Time for Pencils, Time for Books

US Wealth McCarthy |

School starts in a few weeks.  Parents are shopping for back to school wardrobes, class supply lists and dorm room accessories for those heading to college.  I remember this was the time for new shoes.  My mother would take me and my sister to Thom McAn in Lynn for our new school shoes. The best part of this experience was that we were able to see how well the shoes fit by sticking our feet in the “x-ray box.”  It was a fluoroscope that was more of a marketing tool than a medical device.  Little did we know that we were exposing our feet to unnecessary radiation with those contraptions.  Ahh, the good old days!

       Times have changed, particularly for those parents sending children off to college.  My Mom and Dad bought me a few items of clothing, I stuffed them in a duffle bag with my Brother typewriter, and off I went!  “Moving in” took all of 15 minutes.  Now it’s a caravan of clothes, coffee makers, personal grooming items, mini refrigerators and microwaves and computers. Then there is at least a day of arranging furniture, decorating the room, and shopping at the bookstore.  I must admit the dorm rooms and overall campus facilities are much nicer than the 15x12 room I shared with my first college roommate.

       We had very basic services and amenities - the cafeteria/Student Union had a few dining choices and the Gym/Armory/ROTC building offered training/exercise options.  There were plenty of grades in the C and below range, especially for those who didn’t perform academically.  Parental notification was a potent study incentive!

       Most of the parental prerogatives have evolved since the “Golden Years.”  Student privacy is paramount. I’m not sure why since most kids don’t pay the bill!  Be sure to have your student sign the appropriate paperwork that gives you permission to access their academic records.  More importantly, you need the proper forms to give you the power to help them navigate medical decisions.  HIPAA restricts the sharing of medical information once your child is over eighteen years old.  Have your child sign the HIPAA waiver, and perhaps consider a Power of Attorney as well.  You don’t want to be a helpless bystander in the event of a medical emergency.  Please call our office if you have any questions or if we can offer assistance with these forms.  These forms will be your school “supplies” you hope you will never need.  All this is an important part of being prepared for this next phase of parenting.