Parent Advice


Originally Published in 2012…PARENT PARANOIA (The Rules)
As your child leaves for college here are the rules to share with them. It is slanted more towards girls because it was written with our daughter in mind…

1.    Always carry your own money. If you can’t afford to go, stay home.
2.    Take more money than you think you need, there will ALWAYS be emergencies, be prepared!
3.    Never trust your friends more than your own instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it is NOT right.
4.    Never be afraid to LEAD!
5.    Never let someone bring a drink to you without you seeing the bartender pour the drink. If you didn’t see it, assume the drink has been tainted. Take your drink to the bathroom with you. DANGER Will Robinson, 20,000 VOLTS!
6.    If you leave your drink, NEVER return to drink it. Buy a new one.
7.    You can accept a drink if someone offers to pay, BUT the purchase of a drink does not BUY your companionship FOREVER. Never feel compelled to stay in the company of a stranger or a friend because they brought you a drink!
8.    Offer to pay the bill and then PAY IT.
9.    Anyone who seeks to control your movement, choice of friends, contact with family or freedom of speech is NO GOOD for you and MUST be avoided.
10.You don’t have to wear LESS to be noticed. We tend to be more attracted to mystery, so cover it up!
11.Sex is NOT a bargaining tool.
12.Listen to your inner voice, it is your intuition and it will help guide you. TRUST yourself.
13.Admit when you are wrong then move on.
14.Speak up, tell YOUR truth and be prepared for people to NOT believe you. It’s OK. People lie. Truth is truth and facts are facts but sometimes they are not the same, know the difference.
15.Pay Your Own Bills. Pay your bills On Time. Never borrow money (except from Mom or Dad reluctantly). Money IS the root of all evil but boy can it be useful!
16.Always believe in the goodness of man but be prepared to deal with the Creeps, they are out there waiting to spoil your good time. Don’t let them.
17.Walk away from danger (see moths and fire!). Police sirens and flashing lights to the right, time to turn and exit stage left!
18.Life is good, enjoy it, but never at the expense of others.
19.Laugh a lot. Keep it simple. Is it really that serious? Think about the worse thing that happened to you five years ago, guess what, you’re still here. You WILL survive!
20.Have Faith and Believe in God as you perceive Him to be. He will never fail you. USA, LLC

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Little Pim

Hamptons MouthPiece..we do the talking for you….Greetings Friends..this has been a roller coaster year with college stuff…senior year of high school is an expensive year. College applications, visits, portfolios, senior dues and then of course the tuition… We are done with all of that and the decision has been made she is going to study Art at Purchase College….We were very pleased because the tuition at a state school are nearly $35,000 less than a private school. College students have no guarantee of getting employment once they graduate based on the state of the economy so it is important that students make good decisions from the very beginning.
So you’re in the school of your choice, deposit has been made, payments have been sent in, your room has been chosen, you have connected with your roommates, you’ve got the cheap Student Recipes that will see you through college and you have your schedule all you need to do is move into your room on move in day….But wait ….you are only provided with a bed, a desk, a chair, a dresser and a closet….So its time to go shopping for accessories for the room to make it feel like a place that you can call home for the next 9 months – the Office Monster website might be worth checking out if you’re looking to kit out your desk and workspace with office essentials that will put you in good stead when it comes to your studies….There is one tiny little detail your room is the size of your current bedroom at home and you are now sharing it with 2 other roommates….so its time to be creative in a small space. Whether you want to find some cool secondhand furniture on Shoppok or you want to spend a little more on something new, there are many options to make decorate room.
Dani and I went shopping yesterday for what she calls a boring shopping trip because this shopping day included no clothes only dorm room shopping….I loved it and it also made me sad, it felt so final and I was already starting to miss the presence of my daughter at home everyday. We set-off to get it the shopping done starting with TJ Maxx, we were unable to complete everything there and went to Kmart, unfortunately, they did not have everything we needed,. I was ready and prepared to go another day to Riverhead but Dani she just wanted to buy everything in 1 day and be done with it, so we drove to Riverhead and finished our shopping. When we visited the campus during orientation in July I was able to see the room so I had an understanding of the space that she had…Parents I implore you to seek this information on your own because your children think they know everything and yet they know NOTHING! Friends I will share with you my tips on how we took care of her entire list in one day and where you will be able to find your items if you live here in the Hamptons…
  1. Make a list of everything they will need..most times this list is provided to you on your child’s school website.
  2. Know the space in which you are working with, it should all be able to fit into your car…if it can’t then you probably have to much.
  3. have your child connect with their roommates to determine who is bringing what….the space is small so bringing 3 of everything is not practical..
  4. set a budget and try to stay within that budget.
  5. shop early, remember you are not the only one shopping and waiting for the last minute many things will be gone.
So here are my choices for where to shop to find everything you will need for a dorm room…
TJ Maxx: most reasonable and beautiful stuff…we bought all bedding, pillows, towels, hair dryer, hair products, hangers and other nick-knack items
Walmart (Riverhead): an entire College Dorm section…you can find everything you are looking for at a reasonable price…we picked up toiletries, laundry care, desk lamp, bowls, iron, iron board, mirror and storage containers…
Bed Bath and Beyond Parents and Students flying beware of airline fee’s for baggage outrageous fee’s…so you definitely may want to take advantage of Bed, bath and beyond college program…in addition they give College discounts (Riverhead): Perfect if you are traveling far and not by car….you can register there and schedule for a pick up at a location near the school. You can also consider other options for storing items until they arrive at their dorms (such as the storage available that can drive the goods to your child’s dorm on that big day).
Staples: All school items…printers, computers, ink, school supplies. Memory sticks…make sure your students understand the importance of backing up information just in case something happens to the computer, they still have their documents…
Target: We picked up the comforter and shower caddy….they too have a huge dorm section…I love their bright bold colors…perfect colors for a dorm room..
I would normally promote smaller stores for shopping in the Hamptons, unfortunately, many smaller stores are more expensive for the items needed..However if money is no concern to you, the Down store in East Hamptons has beautiful bedding and some beautiful very warm comforters for the students going to extremely cold environments…
Never fear small businesses next article where to find necessary clothing items to take with you to school….want to take a bike with you….or a skateboard…how about weather boots, perfect book bag, cold weather items, jeans, shoes and much, much more….stay tuned for that article.
So at the end of the day I turned to Dani and asked her did it feel real and she said yes…Yesterday was our day where it felt final, she was really leaving in 2 weeks to start her journey as a woman. Making her own decisions, being responsible for her own actions. My daughter is an adult and I feel lonely but so incredibly proud of her. I posted this on her FB wall today and I would like to share with you how I feel about my daughter. “When I look at you! I see a remarkable woman with a kind and caring heart who is beautiful in every sense of the word. You are everything wonderful, and if I had just one wish it would be that you could see what I see when I look at you. “Elle Mastro”

