Why so many parents at uni open days?

(60 Posts)
Chewingthecrud Fri 30-Sep-16 08:55:59

Just been chatting to DS.
He has been to four now, 2 with mates from school and 2 on his own.
Seems the places are full of parents.
He said the parents were completely monopolising the lecturers at one and the hopeful entrants couldn't get a word in.
Also lots of his friends have been driven there and he is very much in the minority for getting the train or bus alone (and he isn't moaning as he loves that bit and working out what the journey would be like to get home at the end of term etc)

Campus full of parents escorting their offspring round. Makes it feel more like a school visit he said.

When did this happen then? In my day we wouldn't have dreamed of having a parent get us there let alone stay with us.

Are we babying our teenagers or is this how it should be and myself and my parents were showing a shocking lack of disinterest grin

Strikes me it is his decision and his experience and I am leaving him to it until he wants to chat it through after he has visited them.

TheMasterMurderedMargarita Fri 30-Sep-16 09:02:20

It's them not you.
I have been at many of these (working) and the amount of teens that come along and stand in the background while parents ask all the questions is astonishing.
I often wonder if the parents are overbearing or they know their offspring won't engage without them but I suspect it's the former.
I have often wanted to point out that it's not them who will be coming to live in another city independently in 6 months time.

littlemissneela Fri 30-Sep-16 09:12:54

We only went with our daughter to two of them as she is disabled and wouldnt have been able to get to and from alone. One visit was in Bristol, and as its quite hilly, she needed my help to get about. She ended up going to Bristol but even with the buses she found it too difficult. She is now in a better place for her physically and thats helped.
Our son is starting the process this year and has been to a couple of visits on his own. He is much more independent so wouldnt want us there (even though Id love to visit them). I suspect for the most part, the students should do this on their own. Its all part of growing up and if they forget to ask a certain question, then so be it.

uhoh2016 Fri 30-Sep-16 09:40:49

Or maybe it's because they're are the ones footing the bill and want to see they're investig their money wisely for their child

melibu84 Fri 30-Sep-16 09:48:33

I think some parents are overprotective. it's good that your son is independent enough to do this stuff on his own. I agree with littlemissneela, choosing a university is about growing up and, at this point, they are all virtually adults now. Plus, think of the annual leave days you're saving :D

Even if I was footing the bill, I would want my son to make the choice about where he's going himself, as long as it's not a terrible university!

Ausernotanumber Fri 30-Sep-16 09:49:35

Because they're paying for it and they want to see where their money will be going.

Leopard12 Fri 30-Sep-16 09:55:03

My mum came with me to all expect two (I visited loads blush) I didn't enjoy the experience with friends as much as they were doing their own thing and had different priorities but my mum was there solely to support me and someone to bounce back views with, she didn't ask any questions to lecturers or any other staff and stayed in the background around the subject stands etc, parents shouldn't be getting overinvolved but I think it's nice to support your dc and see where they'll be living for the next 3/4 years

YouMakeMyDreams Fri 30-Sep-16 09:55:19

I think some are just too over protective but not all. My friend in Americas parents were pretty involved in her college choices while I was going through it mostly on my own and happily. Her parents felt they had more say as they were paying for it. I think that has blurred some lines a bit. Parents have to pay for and support do financially these days so they want to know what they are paying for. While I think yes some are just too over involved I am sure there are some that just want to know where their money is going.

AngryAnnie Fri 30-Sep-16 09:57:12

I never went to university so was excited to see where my daughter was going. She wanted me there, we had a lovely night away together and loved seeing the university together. Don't understand why anyone has a problem with that.

mysteryfairy Fri 30-Sep-16 10:01:48

My older DC were very last minute about university open days - genuinely down to late decisions. The train service is such that it's hugely cheaper to drive any long distance if you don't know where you're going 12 weeks in advance so I drove them.

lisaneedsarest Fri 30-Sep-16 10:04:29

I've only got under 10's so may not be the best person to answer, but I think I'd want to go along to help with the decision making, I'd like to think I'd take a back seat though and just listen to answers and take note. If I was going to make a big decision like that I'd want someone who I trusted to give their opinions too.

Pagwatch Fri 30-Sep-16 10:04:43

I think a proprtion are over protective but I have a friend who is currently taking her DS as he has aspergers and struggles a bit.

My son did all his on his own and when his friends parents asked him (all the fucking time!) why he was on his own he would reply with "I just don't think my parents like me that much'

melibu84 Fri 30-Sep-16 10:07:07

Also, technically, the parents are not paying for the course. All students can get a tuition fee loan for the actual fees, and can be eligible for additional loans. Depending on how much the parents earn, though, they may need to help with general living costs. The alternative is to study and work part time.

