Parenting Debate: To Dorm or Not To Dorm…

That is the question in our household these days.

It’s left unanswered because we can’t agree on the same thing…..yet.


Ever since my son’s college night at his school, we’ve been debating whether or not he should dorm in college.

My husband and I are on opposite sides of the spectrum and can’t seem to come to an agreement.

I say he dorms because it would be great for him. It would teach him so much about life. It would also teach him about responsibility and independence, among lots of other things. I remember when I was in college, I dormed for the first two years and it was one of my best life experiences. I believe every student who thinks of dorming, should do so.

My husband, on the other hand, thinks he should stay home and commute. It would save us money and he would be “safe.” He also thinks it would be more of a reason for our son to do whatever he wanted. But hubby needs to realize and understand that his baby boy will be a man in a couple of years and that’s something we both have to learn to accept. We both need to trust him and be there for him, whether we like his choices or not.

Believe me, I don’t want my only son getting into trouble or even being in a bad situation but that’s life sometimes. We can’t always be around. It makes me sad that he’s growing up so fast but I’m also extremely proud of him. He’s a good hearted person and most of the time he means well.

I know he will succeed in the future but for now, the question still stands – does he dorm or not?

What are your opinions on this subject? I would appreciate any advice! 🙂


  1. I agree with you. I think he will learn a lot about life if he dorms. I look forward to finding out the end result of this debate. 🙂
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  2. 35 five years after my freshman year in the dorms at Albany State and I am still in touch with over dozen friends from that year. It was a great experience and helped with my independence.
    My spouse on the other hand lived at home during college and then went from his folks house to my house, he never lived on his own in his life.
    I think the dorm thing is a great life experience, you have to trust the job you have done with your son, even though the world seems scarier than when I was a freshman.
    Meanwhile my son will go away to college with my full blessing. Of course I wil follow and take a nearby apartment until he gets married and then I will move into his basement. Share that with your hubby!

  3. I have to admit that I am on the fence with regards to this topic. While I see the benefits of both sides, the protective mother in me leans more towards keeping them close by. You are right though, Lisa, we have to let them go so they can spread their wings and experience life. I hope you guys come to a decision that is good for all of you.
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  4. As a Mom of a teen who went off to college this year, I agree with you; however, I don’t think the decision should be made by the parents. Your son should decide because thn you know he will give it his all..whichever route he goes.
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  5. I say he should dorm. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and a great learning experience.

  6. Wow, it is a tough decision that I had to make one day as I also have a boy. I guess it we could comprimise. Have a few years there and few here. I would love for him to explore what is it like to be “by yourself”.

  7. I went to community college for my freshman and sophomore years of college which included a lot of commuting. Then I went to a four year college and dormed for my junior and senior years. A couple of things. 1- the gas is SO expensive right now that $ wise dorming vs drivig would probably even out considering the cost of a car plus insurance plus all that gas money. 2- the increase in the amount of time your son is driving puts him at a higher risk of an accident- that’s just statistics for ya. 3- going into a four year in the third year made it a little more difficult to make friends. Most juniors at that point had their own friends and their own groups. Sure I made friends but I always felt like the outsider. 4- your son will still call you, he’ll still come home to visit and he’ll ALWAYS be your baby, but eventually you need to let him learn to live by his own means. It’s the best way to have a well rounded child. <3

  8. I went to college in DR so no one really rooms at the university, everybody just commutes every day and that’s the norm there. However, I think a huge part of the American experience is going off to college and trying for the first time that breath of independence. I know when my time comes I will worry a lot, but I also know that we must let go and let them have their own experiences, always knowing we are there for them but we want them to be responsible adults and that they have the freedom to do so. I say, let him go!

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