Hamptons Mouthpiece, we do the talking for you!

Is the college process like planning a wedding? ABSOLUTELY! The groom is your student and the parents (more like the mom) is the Bride. For most weddings the bride typically takes one year to plan the perfect wedding, well it takes 1 year to plan the college process.

You are your child’s Mouthpiece when it comes to the college process and they need you, this is a family process and they can not do it alone. I remember looking at the election day results and being worried about my daughter when I heard things from Rand Paul (r,KY) who would like to abolish the Department of Education so kids don’t have to learn about “two mommies”. This type of homophobia should not be tolerated and this speaks to his character.I am concerned with funding and will kids from middle-class families have an opportunity to get an education without graduating with a hefty debt. Will our kids be able to afford the American Dream? I was speaking with a friend this week and she indicated that she took out student loans and her child will do the same. The difference between that time and today are so many factors, the tuition was lower, the interest on the loan was lower, there were more jobs for college kids who graduated with a BA, and the cost of living was lower. Today our kids are faced with so many challenges and I am scared for them, 80% of college graduates last year moved back home because they did not have a job, the cost of living was too expensive and many students have overwhelming debt. This debt will be with them for years, they are excited to start their life but reality has hit them and the realization of their debt has hit them like a sack of bricks. College can be expensive, which we all know before applying. However, some students have found this debt to be more overwhelming than expected. For some, they can feel the stress of this debt on them constantly, making their time at college miserable. Of course, some students will be able to pay off this debt, especially with the help of companies like CreditAssociates. They can provide students with helpful advice to ensure this college debt doesn’t get on top of them, allowing them to enjoy their college experience.

Debt is never fun for anyone, so is there an alternative to getting into debt? Well, I am doing some things that are different with my daughter, I am not sure how successful we will be, but I feel confident that if my daughter listens to me she will not have a tremendous amount of debt and we will not need to alter our lifestyle a lot to pay for college. However, if debt does come about we can always use websites such as for help. The fact is no one cares where you received your BA, in our competitive country a Masters is imperative in many fields, so why go a school where the tuition is $50,000 per year if you do not have these funds to spend? That being said as a family you need to have a plan from the very beginning and communication is imperative to this process.
I have decided to share our experiences with you in different steps, too much information in 1 blog could be very overwhelming…

Step 1:

  1. Get a box for all of the college information your child will receive, you take control of that information. If you just hand that information to your child they will open only some and the rest will never see the light of day.
  2. Go through the information together, implement a weekly Family meeting and last approximately 1 hour, any longer and it will become ineffective. During this family meeting, you should start to discuss your child’s interest, do they want to go to college, what are their interests, grades, etc….. I would suggest that you make an agenda and everyone understands what will be discussed. I will elaborate in Step 2:The Family meeting and how you can make this work for your student. Our Family meetings have proven to be very successful for my family with our daughter’s college process.
  3. Have your child use your email when filling out profiles. This will keep you in the loop and you can weed out the information. Your student will become very frustrated with the massive emails that they will receive and sooner or later will stop looking at those emails. If you the parent get the initial emails, you will be able to weed through these emails and forward the ones to your child that you know will be of interest to them. Please keep in mind that sometimes they do not know what they want, I researched the college and if they offered the program that my daughter was seeking I requested information from that institution. Once the information was sent to us we reviewed it together and often times visited that school to see if it was a good fit. Of the 9 schools that Danielle applied to, only 5 of the schools were her choice the other 4 were suggestions that I made.
  4. Develop a relationship with the guidance counselor, this is really something that is imperative, remember it is the guidance counselor that writes a letter of recommendation for your child, you want to make sure that this person knows your child.
  5. Start building your child’s resume, believe me, if you do not start in 9th grade you will forget things and this will cause your child to miss out on potential scholarship funding, when it comes to applying for scholarships you can find more information on the link.

Till next time, turn to Hamptons MouthPiece, we will do the talking for you…Please feel free to send me the subject ideas for me to talk about.

au revoir!