The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only: A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience: Calling, Not Calling, Packing, Preparing, Problems, Roommates, … Matters when Your Child Goes to College

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  • packed with practical advice for parents of new and soon-to-be college students, best read and digested the summer before a child’s freshman year
  • weighed down by repetitiousness that impatient readers won’t tolerate
  • still ranks as a strong should-buy for parents sending a kid to college for the first time

Top items to include on your child’s off-to-college packing checklist: a shower caddy, an extra smartphone charger, laundry detergent, and — oh yes — yourself! Your son or daughter would be quite surprised to see Mom or Dad tucked away in their suitcase, right beside the toiletries.

But many parents do indeed agonize over how exactly to let their college-bound children go without letting go completely. The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only pleasantly elucidates workable coping strategies to navigate this exciting yet challenging child-rearing rite of passage with serene insight, despite some longueurs and overwriting.

“Helping Them Find Their Place (Before They Leave Yours),” “Why You’ll Soon Learn to Text,” “A Parent’s Guide to College Dating” and other actionable chapters make For Parents Only practically mandatory summer-before-campus reading. But author Harlan Cohen’s thoughtful structure vacillates between passages of thought-provoking, meaningful counsel and monotonous repetitions of this counsel that bloat the overall reading experience.

This said, For Parents Only still proves helpful for parents sending their first child to college, thanks to its advice that simplifies the decision of when to step in and when to step away. Moms and Dads who can endure some well-meaning redundancies will reap valuable peace of mind from Cohen’s breezily written advice guide.