. You could sell two times a week. I didn’t have to do that, but a friend of mine did. The cool thing about her was that she’d started working when she was fourteen, but her parents told her not to get a job her first year in college. They wanted her to focus on learning. So she sold blood plasma because that wasn’t technically a job. Good for her.

  10. Isn’t at least part of going away to college to learn to live independently? Oh well, after college mom can pick out their apartment, furnish it and keep stocking the fridge and going to job interviews with junior. Later mom will be responsible for day care and on-call for baby sitting and car pooling. Eventually grandma can look after getting the second generation helicoptered spawn into college and supplying all the stuff she did for the first generation because the first generation has no idea how to do it. I want to know what happens when granny dies.

  11. Is this for real?

    Where does this come from? What culture / subculture? This is definitely not mainstream America. (Please don’t prove me wrong.)

    I will admit that you don’t expect a 17-18yo to be wise about everything the first time they leave home. That’s why you give them responsibility in doses they can handle. But one would think that purchasing bare basics like staple foods and toiletries would be the first responsibilities to give them. Depending on the individual, I could see sending a small store of canned goods and making limited money available on a monthly basis for the most irreponsible. The ideal would be that they get their own job and pay for everything themselves, but I admit not all are ready at 17-18 to do this in a sustainable manner from day one.

    Can’t say too much since I lived at home during undergrad. I had plenty of responsibilities to my family of 8, but I can’t say I was “independent.” Maybe I could have been, but it was never tested until I went to grad school at 21.

  12. Man, these college kids are getting so much sleep?!? That has to be a typo, the eating and drinking is really the big blue section, right???

  13. Ha! Love it. Hilarious. College students – especially boys – do tend to be live in completely foul surroundings. But it makes ’em appreciate the finer things later in life, eh? And it certainly won’t kill them!

    . . . that said, I did love momma’s care packages around exam time. Some cookies, some tea bags, some hard candy. I suppose she was contributing to my delinquency, rather than offsetting it!

  14. When I was in uni, I had the exact opposite problem.

    Mum. Mum. MUM. Stop sending food up with Dad every time he visits. Mum. Stop it. Do you not understand that I live with and share fridge/food storage space with other people? I do not have space in the fridge to keep the stuff you’re sending me. No I do not need shampoo. Why not? Because when I need shampoo, I BUY IT. Mum! Seriously, I am perfectly capable of buying the groceries I need when I need them! How do you think I’ve been living these past two months???

    Auntie… no… quit it! I do not need you to give me five takeaway containers full of leftovers! I am not going to curl up until I die of starvation the moment I’m out of sight of an elder female of the family. NO. Dammit, I know how to buy food, I always keep food in the house and WHEN I AM HUNGRY I EAT.

    And I wasn’t the only student with that problem. Quite a few people who were not living with parents/other family had similar issues – parents who, despite all logic and common sense, assumed that their offspring would literally forget/fail to buy food or other necessary groceries on a regular basis and… I dunno, die or something.

  15. Please tell me this is a joke. Please tell me this is a joke. Please tell me this is a joke.

    As a college professor, I want to scream when I see stuff like this. The same mommies who need to mail their kids toilet paper are the ones who are going to be calling and emailing me demanding to know why their precious little snowflake got a C in my class. Hmm, because you have systematically taught them to accept no responsibility, maybe? Because they can spend all their free money on ‘fun’ stuff that does not include studying, attending class, or doing homework? Because you have allowed them to continue to be dependent, immature little whiners who expect everyone to cater to their every whim?

    I love working undergrads, because they have a clue. They know that the money is coming out of their own pockets, and thus they will come to class even if there is 15 inches of snow on the ground and they are bleeding out both eyes. The ones who haven’t cut the cord don’t bother with actual work – they know that mommy will bail them out in the end.

    Must go kill something now…

  16. Ohmyhellno! My generation truly suffers from a depraved form of narcissism to think they must provide for another capable *adult* in this manner. Lawyers and marketers….there must be a ring of hell dedicated just for them, right?

  17. (*facepalm*)….my comment is awaiting moderation on the page let’s see if it’s loved or snubbed 🙂

  18. @Double Plus Good, that was the first thing I saw, too. Water from a sink…wow.
    @BMS, my wife is a professor, and she complains about the very same problems, regarding parents.

  19. LOL how easy does it seem to be able to make a s#*t load of money from helicopter parents, it was only a matter of time before some chain store cottoned on to it… * partnered with K-Mart*

  20. Ugh. Just looking at this makes me ill. I can’t believe anyone would think this is a good idea.

  21. This reminds me of an episode of 20/20 that I saw a few years ago.

    Times sure have changed. During my freshman year of college, I lived in the dorms and ate in the dining hall. If I wanted extra snacks, I would walk to one of the stores on campus and buy something. From my sophomore year on, I lived in apartments with roommates. Somehow we managed to plan the meals for the week, go to the grocery store, buy the food, cook it (part of planning the meals was deciding who would cook on which days), and divide the bill without parental help. Every once in a while my mother would make something for me to share with my roommates, which I confess was a nice change from what we would cook for ourselves.

    As to cleaning, my roommates and I set up a schedule for whose week it was to clean the common rooms (kitchen, bathrooms, living room). We were responsible for our own laundry. I learned how to do laundry the old fashioned way. The first time I came home for a weekend, Mom did my laundry but told me it would be the last time. She told me to buy a box of Cheer and read the back. In the late ’70s Cheer laundry powder had instructions on the box for what types of clothes went into hot, warm, and cold water.

    I blogged about helicopter parents and college back in November 2010.

  22. Oh for goodness sake! When exactly are this generation of young people expected to learn to fend for themselves?

  23. the name says it all “My Gopher” so mom has now been demoted to the intern who brings the coffee?? As a recent college grad, I gotta say this is the dumbest thing ever. It doesn’t matter how many toiletries you send its not gonna turn on the shower, and no amount of laundry detergent is going to prevent the giant laundry basket of dirty clothes from making its way to the backseat on the way home. And the food thing, really? so if mom sends me granola bars, when my roommates all go in on a couple pizzas and some beers to chow down in front of whatever trashy reality show we’re currently watching, I’m gonna say “nope, I’m good, I have mom’s granola bars” I think not….

  24. When do they get to practice being adults?

  25. If my college freshman can not manage to figure out how to buy shampoo and soap, I didn’t do my job! It’s a sad day when we say to our 18 year old, “I can’t trust you to figure out your basic hygiene needs on your own”.

  26. Ha!! This is the exact opposite of what we will be doing for our kids when they go off to college. How sad for the college kid that can’t manage to pick up groceries or toiletries! They won’t exactly be prepared for the world.

  27. This is stunning on 2 levels…..

    1) an 18 year old can’t wipe their butt without mom there to hand him/her the TP.

    2) mom can’t ship a package to said 18 year old without hiring someone to do that for her.

    Wow. Just Wow…..

  28. Also, where are undergrads getting almost $800/month worth of discretionary income?

  29. I’m surprized these ADULTS ( which is what you are when you turn 18) can wipe their own bums… ” Sorry I was late for class, I had to wait 2 hours for Mummy to drive over and wipe my arse” LOL

  30. Totally ridiculous! I’m not my kids’ gopher-unless they are laid up in a total body cast! There’s a reason I taught my 2 (now adult) children how to do dishes, do laundry, clean bathrooms & even grocery shop. And why I’m teaching my 3 teens those same important life skills! Why would I want my kids to be that dependent on me? Shouldn’t I have more in my life than “doing” for my kids even after they leave home? This just makes me shake my head & wonder “why?”

  31. When I was a college freshman, there was a store on campus that sold toiletries, convenience foods, and many of the things one might include in a care package, our dorm room came with a mini-fridge and microwave, and first-year students were *required* to live in the dorm and buy a cafeteria plan uness they were “non-traditional” students (ie. veterans, married and/or having children, or over 25 YO)

  32. I’m confused about the oral hygiene part… Does someone show up on campus to brush their teeth for them?

  33. This is great, thanks Lenore! Ridiculous, actually! Very timely for me as I am taking my first kid to college in about a month. He is going to a school halfway across the country from us. I plan on getting him started with all that stuff, then he’ll be on his on. That’s what the bookstore is for.

    As an aside, I can’t tell you how many people have said to us, “How can you let him go so far?” or “Why so far?”. It has really gotten aggravating having to explain over and over to people that the school has one of the best programs for what my son wants to do, and happens to be very affordable as well. As far as I’m concerned, kids aren’t supposed to be coming home from college every weekend anyway, so what’s the difference how far away they are?? He will be learning lots of things about LIFE, not just about his chosen major, when he has to remember to buy shampoo, laundry detergent, change his own sheets, etc.

    Has anyone else out there had the experience of other parents just not understanding at all a child going more than 2 hours away??

  34. I never got anything from my parents after moving out to start college at 17. I had an apartment, job, and a car (which, I admit, the car was a highschool graduation gift – it was used, but reliable and came with no car payment, which was a HUGE advantage). I did my own laundry, own grocery shopping, cooked meals (no pizza and fast food) and even kept the place clean. I don’t see why so many kids can’t seem to make it once they leave home, particularly if they are living in a dorm, which is not anything like making it on your own. Maybe it was because I didn’t have any option but to make it on my own. When kids have the option of failing and running back to mom and dad, it’s too tempting to try to do otherwise. Kids, even college “kids” will take the easy way out whenever they can. It’s the parent’s responsibility to make sure the easy way out isn’t an option.

