Counselor's 2 Cents
Parents' most important college admissions-related job
A lot of parents of college applicants take on all the stress of the process. They're trying too hard to control the outcomes. You can’t make Yale say, “Yes,” no matter how badly your student may want it. That's why it’s not your job to make all your student’s college dreams come true.
A parent's most important job during this process is to be the parent of a college applicant. Kids need you to guide and encourage them, to calm them down and most importantly to set good examples as the mature voice of reason. They need you not to behave like a lunatic on their behalf.
I understand parents are connected to their kids and you’re going to take on whatever your children are feeling. But kids take their cues from parents about how to approach the college admissions process. Remember that you’re on stage all the time. Show your student how a mature adult deals with stress and maybe even disappointment. You don’t have to be perfect, but when you sense yourself losing your perspective, revert back to setting good examples.
Cheer them on. Offer a supportive ear and occasional parental guidance when they need it. And accept that like most of life’s transitions, you can’t control the outcome for your kids. It’s not easy, but it’s your job.
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