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College Success - Rules for Parents

  • College Success for Parents 2.0
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5 Rules for Parents


A straightforward, no-nonsense guide to optimizing your child’s college experience from one of America’s top educators


Pop quiz: You’ve just dropped off your freshman at college and are heading home. Do you: A) Call them to see how they’re settling in; B) Text them to tell them you love them; C) Enjoy the drive; or D) All of the above?


According to leading educator and President of Hyde School, Malcolm Gauld, the correct answer is “C – Enjoy the drive.”


A teacher for nearly forty years, Gauld has watched thousands of high school graduates head off to college. After a while, he began to notice some unmistakable patterns—good and bad—relating to students after they hit higher education. About a decade ago, he began giving an annual presentation, called his “5 Rules for College Survival Talk,” to high school seniors in hopes of sending them off to college on a positive note. This led to the book College Success Guaranteed: 5 Rules to Make It Happen (Rowman & Littlefield 2011).


Since writing that book, many parents have asked for tips on how they might optimize their son or daughter’s college experience. Hence, Gauld formulated College Success Guaranteed 2.0: 5 Rules for Parents (Rowman & Littlefield 2014). These five simple rules include:

Rule #1: Make Them Pay . . . For Something

Rule #2: Wait for Their Call

Rule #3: Step Aside . . . and Make Way for New Mentors

Rule #4: Mantra—Is This My Issue?

Rule #5: Get Curious


Written with honesty, insight, and a touch of humor, COLLEGE SUCCESS GUARANTEED 2.0 references several contemporary authors, psychologists, and family therapists on the nature of today’s American family, the current national tendency toward parental overprotectiveness, and some new approaches parents might take toward parenting a student of college age as opposed to a younger child.


 “I have taught and coached teenagers for more than four decades and watched thousands of them go off to college. Some just take off like rockets from the get-go. Others either fail to launch or crash-and-burn before midterms,” says Gauld.  “Parents can help their children succeed by following these five simple rules, which encourage independence and set up the students for success.”


Gauld hopes the anecdotes from college parents from more than fifty schools, combined with stories from College Success Guaranteed: 5 Rules to Make It Happen, will ensure students “the best four years of his or her life.” Included in the book is a special bonus chapter on how kids and parents might join together to face the troubling angst currently surrounding the annual college application process.

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