  35. My step son is horrified by the thought of his mother moving to where ever he decides to attend college. She tells him daily that she will move there, get a job, pay for his food and rent, do his laundry…..all so he can focus on good grades. The poor kid is HORRIFIED!! Now I’m worried he’s one of the few that would be upset if mom went to college with them!

  36. These are the same parents who will accompany their post-collegiate children on job interviews, call HR with follow-up “sales pitches” extolling their baby’s outsanding qualifications and so forth. It reminds me of the “Everybody Loves Raymond” episode where Robert (age 40) applies to work for the FBI and his mommy writes to tell them how wonderful he is.

  37. Molly, I went half way across the country to school (without even a prior visit) for the same reasons and it was the best experience of my life. My mother got all sorts of questions and doubts from people about sending me so far from home. But we relied on our instincts and made the right decision.

    As for the care package versus shopping for your student. I had to actually ask my mother to send me a care package. I love her, but it isn’t in her nature to think that way. I would have been appalled at some anyone being sent the basic necessities. Though, some parents did send the boys laundry soap occasionally, as a gentle reminder. 🙂

  38. You know, it was never hard for me as an undergrad to buy the stuff I needed. Even for the years I didn’t have a car, if someone was going to the store, I’d just hitch a ride. If I didn’t have that opportunity, there were stores on campus. They were a little pricey, but they were close by.

    It blows my mind that they’re trying to sell moms on the idea that if they don’t send laundry detergent and soap to their kids, that the kid will just neglect to do laundry or shower.

  39. My son has survived two years of college without this service. He works part time and seems to be coping well. Independence has gotta start sometime! Let go and let live! He does his own laundry too! His future wife will appreciate his many skills, I’m sure…

  40. omg at gap.runners video clip…. crazy mom… crazy mom. omg.

  41. and when you click on the site, all the products I see are Fruity Snacks, Pop Tarts, kid’s sunscreen, Fruit Roll Ups…these are all children’s products that parents are supposed to be sending their 18-4 year olds? hardly the fresh healthy food the ad is hitting me over the head with…

  42. My mother certainly did not send me anything in terms of food when I was at university. Well some home-made jams and preserves. Food was lots of pasta, sausages, more pasta, noodles. There was a communal laundromat in the basement. I learned all of those life skills you need; including burning food to briquettes, to washing red socks, a classic, with the white laundry, ending up with pinkish clothes. I called my mother plenty of times on what to do with this or that but she didn’t really immerse herself in my life in that way.

    I recently read an article where some post grads from a university seemed to live in a state of having gone to college as if it was prolonged high school. After graduation, they had no idea about what to do next. There was also implied that graduate school was the next step. As a given.

  43. So what happens to the students who don’t have a mom? What are dad’s supposed to do!?

    That infographic is so very insulting on so many levels. Notice it’s addressed to moms and shows boys. The one snubbed my mom doesn’t even have his shoes tied. Because moms are supposed to take care of that too?

  44. @ Keri: General Douglas MacArthur’s mom did this – moved and lived right across the street from her baby boy when he was at WEST POINT!

  45. Of course this is advertising copy, not carefully considered relationship or nutritional advice.

    Still, of course it’s ridiculous. Because campus bookstores don’t carry soap, of course. Or pens and pencils.

    I think care packages as such are nice — I always send the ones my kids’ college promotes around exam time. But they’re hardly necessities that kinds can’t do without, nor do I consider them make or break on my relationship with my kids. Sheesh. (And besides, they’re more affordable and sensible than the tripe being promoted here.)

  46. “I’m confused about the oral hygiene part… Does someone show up on campus to brush their teeth for them?”

    No, no, no, it’s just that they can’t brush their teeth if someone doesn’t send them toothpaste in the mail. They’re only babies, after all.

  47. I literally went hungry a few times in college, because I had to choose between textbooks and food. I suppose if I had asked, mom would have sent me a care package. But I was way too independent to ask for help. My parents were already going broke to send me to college and my sister to a Catholic high school. I knew they didn’t have a dime to spare, so I kept my mouth shut and learned to deal. I found that getting a job at an on campus grill was a great idea – got money for books, and at least 1 free meal a day. That plus 5 for a dollar ramen noodles kept me alive sophomore year. I was proud of my ability to take a single onion, some frozen vegetable stock, and some borrowed spices and turn it into a very small pot of French Onion Soup. I learned that ‘nothing in the fridge’ is relative, and that splurging on a single tomato midwinter felt like the most decadent treat imaginable. You’re not going to learn lessons like this if mommy is waiting on you hand and foot.

  48. I know, why not just keep your precious little ones at home forever so you can cater to their every whim… seriously? If I got such a thing in the mail when going to school I would have donated it to an organization to help the needy – and I worked part time/full time through the university years for my money. Who are these parents – give your head a shake and let your kids grown up.

  49. My family sent me soap, dental floss, etc., during my first year of college because I was in a town that didn’t like students. You couldn’t get an off-campus job. On-campus jobs didn’t pay anything; you just got a discount off your tuition or housing fees, which were payable at the end of the year. And of course the place charged an arm and a leg based purely on its fine shiny old name, so the discount just reduced the bill from “OW, OW, OW” to “OUCH.” I got a job in the library anyway.

    Also, all of the nearby stores were either boutique-type places where you couldn’t pick up the apples yourself to check for bruises, or else convenience stores that stocked only starchy salty crap and charged extra because they were patronized by clueless college kids.

    So sometimes college students do need basic materials sent to them.

    But not because they are too delicate to drink from the sink or too stupid to notice their own bad breath.

  50. Wow, just wow, that is so sad. This is one of the reasons college professors complain that incoming students can’t take car of themselves. Some have parents calling about grades and homework IN COLLEGE. Ads like this only serve to encourage that type of parent mentality. What is to say that if you spend almost a thousand dollars a month sending these supplies to your “child” that they are even going to use them and not sell them for beer money? Horrible that a company like this exists.

    Let’s just say that a parent does want to send all that crap to thier college aged kid, is there some reason why they can’t go to the store, put that stuff in a box and mail it themselves? If you have that much extra money that you are so desperate to spend there are a lot of charities that could really use it for people that genuinely need it.

  51. Look you can even supply them with what they need for “party” pong. http://www.mygofer.com/east-point-sports-pong-party/p-080W004494542000P#

  52. Are we raising children to be less independent than we used to? I value my since of independence so much that I’ve had to remind myself to ask for help at times. Hard to imagine not feeling that way.

  53. 😦 Once again, fear is used as a marketing tool to sell packaged foods and other things that aren’t necessary: fear of loss, fear of rejection, fear of lack, fear of death, fear of suffering.

    Compare this model of mother / son relationship to one in an African village or South American Amazon tribe, and then imagine which one is sustainable, on several levels. Which cultures promote competence, growth, and contribution?

    We are on the fast track to Hell here in North America. No joke.

  54. The freshman weight gain stat they include is myth anyway. Geez, one of the best things about first year in college is the ability to make your own choices in things like food shopping.

    I almost find it more disturbing that the company assumes the mommy isn’t capable of sending her snowflake some groceries without an expensive service.

    The venture won’t be successful I’d guess. In my dorm experience guys with interfering moms were made fun of relentlessly until they got their moms to cool it.

  55. Unbelievable. My oldest brother never needed his groceries sent to him. He spent his first year of college speaking to our father once a week on average. (His mother had died before I was born.) Our dad sent him money and stuff like that, but my brother was still expected to get a job and pay for his crap. (Unless he wanted to live off of noodles and whatever homemade cookies of whatever my dad sent him.)
    My brother got good grades, got a job at a bookstore, and met his fiance working there.
    College is a time to figure out how to live by yourself. Those kids will NEVER figure out how to live by themselves if mommy sends them all their groceries.

  56. Add me to the list of horrified people. Sadly, this isn’t the first advertisement I seen for this sort of thing. The one I’ve seen is offering to “help” busy moms who don’t have enough time to do all the shopping for their family and still package and ship everything off to the child in college in another state (the examples were basic everyday stuff). And seriously, if mom can order on-line, so can the student who knows what products are running low and which ones he loves/hates.

    Where I was in college we were all very well taken care of, by my standards. All with the idea that we could focus on our studies (which were intense). Every student pitched in funds and efforts to keep things clean and keep various items freely stocked including laundry supplies, first aid, and paper. Other common extras were available for purchase in the dorm, the student organization even ran an informal but reputable bank (lots of quarters).

    But having supplies doesn’t provide knowledge of how to use them…

    I had one classmate, who had two nannies right up to the day he came to college. His roommate was sort of spoiled, too, but not as bad. Two weeks in he comes into the study hall shouting “I NEED A WOMAN!!!” [Insert crass jokes] Turns out neither he nor his roommate knew how to do laundry. [More crass jokes.] I and another young woman, tried to instruct them, but had to go down and actually show them. Some time later in the year I’m sitting next to this boy in an assembly and he says that he is still having problems with his laundry. That he is using the “color safe” detergent, but that everything is coming out with light blotches. Anyhow, I when down to the laundry in his dorm and took a close look at all provided detergents (none were labeled color-safe) then I spotted the “color safe” Clorox. Turns out he had been using bleach instead of detergent to ‘wash’ his clothing.

