Parent College Coach Tip #2: Be a Helper, Not a Doer

Parents of college-bound teens struggle with boundaries. So much so that you often ask the question: “If I don’t do it for them, will it ever get done?” After all, you’ve taken care of them and met all of their needs for the past 18 years and it’s hard to stop. But parents should never take charge of the college prep process. What you can do, however, is help; or what I like to say, “Be a parent college coach.”

parent college coach

Here are just a few ways you can help and coach your college-bound teen:

  • Assist them with their organization of the college materials.
  • Remind them of upcoming deadlines.
  • Give them input on college choices.
  • Talk with them about your college budget and what you expect them to contribute.
  • Be a partner in the scholarship search process.
  • Discuss the college visits (what they liked and didn’t like).
  • Provide information for all the financial aid forms.

This is the best time for you to step back a little and let your child spread their wings. They will be leaving for college soon and be on their own. The four years of high school are their training ground and if you still do everything for them, they won’t survive on their own in college.

Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer advises parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation at She is excited to share her knowledge with the readers of Smart College Visit.

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