2 Answers

Yes. To what degree is the real question.

It is important to keep in mind that your children regardless of height or age, are still yours. You love them and very much want to see them do well and experience joy in this case, the happiness associated with being accepted into college. At the same time, come September, they will likely be on their own when trying to navigate not only their course load but, the registration process, roommates, meeting with instructors, without mom or dad being there to help them.

I would absolutely encourage you to assist your child with the college search and application process only be sure to limit the questions, limit the conversations, limit the input allowing them to make their final decisions. Having a conversation with a student about college is perfectly fine but some individuals will seek to have "a talk" every night, every other night, at breakfast, when a student returns home after the school day. Setting up specific times, appointments if you will, when both you and your child can come together to talk about college and where they are in the process is an outstanding idea. Setting aside a specific time frame helps students not to be fearful that at every bend, there will be a question, a little more input, etc.  Using this type of format does not mean that as a parent you can not/should not be asking questions or trying to move them along in the process but very often when a set time is used, students are a bit more relaxed and come to their "appointment" more ready to share.

When it comes times to finalize a college list, parental input regarding tuition, distance, environment are all areas that you definitely need to have your input considered but when you visit a campus, let your child lead you. Let your child who is really now a young adult, decide if one school stays on their list or is taken off.

We need to remember that when in college, the teen is the one living on campus attending the classes. Although we all know what is best for our own children some times, some times they know better what is right for them. 

It is such a fine line to walk as a parent with a child that is a junior or senior in high school. If they become annoyed, step back and think about how often you are trying to speak to them about their future. Often they will become overwhelmed but if you keep your "appointments" to maybe once a week, you may find your child actually coming to your more often not waiting for the set time. Please note here that it is they that will come to you, instead of you going to them, which is generally speaking, when they start to get annoyed.

Let's all remember we were 16 and 17 at one time. Life will balance out. Let's just walk these two years slowly, together.

Good Luck!

Jon Semcer Points3610
Being involved depends on the how the parent views their son/ daughter. Is the child organized, do they meet deadlines, can they work independently , how motivated are they in applying to college and can they present work that is neat and they have followed directions? If the answer to any of the above questions is no, then the parent needs to take a role. The parent may set aside 10 minutes each day to discuss with their son/ daughter the progress of the applications, how much work they have left, did they meet with their counselor, are they on task with certain applications. Call the counselor to review what is being done-- ask the counselor to call you if the student is falling off. You want to be a guide, a gentle reminder, and a supportive voice . Do not take over the application process. Do not complete the applications yourself. Help your son/ daughter to get organized , encourage them and know your high school's guidance department process for mailing apps/ transcripts. Ask family and friends not to ask college questions of your son/ daughter. For example ,"So, what schools are applying to next year?", or " Tell me how the application process is going." No college talk at the dinner table -- that is time for talking about anything but college ( an up coming vacation, a movie you saw ). No college talk during the holidays. No college talk in front of your son/ daughter with your friends.. Remember, they are applying not you --- a favor answer from some parents to the question of where their son/daughter is applying is " Well, we are applying to..........." If your son/ daughter is the first type of individual mentioned in the open paragraph you still need to take an interest but perhaps not as closely as the student who needs more supervision. The same limits would apply about 'no college talk". Be aware of deadlines, talk with you counselor , and by all means check in with your son/ daughter on the application process. It is a thin line that parents walk between over involvement and not enough. Trust your gut feelings , have open lines of communication with your son/ daughter. Applying to college is a huge learning experience for every student -- let them learn themselves, but be there to catch them, dust them off and get them going again. They will live through it and mature because of the experience. Finally, if you have doubts about any part of the process and want reassurances that your son/ daughter is on task call the counselor.

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