    Another day he barged into my dorm room crying hysterically. He had knocked his face, had a minor cut in his mouth, and didn’t know what to do. There being nothing really to do for the injury, and coming up with no other way to calm him, I let him call his mom from my room. She immediately told him to brush his teeth… come to find out (despite being supplied) he wasn’t in the habit of brushing his teeth. Also apparently didn’t know to keep a wound clean. This despite being a good student, in a top school.

    Even this boy managed to do what little shopping he needed (and a whole tone he didn’t) without mom.

  57. Goodness gracious! Care packages of basic grooming products found at countless big box stores, drug stores and grocery stores all within 2 miles of campus. They’re at college, not a FOB in the Kush mountains of Afghanistan!

  58. There is also this thing call Amazon if you are in some rural school and can’t get to a store that isn’t an overpriced University run abomination.

  59. Heck.. a busy student could even use mygoffer themselves to limit shopping trips. Want the relatively sane parent market. How about letting parents set up an account for their student and provide budgeting tools to help the kid know if they are burning the funds too fast. Might be a good way to build a life long relationship with a future customer.

    But how many young adults would want to do business with a company that advertises “Clearly your college kid can’t be trusted on his or her own just yet.” — If not in college when the ARE on their own, then WHEN?

  60. It’s a pet peeve of mine to be referred to as “Mom” by anyone other than my children. That alone was a huge turnoff -not to mention the utter ridiculousness of the rest of the ad.

  61. Wow….I have to words.

  62. I lived in dorms my first year of college. I grew up with a mom who said she was raising her kids with the purpose of them being independent (Thanks Mom!). Well, most of the students in my dorm had similar-thinking parents, but there were a few guys whose parents would bring them groceries or take their laundry on the weekend. We made fun of them (the boys) for not being able to cut the apron strings. And they also stayed single the entire year. No girl wanted a Mama’s boy!
    If mom’s want to be sweet then they should send cookies!

  63. Hey these sound exactly like the packages that my clients get. Of course my clients are in PRISON!

  64. Hmmm. I probably will send my kids a few things but let them get their own groceries. They will probably be college athletes and their coach will probably micromanage their life more than I ever did.

    That was my experience in college. As a NCAA track athlete my track coach knew my every move. They dictated what we ate, gave us vitamins, told us we could not party……. Of course I did my own thing but they tried! They even got my grades and talked to me about tests I may have done poorly with and set up tutors…… This was in the 80’s.

    It is worse now. I sat in a seminar listening to NCAA coaches talk to our athletes telling them they expect to be friended on their FB accounts.

    My parents were very free range so it was actually a very hard adjustment for me that ended badly. I transfered to an NAIA school where the coaches did not monitor my every move.

    I guess I can say that these parents are at least less intrusive than most college coaches.

    I can not remember how I got my soap. My mom probably bought many bars and they last forever.

  65. All I can say is… if they are unable to find ways to get the basic necessities for sustenance and hygeine… are they really ready for college?

  66. Now, I have absolutely no problem with the occasional care package or with Mom sending home leftovers and maybe a few groceries on some visits. I figure that can fall under normal family helping-out-each-other.

    But I’m having to show this to everyone!

  67. As a former K-Mart employee, can I just say how much mygofer is a huge pain? When these orders came in, we’d have to stop whatever we were doing in order to fill them, which is a very long process – even for a small order, it takes at least 20-30 minutes, from start to finish. I’ve spent an hour on one before, because we didn’t have the right things in stock (which, admittedly, is not the customer’s fault. Also, our store debuted this option right before Christmas, which is an incredibly busy time for retail, and a horrible time to teach your employees a new, multi-step process. I had to catch the online orders coming in on Black Friday, and I wanted to cry by the end of my shift.) This will probably increase profits for K-Mart. And good for them, I guess, but I feel badly for their employees, who will bear the brunt of this campaign.

  68. I looked a bit more at the website and I have no complaint with the idea itself–seems like just another way of shopping.

    But I still can’t get over this particular marketing campaign of shopping for your college students!

  69. I have this wonderful memory from freshman year of college: two of the boys in my dorm in the third-floor laundry room. One of them is on the phone, the cord of which is stretched about 50 feet down the hall to his room (this is 1986). His friend is leaning and listening in, while reading the side of a bottle of laundry detergent. And the boy on the phone is going, “Uh-huh…..uh-huh…..hot water…..no, I took out the red stuff…..turn the dial to what?….oh, I see it, I got it…..uh-huh…..OK….cool….thanks, Mom.”

  70. Strange that the graphic seems to think that water from the sink is bad but sending them bottled water is bad. What’s wrong with tap water? If its that bad couldn’t they just get a britta?

    As for the rest, well I was a student at college at 18. Not only did I have to use my own money to go shipping to buy my own supplies, I also worked hard at a summer job to make that money in the first place. It never occurred to me that this was a bad thing. 10 years later, as a very confident, and independent young woman, I upped sticks and moved, alone, to the US, and then I manage to figure out how to buy my groceries here too! What are these people on for goodness sake – independence begets indepent behaviour, why not give our kids a fighting chance.

  71. I can see myself sending my kids some care packages of basic necessities (toothpaste, tooth brushes, body wash, etc.) when they’re off to college ONLY ONLY ONLY ONLY ONLY because I’m a couponer and I get some of these things for free. In fact, I’m too cheap to mail stuff like this out, so it would be held at home for when they come for a visit and they DEFINITELY wouldn’t get these items if they were needed at home. Sophomore year I’d probably get them a Sunday only subscription to the paper 😉 My kids are 5 years old and 4 months old. I have a little while before I have to worry about this, though. LOL

  72. My 13-year-old son just saw this and said, “I thought that university is where you’re supposed to do everything on your own. I guess that things are different in the States.”

  73. Perhaps its a British thing, but the thing I find most objectionable about this is the guilt trip it induces. Not only is your precious little angel incapable of taking care of himself, but if you do not sent him food, washing powder, paper and pens you will prove that you do not care about your grown up child and he will think that you don’t love him and everyone will judge you, you BAD MOTHER!!!! I wonder with helicoptering generally whether it is all about safety or whether a large part of it is about being seen to care, ie the more over protective you are, the more you care about your child.

  74. the entire concept that teaching your kids (er, adults in this case) independence means that you are “snubbing” them has my back up.

    A good parent eventually puts themself out of a job. Now that many parents are waiting until they are older themselves to have kids I can’t even imagine that at 55-60 years old some of these parents are still making parenting a full time job when they don’t have any kids at home.

    This was my ex husbands mother. This is also why we aren’t together anymore.

  75. This is hilarious. I do confess that when my son moves into his first apartment (a few weeks from now) I do plan to buy him some basic necessities including some canned food and cleaning supplies. And then I plan to stay well away from that apartment. Three 20-year-old guys living together in a small space does not add up to a place I’d like to hang out in. Besides, he has a girlfriend and I figure it’s her job to turn up her nose at his cleaning habits or lack thereof.

  76. Sending an occasional care package (yeah, cookies or something to make them laugh) is one thing but this….wow.

    My first child is almost through college…when she started we asked for the school to give her work/study as part of our financial aid, on the grounds that if both her parents were working hard to help put her through school, she should, too. We put a certain (pretty modest) amount of money in her bank account for textbooks and toiletries (that she purchased on her own—actually, not too complicated because she had done this all through high school anyway), and all her entertainment expenses and extra food come out of her own funds, which has taught her to learn to budget, because we don’t give her limitless money.

    She was shocked when she moved to school when she found many, many students who not only did not know how to do their laundry but their moms would visit on family weekends and DO THE LAUNDRY FOR THEM.

    I have middle-aged friends whose jobs involve hiring, and they say you can always tell the young people who have already learned to take care of themselves and the ones who haven’t—as this bunch are passive, feel entitled without paying dues, tend to complain more than others, and, yes, seem helpless when there’s any sort of pressure.

    I don’t understand what favors these parents think they are doing for their kids…

  77. Oh, not these guys again. I recognize these infographic guys. They are a marketing firm; not a research firm. They produce tons of these to advocate for … well, whatever you want. Socialized medicine, food services, medical services … you name it, they’ll conjure up a dubiously sourced and often times wildly inaccurate infographic to support whatever it is you’re pushing. Ignore them.

  78. The graphics make the college kids look like overweight kids anyway. Seems like they could use the exercise to get to the store and get their own supplies.
    And why is this to Moms? If your going to lay on another guilt trip, it better not be for an 18 year-old ADULT. I’m up to my eyeballs in childhood guilt trips already.

  79. My friend was just saying how stressed she is about her daughter starting college. We asked her, “Why are YOU stressed, it will be her responsibility?” She said, “I’m going to be waking her up every morning, making sure she’s getting to her classes, etc.” (Her daughter is going to the local community college and will be living at home with her.) This mom also happens to be pregnant, has a four-year-old and a two-year-old, and is attending a college program herself.

