Parents' Perspective

How can you help your son/daughter get into college?
What can parents do to help their children make decisions about colleges?
How can you help your son/daughter get into college?
The key is to start early, like in the junior year. We didn't do that. At this point in the fall of our daughter's senior year, deadlines are coming up and we haven't really looked at any colleges or gone on visits. It's kind of like choosing a house to buy without going to the house. The parent's role is to ask a lot of questions to get your child to figure out exactly what it is he or she wants to do. It's a big decision.


What can parents do to help their children make decisions about colleges?
Parents and teens should visit college campuses early and trust their gut feelings about whether the campus feels right. Just as in shopping for clothing: Would you rather have a name brand or something that fits you well and makes you feel comfortable?
Senior year in high school is a time when teens go through many changes and experiment with many different roles. This can be bewildering to parents. Be patient. Realize that the time is equally bewildering to your son or daughter. Parents can be supportive and understanding, even though their teen may seem to be pushing them away. Offer guidance about choosing the right college, even though your teen might seem to be rejecting it. Teens hear everything, though they might not show it.
Mary Wedge, Ph.D
Parent, family therapist and educational consultant

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