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College is really the first true test parents face that measures their level of success in regards to their child-rearing efforts. We wonder if we have nurtured common sense and problem-solving skills within our children, or if we have inadequately prepared them for those sorts that look for an easy target.

As my first child heads off to college, I find myself sharing things I’ve learned from a career in law enforcement. My motherly advice is tainted by years of seeing the worst in humanity. I recognize, however, that there is a delicate balance between developing safety-conscious children versus neurotic ones.

College campuses have crime that is much different from that of the general population. I spoke to several campus police chiefs to determine how best to prepare my daughter for college. For the most part, the reported crimes on campus were crimes against property (theft, vandalism, ordinance violations, etc.). When I asked about crimes against people, the resounding theme was that when it did occur it involved one common factor: alcohol.

Simply telling our children “don’t drink” won’t work. We must explain the dangers and discuss the role alcohol plays in inviting it. Above are six recommendations I’m giving my daughter as she goes to college.

 

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