    We said that she should NOT be babysitting her 18-year-old daughter through college, since she has enough going on as it is, and her daughter needs to learn some responsibility. She countered that with the cost of college tuition, it’s too expensive of a lesson to let her fail.

    Hmmm . . . she does have a point. It is becoming increasingly difficult for college students to work their way through as it becomes less and less affordable. Is that why some parents are feeling more of a need to insure their kids’ success?

    Even so, this ad campaign is taking completely the wrong approach–preying on parents’ fears. Not cool.

  80. @Tonya: You bring up a good point: when I did a study abroad in Germany, I was able to figure out how to buy groceries there. I even had to go to the doctor two days after setting foot in the country, and I managed that, too. (Definitely different than in the States, let me tell you, so that was cool to experience.)

    Seriously, though, it would never have occurred to me to have my parents send me…well, anything but the occasional letter when I was abroad (this was before my parents were comfortable with email). My parents paid for my plane ticket, I bought everything else. They picked up the tab for my phone card, though.

    @Anna, I’ve wondered the same thing – that this helicopter parenting might actually be yet another way people are competing with each other, i.e., who can be the “best” mom, that they have wrapped their own egos up in this completely, and that the kid(s) is just an afterthought, if their needs are even considered at all. It isn’t really about doing the best for your child, it’s about being seen to be the “best” mom.

  81. @Sarah, it may be an expensive lesson, but it might be a lesson worth living if an adult can’t understand the costs involved.

  82. Renee Bacher: “As with all Helicopter Parenting, this was about me.”

  83. Note to self…along with handing over laundry duties to my kids when they’re 12, turn over the buying of their own toiletries so I don’t have to do it when they go to college. Got it.

  84. @Sarah – I guess it is too late in that case, but the fact that the lesson is too expensive to learn in college is an amazing argument for why it ought to have been learned in high school or earlier!

  85. Reblogged this on After the kids leave and commented:
    We’re reblogging this here for your edification and enlightenment, without comment. We’d love to hear from you: what do you think? Would you ever consider using this service for your kids? Is this the ultimate in helicopter parenting, or just an extension of the time-honoured “care package”? How would your kids react if you were to sign up for this kind of service?

  86. Surely, surely, SURELY that is satire. Please tell me it’s satire. OMG.

    Some kids go off to university not knowing how to budget, do laundry, cook, etc. What happens then is, their roommates or dorm-mates or housemates find out and mock them relentlessly, and then they feel sheepish about it and figure it out. I refuse to believe that there is a widespread inability among university-age persons to buy toothpaste, soap and deodorant. I mean, considering how much time students spend trying to get other students into bed, it seems unlikely they wouldn’t be able to at least figure out how to de-stink themselves.

  87. @ Sarah – Life is too expensive a lesson to fail. Frankly, I’m not sinking a dime into college for an 18 year old who can’t manage to get herself out of bed and to class on time as it doesn’t bode well for her future employment prospects. Well before college, I expect to contribute nothing to my child getting prepared for school other than making sure she has a functioning alarm clock.

    I don’t think this attitude has anything to do with money. I think it has everything to do with not wanting to be out of a job. If you teach your children to live without you, you are out of a job.

    I’ve said it before but I think that this whole helicopter trend is a result of readily available, extremely effective birth control. Kids are no longer viewed as the byproduct of a healthy marriage to be integrated into the existing family unit. They are these highly desired, worked for, planned for, well-thought out products that are the complete focus of the family unit. Not saying that children of previous generations were not adored and their parents not dedicated. Just that the attitude is different towards something you get by chance compared to something you spent several years planning for, discussing and setting up your life just so to have.

  88. Oh, this “help ’em out, mom” plea, is some ploy by a lazy college student who doesn’t want to grow up and clean up after himself. “Help ’em out, mom” translates to, “Do it yourself and learn to manage your own life, son,” in my mom language. Its the best help he will ever get.

  89. During my freshman year of college, I lived in the dorms and ate in the dining hall.

    And this may be different from other schools.

    The private college that I attended required freshmen to live in the dorms and have at least a “3 meal plan” at the dining hall. There were three reasons for this:

    1. The school made money.
    2. The school didn’t want to provide kitchens for the students–no cooking in the dorms.
    3. They wanted to make sure that the kids at least had a roof over their head and 3 squares a day for the first year while they sorted things out.

    And this was back in the 1970s.

    Now, after freshman year, kids would usually stay in the dorms because, hey, they’re conveniently located. Living off-campus wasn’t necessarily amazingly cheaper unless you stacked four kids in a 1 bedroom apartment. They might drop their meal plan or adjust it to 1 meal. Some would move off campus or into fraternities/sororities.

    So I could imagine something like this being useful, if you weren’t living in the dorms for freshman year.

  90. If I saw this aimed at 12 year olds going to summer camp, I would think it was coddling. For college students, it’s beyond ridiculous and insulting.

  91. Donna, I agree with you about the planned children thing.

  92. By the way, I’m 45 and I don’t floss my teeth as often as I should. My mom is obviously falling down on the job.

  93. This is disgraceful. Sham on any mother who would use this service. Let threshold mature through responsibility.

  94. This is one of the most blatantly manipulative pieces of advertising I’ve ever seen. It reads like something out of the 1950s. This service is dumb, IMO. I would say my parents fell somewhere in the middle of the spectrum on free-range. I wasn’t catching my own fish, filleting them and cooking them for the family at the age of two, but I didn’t really feel hovered over either and have quite a few memories of independent play. But they had no problem trusting me to go to college 8 hours away and not come back filthy and starved. By that point, I’d been washing the family’s towels for about four years and doing my own laundry, and was “responsible” for my own shampoo and conditioner (ie telling my parents I was getting low). I remember absolutely no difficulty with that transition at all.

    However, I did have a friend that was a great object lesson in why you should teach this stuff to your kids. We noticed a funky stench coming off him after a few weeks. Around Columbus Day, a friend of mine was hanging out with him at his room and asked why it smelled so bad. She got him to confess that he didn’t know how to do laundry and was ashamed to admit it, so he just hadn’t washed his clothes for 6 weeks (because that’s so much less embarrassing). She met him at 3 AM on a Tuesday night in the dorm’s basement for laundry lessons.

  95. Regarding Sarah’s friend’s daughter, I’d counter that I think there are some kids who need to fail in order to have these things matter to them. I do think that colleges shouldn’t fail students out after their first semester. But by the time they get to college, most students have spent much of their lives in a minimum-security prsion environment. They’ve had to ask every time they needed to go to the bathroom, and the teacher had the power to say yes or no. If they weren’t precisely where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there, all hell broke loose. They’ve been tested and experimented on like lab rats. For some kids, it’s hard not to let the freedom go to their heads. Others just need to see what else is out there.

    The friend above who gave the laundry lesson grew up at the end of a dirt road in a rural town with really strict parents who never let her do anything. She moved into a dorm bustling with kids her own age onto a campus that offered a million diversions from a cut-rate pool room in the student center to keg parties on Tuesday nights and beyond. She was smart, funny, passionate and really had a lot to offer the college, but they failed her out after one semester. She started to get her act together towards the end, but it was too late by then.

  96. Well, it’s just sort of been the family deal that as long as kids are still in college, we buy stuff like shampoo and toothpaste for them just like we would if they were living at home and able to fully support themselves. Besides, we’re not paying any of their tuition, because we can’t afford it, so picking up some living expenses seems reasonable. But having said that,,they don’t need us to actually mail the stuff. They engage in PhD level stuff like “remembering to ask me to buy the stuff on my regular shopping trips when they’re at home” or even “asking me for some money to run to the store for stuff when they’re at home” or “using some of the spending money we send them to run to the drugstore if they need to” (the one in college and the one just starting are going to school in a small town that’s very friendly to the college and has convenient stores.)

    The idea that in any case, toothpaste and shampoo and toilet paper need to be sent THROUGH THE MAIL (barring the relatively unusual situation of a college in a remote, rural location, of which I know there are some, but not THAT many) just doesn’t make sense on ANY level.

    But as I said, this is marketing, it’s not SUPPOSED to be an intelligent approach to meeting the practical needs of college kids.

  97. I guess my mother hated my guts. All she did was teach me how to wash dishes (age 6), do my own laundry (age 8), cook (age 8), pick up after myself (probably started at age 2, but definitely at age 4), good hygiene practices (about age 4), write checks (age 13 or 14, plus I took an accounting class in high school), and a host of other things that helped me to become self sufficient. Never once did she send me a care package in college. I don’t know how I made it being raised by such a selfish person (sarcasm).

  98. Donna, smaller families, too, not just the fact that they’re more planned (though I agree with that, also.)

    With five kids there’s just NO WAY I could manage to expend that much physical and emotional energy over that long a period of time — and I’m a SAHM for crying out loud.

    Besides, when you have more kids (I’d say maybe three is the threshold, maybe four) you actually start looking forward to being relieved of constant parenting responsibilities and ENJOY thinking of them growing up, because all the stuff you have to do for them until they learn to, is WORK. when there are two or fewer, it can be made more into a hobby. (I am NOT saying that people with small families always or even usually regard their kids as a hobby but I am saying it is easier to do so, and there will always be people with that tendency.) Nearly everybody looks forward to retiring form work but nobody looks longingly to the day when they can give up their hobbies.

