Parenthood. There have been thousands of books written on this subject. From my experience, the hardest part of parenting is coaching them to do things themselves and attain increased levels of independence. As far as the college process goes, you have 3 roles as a parent. I like to call them the 3 Cs of Coaching.
Chart the Course
It’s your responsibility to help them plan for the future. It all starts in the 8th grade as they prepare themselves to enter college. Picking the right classes and mapping out a plan for the next four years is crucial.
Catalog the Journey
Keeping track of the next four years is critical. You will be amazed at the plethora of activity your teen will be involved in over their high school careers. When senior year rolls around and you’re applying to colleges, their resume is a vital part of the application package. If you’ve done your job and helped them catalog their awards and accomplishments, the resume part of the application will be painless
Cheer them on to find their passion
This doesn’t mean do it for them. It means guide them and encourage them to be a part of the college process. Help them understand that their grades matter. Encourage them to become well-rounded teens by volunteering and being involved in school activities. Guide them to find their passion and use that passion to help them establish their personal brand–that brand the sets them apart from all other applicants.
I’ve observed parents that push and poke and nag their teens to be like them. I’ve witnessed teens feeling overwhelmed by the expectations of parents who wanted them to be successful to dissuade their own insecurities as parents.
Be a cheerleader, not a taskmaster. If you follow the 3 C’s (Chart, Catalog, and Cheer) your teen will be happy, well-rounded, and prepared for college.