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Sunday, April 9, 2017
Five Ways Parents Can Help With College Admissions
With everything tied up in college admissions these days, the lead up to the process can be one of the most trying times in the parent-child relationship. Parents understand the economic and social benefits of college. They also know that this may be one of the last big decisions in their child's life that they will be an integral part of. How to release some of this tension? Here's a helpful (but not exhaustive) list:
1) Start Early. Every kid is different. Some will be more receptive to parental advice than others. The best lead up to the college craziness is to have it be an organic, stress-free part of everyday conversation before deadlines start to heat up. This gives both parent and child time to wrap their heads around it.
2) Try not to "Project". This is a big deal, and you don't want to kick them out of the nest without first teaching them how to fly. But it's their big deal, not yours. Whether parents mean to or not, they tend to expect their children to share the same values and goals that they do. Your kid is an individual, and the best you can do is steer them, not reshape them.
3) Help them develop a plan. Most people do best when following a path they've created for themselves. "Should" can be a toxic word that induces guilt and resentment. Don't draw the blueprint for them.
4) Be Supportive. This is obvious, but see points 1-3 above. The kids need love and encouragement here, not cracking of the whip.
5) Be Available. It may be that the thing they need most is a friendly ear. The more you push, the more they're likely to back away. Take a stab at treating them as an adult. They might just surprise you.
Most parents will agree that one of the toughest parts of being a parent is watching your kid fail. A strong second? Backing off and letting your kid skin her knees anyways.
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