    No, I’m not saying that everyone should have more kids just for this reason. I’m just saying that everything has side effects, and I agree with Donna that helicoptering may indeed be a side effect of smaller families.

  99. I agree with the smaller family thing too. Also with smaller families is less time out of your life spent parenting. Early generations tended to have several kids spread out over many years. So from birth of the first kid until last kid moves out could be 30+ years of active parenting. Today, with the average of 2 kids 2-3 years apart, you are really only looking at 20-21 years of active parenting between birth of number 1 and high school graduation of number 2.

    And the kids tend to all be in the same stage of life. Instead of sending your oldest off to college with elementary school age children still at home, you have a kid in college and a kid about to be in college – neither of whom should really need much from you – so you have the time and energy to lavish attention on the college student.

  100. Interesting how even the illustration is proportioned like a kid instead of a fully-grown adult!

    (For crying out loud, I had to switch computers and now I can’t even remember if I post here under Uly or Conuly. Well, it’s me either way.)

  101. Surely this is actually a joke – the graphics, the silly emotional crap and the fact that they sent it to Lenore (didnt they, or did I read it wrong?) all gives the impression that it’s some kind of ‘punking’ thing. If it is actually real, I’m jealous – wish I’d thought of it first!

    Loved the stuff above from different posters about having to teach others how to do laundry too. I did have to learn how to do laundry at the hostel dorms, I must confess, because they had these amazing machines that washed and dried in one, and they were automatic too. My family used a wringer washing machine (darn those things were excellent – I still miss ours!) and of course used a washing line, so I was a bit hopeless to begin with – it was a bit too space age for me, LOL! We managed to get a wringer when we went flatting though, and draining was great fun, as the mangle was hand operated. You could stretch towels and sheets all the way along the bench, though you did have to make sure the cat didn’t get tangled in them in the process….Oooo, nostalgia.

  102. I do agree with backroadsem, Brea, Donna, and Library Diva on the point that, even though it’s expensive, it’s a lesson she should be learning anyway. Really, what is she gaining from her college education if she can’t get up and to class on time on her own? If she receives a lot of hand-holding through college, she may learn some things in the academic sense, but she won’t have much of a sense of reality regarding what things cost, what it really takes to survive in the world, etc.

    We did try to bring this up with my friend, but she’s pretty stuck on the financial point. “Can’t waste the money!” I’m wondering at what point she’ll really let go. College graduation? When she really moves out?

    The points raised about family size are interesting, too. She will soon have three small children to look after as well, but she’s still pretty stuck on hovering over her oldest! I honestly don’t know where she gets the energy.

  103. I don’t think the size or makeup of the actually family at issue is as relevant as the overall attitude toward parenting in society. Parenting – particularly mothering – is now a competitive sport. If the bar of what it takes to be considered a “good” parent moves higher, you have to do whatever you can to step up to meet the bar, even if it means that you never sleep and you are babying your college student.

  104. Oh help. This site is actually real. I feel a bit sick. It does spur me on though to be the suckiest mum out and to ‘gasp’ get my kid to look after themselves when they leave home – well, before too.

  105. When I left home and went to college my parents didn’t do much of anything for me. I knew very well once I hit 18 and left I was on my own, and I like that. learned to take care of myself, pay my own bills…and when I had no place to live it was *my* responsibility to find somewhere. My college was 2 hours away from home, what were my parents supposed to do? Spend gas money to come help me look? What would that accomplish? I certainly never expected them to help me with everything. Not because they are horrible, but because I was 20 years old and perfectly capable of living my own life.

    By comparison, my husband and other friends…their parents did EVERYTHING for them for those 4-5 years of college. Paid for everything, any problem that arose they had to call their mommy. When my husband needed to go to the ER his sophomore year he seriously called his mom to make the 2 hr drive there and take him rather than wake his roommate and ask him to drive him. the insane part is, she did!(Maybe I am horrible but if my college kid ever calls me from hours away and says they need to go to the ER I’m gonna be saying “Well I guess you’d better find a friend or call an ambulance!”) It took me YEARS to teach my husband how to be confident and independent from his mother and and cut the apron strings, and my MIL fought me tooth and nail over it. But trust me that’s a whole other long involved story.

    I’m 26 now and I know how to cook, clean, handle the finances, and still never have to ask my parents for anything. Except to babysit sometimes.

    And all my other friends who depended on their parents all through college and never had to do anything to help themselves? Every single one of them has graduated years ago and lives…with their parents! Amazing!

    Soooo happy my parents snubbed me!

  106. I love hearing about services like this and the parents who use them because it reminds me to be a better parent and to insist that my children do more for themselves. First thing – make them get jobs in high school. I have heard so many parents say that with school work and extra-curriculars and sports, their children don’t have time for ordinary paying jobs (not to mention doing their own laundry or helping around the house). But I think an ordinary job should be on their resume too — if not to get them ready for college, at least to get them ready for life!

  107. I also had to teach folks in grad school how to do just about everything. One of my grad school friends was 30. She’d always lived with her parents and had servants. She had no idea how to do anything. She did learn readily, but it boggled my mind. I could have done every domestic job in the house by age 12 – most much sooner.

    I did want to add that where I went to grad school, there was no place to buy groceries unless you (a) had access to a car or (b) shopped at this dirty “food co-op” that only had bins of scary-looking flour and other exotic stuff. I think the city might have had a deal with the school to force more students onto the meal plans (which were ridiculously priced). So I was on the meal plan for the first couple of years. Which makes me wonder – don’t colleges offer meal plans any more for students who are not considered responsible enough? (I think it might have been required for undergrads where I went.)

  108. Here is a cool story about parents allowing their child freedom as he proves he can handle it http://mamasminutia.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-boy-and-bike-ride.html They have him do the ride from to town from their house with an adult friend that rides. When the boy makes the first ride with a friend, they are approached by an adult nieghbor. The neighbor makes sure they are ok, offers them both something to drink and to take them and their bikes home if they need it. The boys are able to finish their ride after a bit of a rest. The parents don’t freak out about their neighbor. Instead they take it as a sign that they have great neighbors that would help out the kids if they did have an accident and needed help.

  109. When I was a kid we didn’t have a washer and dryer at home (old farmhouse; no place for one), and because my mom was a working woman, she dropped it off at the laundromat for their washing service. So the second week in college a large football player at our Big Ten school helped me figure out the washing machine (because I had no problems reading the detergent instructions). It might have been an amusing twist, since I was a girl……. I bought all my toiletries ahead of time, on sale, using my own hard-earned summer job money and double coupons (up to $1 off, back in the early 80’s). Put my stash in an underbed box. – it was nice to not have to pay campus store prices. This ad is a good reminder of why I endeavor to teach my children (who tend toward little-professor absent-mindedness) about life and how to get along in it.

  110. I would be interested to know if there is any research showing a correlation between success in college / grad school / professional life and the early learning of basic life skills such as those impliedly lacking in college students?

    I recall when I bought my preschoolers some nice broom sets and told my friend (the one who’d been brought up with servants) how my kids were learning to use them. Her comment was, “that’s great, you’re preparing them to be awesome maids when they grow up.” And lately, it seems to be a popular opinion that you let your kids’ only responsibility be schoolwork if you want them to have a chance at a professional career. Really? It seems to me that you’re either born smart or you aren’t, but even if you aren’t, a little mechanical manipulation and problem solving can develop science and math concepts. Am I wrong?

    On a forum I visit, a poster made an interesting comment on a gymnastics thread. “Quite frankly, if they were going to be olympians you’d know by now.” Incubating a kid’s whole being to support the parents’ dreams seems a bit sick to me. But maybe I’m the crazy one.

  111. I didn’t get care packages from my parents in college, nor did I get financial support. They taught me how to cook and clean and take care of myself. They called me several times a week to see how I was doing. They sent me emails. But they let me do college on my own. When I graduated, I moved to my own apartment several states away where I knew nobody in order to teach elementary school. Something most of my college peers couldn’t do because they were too afraid and didn’t know how to take care of themselves. Best experience of my life, living on my own away from family. And I loved being the chef among my roommates, even though I really wasn’t that great at cooking. I knew how; they didn’t. Made me sort of a hero in the apartment complex.

  112. I graduated in May. Every vacation, before I went back, my mom would drag me through the store trying to buy me stuff… and I would think about how much money my parents had and refuse the majority of it. My freshman year, I took the shuttle every Sunday to the store (a 3-hour trip); by Sophomore year, I figured out the supplies I needed for a month or two months, and cut down on my time drastically.

    My roommate my sophomore year had her mother call to wake her up. Her mother called to remind her to study. Her mother called to console her over a break-up. Her mother called… and she lied and went to party. I called home once a week, two if there was some imminent disaster. One of us flunked out. One of us graduated Magna Cum Laude. I think you know who’s who.

    Face it: college kids don’t need care packages. They need to know their actions have consequences– and the only ones who should be there know that already.

  113. “Incubating a kid’s whole being to support the parents’ dreams seems a bit sick to me”

    Agree SKL. I visited a forum in which a parent defended his hovering, saying he was doing it because a good life wasn’t enough for his child, he wanted it to be awesome! But isn’t that up to the child? And isn’t everyone’s definition of awesome different? I know people who got married and started having kids at 18 because that was their dream. I know others who are childless world travelers with PhDs that would also describe their lives as awesome. I know professional musicians, career military people, stay-at-home mothers, nurses, EMTs, and writers who are all following their dreams.

