College and Parenting

Not As Easy As One Would Think


Elizabeth Prankard, Editor, Signal Peak Campus

Lately, while attending Central Arizona Col­lege, I have noticed more and more parents on campus. These parents are not here to help their children register for classes, but are in attendance themselves. Par­ents are going back to school to either further their educa­tion or coming back to com­plete a long overdue degree they have been working on for some time. With today’s work force one needs a good solid education to be able to make a decent life not only for themselves, but for their families as well.

A few of the Cactus Staff are these parents, myself in­cluded. When you are a par­ent of children who are just entering into their own edu­cational careers or one who has children who are almost done with their educational careers, it is never an easy feat for you as a parent to at­tend college. I wanted all of my children to know no mat­ter how hard things become, if you put your mind to do some­thing, you can complete it.

My husband and I have all four of our children living at home right now. At twenty years of age, our son is the eldest of the bunch, who for some time has been attending school in Florida, and has not been home to stay for years. Recently, he decided to move back so that he may finish his education after taking nearly a year’s hiatus. His step-fa­ther and I had our concerns in the beginning, but now those worries are gone and we are truly happy to have him back at home. Our eldest daughter recently turned 15 years of age. She is at the age where she wants to be her own person, independent, and self-sufficient yet insists that mom kiss her good night every evening. The six year old is the gymnast of the family, al­ways practicing when she has a free moment and a captive audience. While the youngest, at only three years old is so smart because her three older siblings are always teaching her at every turn. Raising children from two very differ­ent generations is a little dif­ficult at times, yet can also be gratifying at others.

One of the most difficult issues when parenting these four, trying to remember they are very different, not only in age, but in personalities as well.

This past year has had its ups and downs when it comes to the children. They tend to argue and carry on like nor­mal siblings do, and as a par­ent of two different genera­tions one must choose their words wisely when trying to defuse a situation. When a younger one sees their old­er sibling doing something which they would like to do as well, you have to be sensitive to their feeling when explain­ing that when they are older they will have the opportunity to take part in those activities. For now, though, they are too young and must stay at home with their mom and dad. On the other side of the die, when the older one sees the younger ones doing things they could not when they were younger you have to explain to them that the little ones know what they are and are not allowed to do and need not interfere with them.

Juggling our children’s needs as well as our school work is, I’m sure, a challenge for many CAC students.}