Leading by example

Gwenn Crittle


It’s a hard job being a college parent. I made the choice to go back to school in January 2006. By then my son was 4 years old and a few months away from starting kindergarten. He knew his mommy went to school and his teachers would often tell me he would say to them that his mommy was in also in school like him.

When I would hear those words it always made me so proud and that was the motivation I needed to continue college and not give up to work a regular nine to five job. My son has always been my motivation.

When he started kindergarten, I bought him his first desk and lots of school supplies for Christmas. We would do our homework together, he at his desk and I would sit at the kitchen table. Sometimes he would complain that he had to do homework and I would simply say to him that mommy had homework to do as well. He didn’t like listening to his teacher at times and I would tell him it was important to pay attention and that mommy had to also pay attention to her teachers. I told him no matter how old we got we had to listen to someone especially our teachers because they were just trying to help.

Now that my son is older, we share how our days at school where everyday I pick him up. I ask him how his day was and then he’ll ask me. He mostly talks about what he and his friends did at recess, lunch or after school. My son and I talk about tests we have coming up and we share how we think we did on those tests and what grades we hope we got.

He doesn’t complain as much as he use to anymore. I know it is hard for him and in so many ways he is a lot like me when I was his age. I sit with my son everyday and go over every piece of homework with him. There was no one to do that with me. There are nights when I have had so much to do but it doesn’t get done till after I help my son with his work. When it comes to being a college parent, there is no better thing than to lead by example.