    And besides, at some point, it’s up to the kid. People aren’t recipies. You can’t combine a dash of this, a cup of that, several teaspoons of something else, bake at 450 for 18 years and automatically get a successful, well-adjusted human being. Some kids take all the love and support they’ve received and drive it right into a wall. Others succeed and find happiness despite terrible backgrounds. You only have to look at the variation among adult siblings in various families to see this. I would imagine that hovering over a child, micromanaging their entire lives, just makes everyone miserable, without guarantee of results. If I ever have children, I plan to mostly just do my best to love them and to make sure everyone enjoys the time while they’re growing up.

  114. Jeez, when I was 18 (more then 20 years ago, I know) I moved to US from another country and started sending money TO my parents. Sure, it was rough sometimes, but nothing impossible – and I still got good grades. Come on – college leaves you plenty of time for work, and you can always ride your bike to the place that sells shampoo. When my kid turns 18, she better be gratefull, she does not need to support anyone else but herself, lol. I might even be paying some of her college costs, imagine that!
    In my opinion about 18 is the time, when the help and resources should actually start flowing in the other direction – from grown-up kids to aging, and somewhat tired parents.

  115. I think I did my first load of laundry in college. My mother told me to read the tags, organize by temperature, then separate by color, and just throw everything of the same color in on cold/cold to save money if the loads were small. She also told me to get the cheap powder detergent and dissolve some in a cup before putting it into the water, and to be very careful if I decided to use bleach. I think the laundry room on our floor provided cups for measuring and dissolving detergent. Frankly I had the most trouble figuring out how to load the coin slots. It isn’t rocket science.

    Further anecdata: Both my first roomie and I had Issues. My family cut me loose with basic instructions and occasionally mailed me this and that. Hers had her home every weekend and she never even washed her own clothes. One of us found a support group and a shrink and the other ended up on suicide watch and dropped out. I’m not saying that having to do your own laundry is of vital psychological importance, but being cradled at the age of 18 didn’t prevent her breakdown.

  116. SKL, I’m torn between nausea and fury at that “maids” comment. Is the implication that only the “lower orders” should have to *clean up after themselves???*

    I would think the mark of a well-rounded fully, competent person would be that somewhere inside 16 or 20 years of studying to be some kind of scientific genius, they could have managed 10 minutes to figure out how to push a broom effectively. The person who’s never managed to learn basic self and environment care along the way is the one that I’d look down on, personally.

  117. People talk about Boy Scouts and focus on outdoor skills but they miss these other life skills.

    My boy scouts are required to shop for thier patrols for monthly campouts — the patrol must draw up a menu, create a shopping list and make it fit their budget… the kid who does the shopping has to figure out what to do when they can’t afford what’s on their list. (ie. the chicken is too expensive, we’ll go with ground beef or oranges are too expensive let’s buy bananas!)

    They are also required to scrub the heck out of their patrol cookware.

    Boys enter Boy Scouts at ~age 11 …

    And our troop has a very high eagle ratio — which means a lot of boys taking Personal Finance merit badge – which is a requirement for earning Eagle.

  118. Pentamom – I have a friend who told me her teenagers don’t do dishes because they’re not good at it.
    I said (in a joking tone but seriously) “If you have raised children unfit to be DISHWASHERS, you have a problem.”

  119. @skl, according to the research I’m looking into on gifted kids at the moment as part of my diploma, you’re pretty much right about the smarts thing. Determination on the part of the individual with the smarts though is still vital for those smarts to be of any use. And how you get determination from being babied is beyond me.
    That said, two out of three of my kids probably will stay at home while they atte uni,because the university we have locally is perfect for their stated preference. I will just have to make sure that I have stopped doing a lot for them by then, which shouldn’t be too hard as they do a lot now. Typically Asian kids do stay home until they get married, but they are adults within their parental home and share housework, expenses etc. We’re lucky in that we have lots of good examples among our friends for the kids to follow.

  120. I attended college in the same town we lived in when I graduated high school. I still moved into my own apartment and lived separately from my parents. In fact, they moved shortly after I moved out and I didn’t even have a bedroom in my parents house anymore. It never occurred to me to care. I was an adult so why did i need a room in my parent’s house? My mother would occasionally invite me over for dinner or out to lunch but that was the extent of her contribution to my college education. If I were really pressed for money, she would pay me to do some work for her. Otherwise, we could go weeks without speaking to each other even though we lived in the same town.

    The town we lived in is the home of the major state university so many local kids attended college in their hometown. Almost everyone still moved out on their own. A couple moved into dorms for freshman year, but most moved into apartments and houses. I only had one or two local friends who lived at home. Contrary to what you’d think the locals seemed more self-sufficient than the students from farther away. We worked and paid our own bills (because most of our parents wouldn’t pay for us to live in an apartment 5 minutes from them). We didn’t run home every weekend, or any weekend, where mom would do our laundry and buy our groceries and dad would take our car to be serviced. This is probably why most of my friends in college were coworkers – many of whom were local. It often seemed like we were living in a totally different world from our classmates from further afield.

    I still own a home in that same college town. Not sure if we will go back there or not when I finish my gig in the South Pacific. If we do, it will be interesting to see if my daughter goes to college there, if she lives at home and if things have changed.

  121. “Freshman are much more likely to wash their hands after using the restroom- probably because mom’s advice is still fresh in their minds!”

    What kind of crap is that?!!? That whole thing is total rubbish! Seriously, where do they come up with this stuff? Are they polling or counting these so called adults when they are using the restrooms? If handwashing after using a restroom isn’t automatic by age 8, we have a bigger problem than not being able to buy toiletries and food on their own.

  122. I lived with my parents during undergrad because we were fortunate enough to live 12 miles away from a regional campus of a decent state university, and being 3rd-born in a family of 6 kids to working-class parents, it made more sense for me to pay room & board to my parents than to spend it on my own personal digs. Besides the fact that I started at age 16 and my parents thought that was young to go dorm at college.

    During those years, I worked at various jobs, shared a car with 4-5 other drivers, took care of most of the housework for our large family, took care of my parents’ kids who were then in preschool / elementary school, taught my youngest sister to read etc., did volunteer work, and yes, I did plenty of shopping. (I used to do the family grocery shopping when I was in high school – pushing a grocery cart from the store to home and back again, since I was too young to borrow the car.) My mom was always a working mom so I always knew more about running a household than most of my peers (even in those days). And my parents never got involved in my schoolwork or “reminded me to study,” even when I was a little kid.

    Funny thing, when I moved into the grad dorm at 21, my worry was more what my parents / younger siblings would do without me. (They did survive!)

  123. I did receive a few care packages in college. They were… fun stuff. Gifts. Some candy, a cute t-shirt, fun socks. Stuff I wouldn’t buy for myself because I was a starving college student working an early morning janitorial job in order to pay for rent, food, and hygiene.

    The funny thing being is that my mom doesn’t send many care packages any more. Speaking of the aforementioned large family/small family thing, I come from a good ol’ Utah Mormon family of seven children. Years ago a family tradition among us kids was to go work at a Scout Camp every summer… at which the minimum employment age is… 14. My brothers started this first, and were given plenty of care packages. Over the years and a few Scout Camp-employed children later, care packages are a rare thing. Maybe Mom got bored, but no one seems to mind. But when there were care packages, they also consisted of… fun stuff. Not basic necessities that we were expected to get on our own (at Scout camp, it’s easy–They feed you).

    The fun stuff is that at the age 14 minimum for Scout Camp work, you are expected to do a lot of stuff. They provide you a tent to sleep in and you get to eat the food, but part of your job is looking presentable. NO ONE did laundry for us. You were expected to have a clean uniform (usually dirty at the end of the day) each morning. The camp we worked at had some washing and drying machines and even provided laundry soap. It was still your responsibility to do laundry. Oh, and you were supposed to be clean. And there were showers! If a fourteen-year-old couldn’t figure out where to get soap or couldn’t find someone to explain the mysteries of the washing machine, they usually didn’t last long–because kids like that usually aren’t responsible.

    Honestly, working at Scout Camp is something I highly recommend. You are expected to be responsible as a teenager. Wow.

  124. I just read my post and I don’t want to make it sound like our scout camp experiences were the ultimate example of responsibility.

    You are 14 years old. You are capable of doing laundry in a timely manner. You are also capable of purchasing a bar of soap (often sold at the camp trading post if you are unable to find a way into town) and shower on a daily basis.

    I think those are reasonable expectations for that age if not younger.

  125. Holy schnikeys, I just realized–the designers may have meant to give their characters a Japanese-style “chibi” look, but really they look more like fatlings! Creeeeepy. (Fatlings are cute baby aliens from Dr. Who. They are created by making adult humans shrink and melt away. Paging Dr. Freud, Dr. Freud to the front counter . . . )

  126. For a lot of kids, college is a very active learning time. Not having mom around to tell them what to eat, when to shower, when to do laundry or change the sheets. These are things to that people need to learn because mom is not always going to be around. I fear for the workplace when these “graduates” get there.

