I appreciated both your crisp writing style and your parental angst. However, as a senior citizen (I’m 70), I couldn’t help but wonder if you were one of those helicopter parents. Our daughter, at age 18, participated in a cross-culture program required by her college. She was in the Ivory Coast and France for six weeks. This was long before the Internet, FaceTime, social media, cell phones, and the apps of which you mentioned. The only communication we had from our daughter was via occasional post cards. We prayed, too, and got her through malaria, a hostile housing situation for more than a month, and other dilemmas that we wouldn’t know of until she returned to the U.S. and told us. Like you, my wife was a teacher and I was an administrator. We could have traveled there but the college strongly urged parents NOT go visit their “children.” We did not. Being on their own was part of the cross-cultural experience for our daughter, who in a few year will have college students of her own. If they are privileged enough to also participate in a cross-culture opportunity, I’m pretty certain our daughter and her husband will wish our grandkids well and enjoy their time at home.
Also, I would be interested to hear your daughter’s side of the story. Does she share the same perspective as you?
Thanks, again, for sharing.