OdinsLoveChild Fri 30-Sep-16 10:23:00

I went with my DD because after visiting 2 on her own she would come home and ask us what we thought of x university and x course along with x alternative yet we hadn't even been and couldn't offer her any opinion or advice.

She felt it was a huge decision to make on her own even with dozens of people offering too much advice about everything. She felt overwhelmed by the choices so we went along with her to the last few. We didn't interfere just stood by her side and nodded appropriately.

She made her choice herself and she felt more confident being able to turn to a familiar face and say 'I like this one' while standing in the grounds of the university she liked. Then talking about it non stop all the way home.

She said it was very lonely to not get the right feel from a place and be there alone.

My DD wanted me to be there. If she had said 'please don't come with me' then I would never have gone. I don't get why so many parents have 'issues' with parents accompanying their children. Its one of the biggest decisions a person will ever make in their life and just like buying your first home you generally would like to have another person with you to bounce ideas and thoughts off. hmm

raisin Fri 30-Sep-16 10:29:42

I've been on all the university visits at my dcs' request. None of their friends were going there and, as Odin said, they wanted someone with them to talk about it.

We also enjoyed the time together.

trufflepiggy Fri 30-Sep-16 10:33:59

I don't see why this is such a big deal?

This question comes up on mumsnet a lot and seems to be a part of a big student-bashing attitude.

Apparently we're all special snow flakes that can't get anything done without mummy or daddy holding our hand. hmm

ImperialBlether Fri 30-Sep-16 10:38:53

I went to some with my children and they went to others with their schools. In my experience parents asked questions when nobody else was willing to ask anything. They asked sensible questions and the answers were useful. Nobody was exactly asking if someone would tuck up their child at night!

trufflepiggy Fri 30-Sep-16 10:39:00

For what it's worth, 4 years ago my dad came with me.

1) it was cheaper to drive to the universities and we could incorporate it into a "day out". I'd have spent well over £300 if I'd travelled by train.

2) none of my friends were going to university so i couldn't go with them

3) my dad and I have a fab relationship - he has never been to university and was curious about it was like

Guess what - he also moved me into halls too. Shock horror that family like to help out.

For the rest of the year I ferried myself across the country via a 8 hour coach whenever I wanted to go home.

I hope all of the people complaining don't help their DCs a bit when they turn 18!

What's wrong with being supportive?

hellsbells99 Fri 30-Sep-16 10:48:01

I agree with what Trufflepiggle says above.
We enjoyed our days out loing at different universities and cities. We let our DDs go to what talks they wanted and decide what they wanted to see whilst we looked round and met up as required. It's a big decision both financially and emotionally where the will spend the next 4+ years of their life. It is always good to have someone to bounce ideas off and discuss the options

AndNowItsSeven Fri 30-Sep-16 10:50:28

Parents are excepted to go, it's a bit off that you haven't gone with him. My eldest sister started uni in 1986 and I remember going to the uni open days , I was only little.

FranHastings Fri 30-Sep-16 10:52:23

My Dad came with me to all of mine 20 yrs ago. There were lots of other parents there. I'd take my children in 7 yrs, unless they tell me they don't want to. However, I'm not a monopolise all the attention and information type, so hopefully that would be acceptable. 😁

lalaloopyhead Fri 30-Sep-16 10:54:25

I've been to 3 with my DD, at her request. I suspect mostly for the transport but she also said she wants my opinion. We took one of her friends of one and they went off and did there own thing for a while.

My dd is quite quiet and I did encourage her to go and ask questions (and collect the freebie tat) as I did point out I wouldn't be there to hold her hand if she decides to go!

I don't think it should be considered special snow flake treatment for taking them at all.

ChipInTheSugar Fri 30-Sep-16 10:54:50

We're off to Manchester uni tomorrow - there is actually a stand for parents, detailing what to expect/do when their child starts uni!

ChipInTheSugar Fri 30-Sep-16 10:55:30

We're off to Manchester uni tomorrow - there is actually a stand for parents, detailing what to expect/do when their child starts uni!

TheMasterMurderedMargarita Fri 30-Sep-16 16:02:30

It isn't student bashing.
The examples given here are of normal supportive parents - big difference between that and what OP describes.
What I have a problem with is the amount of potential students who come along and then let the parents take over and show no interest whatsoever or grunting when you address them directly. There are a lot.
I also train older students and you can tell which ones have had to do things for themselves and which are still expecting ma and pa to sort them out to the extent of calling and questioning exam marks etc. At this point the students are 20 year old adults confused.
The level of expectation that someone else will take care of it for them is, in some instances, crazy.

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