  127. Delightfully ludicrous! Because college students really need to keep their money to spend on alcohol and drugs instead, right?

    My mum used to give me frozen meals from home the first couple of years at uni. Even then, I remember having to eat dry rice for dinner because I’d spent all my money on “fun”. It was an excellent lesson in budgetting indeed.

  128. I love my sons a lot, but I don’t want to make their lives so easy that they want to live with me forever. Someday, I truly hope to prove that it was my “snubbing” that made them successful.

  129. Yeah, I actually snub my 5yos regularly. Every time they ask me to play a kiddy thing with them. That’s what they have siblings and friends for. And every time they ask me to do something that would give them an unnecessary boost or advantage. Snub city! I guess I’m getting them ready for the horrid neglect they have ahead of them.

  130. Donna: I have to agree that the rise of “mompetition” seems to be the culprit here. The problem with automatically attributing helicoptering and other forms of intensive parenting to smaller families is that the reduction in family size predates the trend by several decades.

    An endemic disease of American pop-sociology is the nearly automatic tendency to use the period from roughly 1946 to 1964 as a reference point. That was actually a very unusual period in American history and was as different from the half-century before it as it was from the last 50 years. In particular, people were marrying and having kids quite a bit younger than they had in the preceding decades. My mother always remarks how young she was (21) when she got married (in 1954), but in fact the median age of marriage for women was 19 back then. Much of the “sexual revolution” of the late 60s and early 70s was simply a reversion to trends that had started very early in the twentieth century but had gone “on hold” in the immediate post-WWII period.

    Uly: you’ve always posted here as “Uly”.

  131. Now that they have mandated dorms for freshmen at our local uni, my daughter will likely live at home for her first year. I completely understand wanting to strike out on your own into an apartment, even if close to home. I see no point in paying for a dorm and a meal plan when there is a house and a full kitchen within walking distance. Based on the needs of helicopter parents, I bet the dorms will be much more restrictive than living at home for my kid by the time she gets to college.

    I guess some schools are much more centered on dorms. Only freshmen and international students lived in our dorms, and only some of them, when I was in school. Now most freshmen are made to live in dorms but upperclassmen are still a rarity and grad students other than international students are unheard of. The vast majority of the students live off campus. I hope that means there is some basic life skills proficiency happening in Georgia.

  132. I found this interesting because the further I got into college, the more I wanted free stuff from my parents. But honestly, when someone is a freshman, let them figure things out on their own. They’ll learn all those important lessons about life and money and all that jazz. But when they’re starting to feel the pinch, a little love from home can go a long way. I very fondly remember the bags of “groceries” I’d take back to school from every visit to my parents. Those were good times.

  133. @ebohlman – I think it is a combo. The trend has been building for decades. I was born in 1970 and my brother in 1984. He was more free range than kids today but less free range than me.

    I think smaller well-planned families headed by older professional parents with financial resourses (yuppies) started to really change the parenting landscape in the 80s and it has slowly gotten worse through mompetition.

  134. I actually showed the graphic to my daughter and said “Don’t expect this when you’re in college. If you can buy apps off iTunes, you can buy your own toothpaste!” She laughed.

  135. @Donna – you make an interesting observation about the local students being more self-sufficient in your town. That was true in my experience, too. I mostly ended up being friends with other “townies”. We all ended up working together over the summers, as we had various jobs around campus and we needed the money to support ourselves, most of us coming from similar socio-economic backgrounds.

    A good portion of the student population where I went to school came from very wealthy backgrounds, and summers were spent “summering”. Or, as I remember one woman telling me when I was on my lunch break from work, “Everyone should take time off and follow Phish around for the summer.” I didn’t bother to point out that 1. I had to work, and 2. even if I hadn’t had to work, I had no interest in Phish for one concert, let alone an entire summer of them.

  136. Where I went to undergrad in 1983, for those who attended the main campus, undergrads were required to live in the dorms unless they were married or living with their parents. There might have been exceptions for non-traditional students, but you would have to petition. In my grad school, again, undergrads had to live in campus housing. There were two large dorms dedicated to grad students only, and while many of those were international students, many were not. On my floor, only about 15% were international students. If you lived in the dorm, you had to be on the meal plan unless you got an exception. This was in 1988-92.

    I didn’t care too much about the restrictions, but given my working-class, large-family background, I found the cost to be ridiculous. (Since this was a private university, I was in the minority on that view.) Eventually I met a like-minded friend and we went apartment-shopping. We found a conveniently-located apartment about 10x the size of my dorm room for about the same cost. We then bought an old car off someone for $450 and we were living in luxury, LOL.

  137. I can’t believe this, but I’m not surprised. I live in a college town and see a lot ot students that still depend on mom and dad for everything. A good example of this is when I was working a midnight “Welcome to College” sale and one young lady didn’t want to buy a new pair of shoes (that she didn’t really need) but didn’t want to use her own money but mom’s! I really had to control my tounge on that one since I wanted to tell her what I thought about that.

    But on the flip side there are a lot of kids who work really hard to help pay for college (and rent AND groceries etc.) Goodness they go out and (SHOCK SHOCK!!!) get a part time job to help defray those costs, and they still get good grades and graduate!!! Guess those parents are terrible expecting their kids to help themselves.

  138. OOps on my previous post the sentence should have read she wanted to by a new pair of shoes, but. . . (Sorry about that)

  139. @AW13 – A few of the townies in my area still managed to find ways to follow Phish and Widespread Panic around for the summer. But this is Athens, GA where Indy bands are a religion for some.

    @SKL – Interesting. We were in college around the same time and yet our schools were vastly different. Coming from poor artist parents, UGA was a forgone conclusion for me for undergrad and I just didn’t spend much time looking at other schools when in high school to really register differences. Grad school was after a several year break so I was in a different world anyway.

  140. LOL at the “leave more money for fun stuff”
    In my experience, that “fun stuff” = booze and drugs!

    When I was in school, my bffs mom sent all kinds of stuff like in that ad. We were thrilled, as that meant more money available for drugs! (which also came from same friends mom, via more than ample allowance) She was SO spoiled, as were so many of my wealthy and upper middle class classmates.

    Let me tell you helicopter parents, its never a great idea to give students like this tons of money, plus zero responsibility. It really never ends well. Especially don’t do it if you cannot afford a good lawyer, and a few years of expensive rehab, which is what you will need after sending junior off with more money than sense. Still, even the wealthiest will sometimes suffer, as my old bff and her sister BOTH OD’d and died a few years later, leaving their parents childless.

    Not every kid gets into drugs, but enough of them do that its a noticeable pattern amongst wealthier whites of college age.

    You wont see the lower income kids who are working for school doing these stupid things! Not that they are angels, but a nasty drug habit is costly and takes time these kids dont have.

  141. I think my almost 2yr old has more responsibility than these college kids. I am not kidding!

    He knows how to put his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, and dirty dishes in the sink, and also does the laundry, rinses dishes, and loads dishwasher (supervised, but does all the work himself). He also puts his toys away, carries light groceries home, takes small bags of trash to the dumpster, brushes his teeth (after I brush them), brushes his hair, fetches me things, and helps push his sisters stroller. AND HE IS NOT EVEN TWO. (next month is his birthday) We call this “being part of the family”, every member must contribute.

    I may not be the best parent, but my kids will be able to take care of themselves.

  142. @Donna and others – that was interesting. I guess I just think my kids will stay at home if they go to uni in the same city. They could of course get their own flats. I just won’t be the one paying for it, LOL!

    I was a small town girl (actually, read microscopic, probably), and if given the chance I would have remained at home for uni, as it would have freed up more money……isn’t that naughty!

  143. My closest friend in college did still live at home with her father. She decided to change her major her senior year so was on the 6 year plan, needed to pay her own tuition for the last 2 years and didn’t want to pay rent too. At 23, she was still telling her father that she was staying at my house whenever she spent the night at a guy’s house. She just couldn’t bring herself to openly admit to her father that she was having sex. I was happy when she finally graduated and became my roommate. At least then, I knew that I wouldn’t be getting a phone call from some family member looking for her in an emergency when I didn’t even know she was “spending the night at my house” and had no idea where she was.

    So for those of you contemplating your children living at home during college, you will likely need to address the issue of relationships. Or at least encourage a cellphone to help out the scapegoats.

  144. That’s true. I was actually thinking about that as I posted last night. I don’t like the idea of pre-marital sex….just a personal religious conviction of my husband and mine, so the kids already know they won’t be having people of the opposite sex sleeping over in their rooms that they’re not married to. However what they get up to outside of my house will be up to them. I just hope we keep open lines of communication, so they can come to us if they need help/advice about anything, and vice versa actually. So far everything is going okay – I’m actually pleased and surprised at the amount of stuff the 15 year old boy still talks to me about – but who knows if that will last…Just hope it will.

  145. It doesn’t get much better post-grad. My husband teaches law. He, too, gets calls from parents. These “kids” are over 21. Only one so far has had the grace to be completely horrified and embarrassed about the parental harassment.

  146. For the record, I wasn’t sneaking around with guys during college or grad school, LOL! But that might have been one reason my mom wouldn’t even consider having me live on campus at 16 (even if it could work financially). It’s probably easier to talk a 16yo into stuff when she doesn’t go home and bounce stuff off her mom every day. And when she can’t blame her parents for having to act like a prude.

    I was on my own dime once in college, but I do believe that if you’re being supported by your parents, you need to be using the support to do what they intend. I hate to hear young people say “let’s hide this until after Mom/Dad finishes paying our way.” You’re either an independent adult or you aren’t.

  147. Christina, when I was in college, some of the teachers used to go to our parents to talk about us (they were pursuing associate degrees at the same time, and had some of the same teachers). My parents were offended on our behalf. They didn’t even attend parent-teacher meetings when we were in high school. I would never dream of asking them to intervene with a teacher, even though they might have had a good rapport etc.

    Is there any written policy anywhere that basically spells out the boundaries for both parents and teachers in college and beyond?

  148. Looking at the title of the thing: “How a mother can make or break their college student”…. So a college student is a mother’s thing, a toy, an object for the mom to break – or fix.

  149. “I was on my own dime once in college, but I do believe that if you’re being supported by your parents, you need to be using the support to do what they intend.”

    I agree to a certain extent. Kids need to spend their parents money for what is intended, and parents have a right to put there foot down and refuse to pay for something against their own values. But Parents also need to accept that they are giving money to ADULTS who should have some freedom to make their own choices as long as the general plan – a college education – is progressing nicely. Parents either want to pay for college or they don’t, but purse strings shouldn’t be used as a way to micromanage and manipulate your adult kids’ lives from afar.

    There is a difference to me between “I don’t believe in cohabitation and will not pay for an apartment for you to live in with your boyfriend/girlfriend” and saying “I’ll cut off all funding for college if you have sex before marriage.”

  150. Here is an interesting argument about pedophiles looking at kids in public.


  151. Admittedly, I wouldn’t have minded an occasional care package. I received a supermarket giftcard for $100 on one birthday, and thought it fabulous. So practical! During the first year of university my bestie and I sent each other care packages (we were in different states, both a very long way from anyone we had ever known before, the nearest person known to my parents, to be called if I ran into serious trouble, was 200kms away. Never did call.). I would send favourite snack foods (like oreos!), and received my favourite soft drink, unobtainable in the new state. As well as different little knick knacks we found. It was just such a great way to be reminded of “home” when we were both so far away. And I will never forget the time a flatmates mother came to visit and brought with her half a cow. She knew we had a chest freezer, and that it was running low. We donated the really good quality meat around all the poor students we were friends with. Again, a fabulous thoughtful gift, that lasted a very long time.
    BUT, as a regular thing? It would lose its thoughtfulness and specialness.

  152. There was one particularly spoiled 25yo nursing student in our grad dorm. She mentioned that her dad worked for – was it Lockheed Martin – and made no bones about the fact that she was rich. She thought she was a liberal, which meant she “hated” her capitalist dad (but didn’t mind spending his money), was an environmentalist (but she flew cross-country to visit mommy and daddy every weekend and was probably the biggest consumer east of Chicago), etc. I recall her whining that at Christmas, she and her brother had “only” received jet-skis and a few other tidbits. Waah! She used to bring a massive “care package” back with her after each weekend visit. It would be interesting to find out how long it took her to become independent (if she ever did). (I can’t recall whether she did her own laundry or took it home on the plane each weekend. Then again, most likely her parents had a concierge pick it up dirty and deliver it clean. Kinda makes me wish I went to a blue-collar school so my eyes wouldn’t get so tired from all the rolling.)

    Funny thing is that this woman would have said she was “snubbed,” not “loved” by her parents. Nothing was ever good enough for her. I never got a “care package,” but I still remember the day my mom drove me up there to fit out my tiny new room. She didn’t have to do that, so I really appreciated it.

  153. The funny thing is that I never got a single care package in college but now everyone in my office – the youngest ringing in at 36 – gets them regularly. Life on an island means many things we enjoyed back in the states are not readily available. Walmart.com comes in handy, but most food can’t be commercially shipped via Hawaii (where all our mail comes from) so in steps mom. My last care package contained flavored rice mixes, sudafed, natural peanut butter, and bagel chips.

    The cargo plane comes in over the weekend so Mondays are like Christmas at the office. You never know who is going to have a box and what it will contain. I imagine that it is equally as exciting if you are in college. So maybe it’s just the marketing that sucks.

  154. In the sixties there were mailing boxes freshmen to send whiffy laundry home; and Mom would return same washed and folded with a cookie or 2.

  155. @Merrick
    My son’s boy scout troop also has the kids make up the shopping list for the campouts but with a twist. The scoutmaster does the shopping, but buys ONLY and EXACTLY what is on the list. So if they forgot that cereal requires milk, then everyone eats dry cereal. Excellent way to make boys pay attention to detail.

    My kids went to kung fu camp last week. The bunk house had sheets and blankets folded on the end of each bed. Several kids had no idea how to apply them to the mattress. My kids, no problem! Long live snubbing!

  156. Eh. It’s just an advertisement selling a service. Care packages are nothing new or a sign of being an overprotective parent. I would imagine most parents would send care packages. Sure the ad itself is over the top, but if you are busy and wealthy I could see using this serviice as a, albeit pathetic, way to let your son or daughter know you’re thinking of them and that you support them. It’s just the ad, which has apparently inspired a few guilt trips, that needs work. 😉

  157. Wow…this is just ridiculous. I understand helping support your college student financially in some ways. I know I needed it then. And my parents did. But they also expected me to be responsible with what they gave me. They were not about to do my laundry, shop for my food, and such. This is basically saying that the government allows a child to become an adult at 18…but they can’t be responsible for themselves.

  158. I work at a university, and teach an extended orientation class for incoming freshmen. I completely agree with the assessment BMS made–students who work are easy to spot, and generally perform (in my experience) significantly better than students who don’t. They are more conscientious regarding not only classwork, but also in terms of general communication, taking initiative, asking for clarification when needed, you name it. They plan their time, let me know ahead of time if they will miss class (and generally speaking, this is rare), and make arrangements to cover work before the missed class (which is remarkable in itself). This is one reason I will not pay for my son’s college education; I will help, but my expectation is that he will have a financial stake in it as well as doing the academic work. I may send him care packages, but he’ll be responsible for his own upkeep. He’s five now, and knows when he needs a bath or to brush his teeth, so I’m hoping we can continue that trend. (I don’t want to brag, but he also knows to wash his hands after he uses the bathroom–clearly he’s headed for honors college!)

  159. Donna — exactly. There’s nothing wrong with a care package if it’s just a fun way to provide a treat or a way to say “I’m taking a little time and effort to send you some stuff because I wanted to do something extra for you.” That’s why I buy the “healthy treat” packages the college makes available (as a fundraiser for student activities) at exam times, and once in a great while, I’ll send a little stuff at other times. But that’s a far cry from “This is the only way your kids will know you love them, and their teeth will rot otherwise.” So I think it’s a combination of the marketing, and the content. These aren’t hard to get things or specially “treatful” things (on the whole), they’re basic necessities.

  160. Ugh, are you kidding me?? Learning how to shop for myself and stay within a budget was probably one of the most valuable lessons I learned in college. I was lucky, in that my parents could afford to/were willing to give me a food allowance to supplement my meal plan. But I got X amount each month and was expected to stay within budget, and it was my first real experience of being responsible for my own food and toiletry purchases, one of my first real “grown-up” responsibilities!

    Also, this post made me feel an unexpected twinge of nostalgia for my college days. I like being a grown up and being self-sufficient and all, but I also miss living down the hall from my best friends and being able to swipe my meal card at the dining hall when I lacked the time and/or motivation to cook for myself. 😉

  161. I honest to goodness with every fiber of my being thought this was a spoof. Some kind of joke. I am just plain stunned that this is an actual, real thing… what is this world coming to??

  162. As a student with multiple genetic disorders, I have to spend ~$500 a month for food because my diet is specialized. My medication costs upwards of $1000, and that is with decent health insurance.

    There is no way I could have survived college without my parents. Where is a 18 year old going to come up with that kind of money, outside of taking out massive student loans?

  163. Sell questionable services to parents through fearmongering. They’re doing it right. Outside of a few rare cases like unique snowflake, what most kids need is to learn to take care of themselves. Other kids won’t play with you due to questionable hygeine? Learn to get clean or go live in mom’s basement. Simple as that. I can absolutely tell you just because you send it, doesn’t mean they will use it. I was a poor kid on scholarship at a privilaged private college. Thirty years ago most of my classmates had daddy’s credit card, a new beemer high school graduation present, and discretionary spending cash of less than $1000 a month was unheard of. I made extra cash cleaning, doing laundry, and ironing for people in my dorm as most of them had no clue how just maintain themselves and their things. These were kids who’s parents sent them wads of cash and boxes full of gourmet foods. Still ended up eating ramen whenever dad would get mad about how much they were ringing up on the credit card to eat fancy hamburgers and pizza while drinking beer in excess.

  164. I think UniqueSnowflake is satirizing, playing the “how dare you criticize marketing overkill when there are 2,365 people in the U.S. who could use this?” card that is de rigueur on every thread, but just in case, I’ll just point out here that mygofer is probably not going to help a lot with highly specialized diets for complex medical problems.

  165. I would consider myself a failure as a parent if my kids need a product like this at age 18.

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