Parent College Coach Tip #68: It’s Not Personal, It’s Teenagers

teenagersFor parents of college-bound seniors/soon to be college freshmen, it will be a difficult summer. After all the hype of being accepted to college and graduation, the family settles in for three months of angst. I bet you thought I was going to say vacation!

The three months before you son or daughter leaves for college will be an emotional roller coaster for them (and you). You will both have moments of shear excitement, times of absolute dread and fear, and moments when you want to scream.

But the worst for the parent, and I mean the worst, is feeling rejected when your teen who is leaving in three months opts to spend the entire summer with his friends.

Doesn’t he know that YOU need to spend time with him? Isn’t he aware of the fact that he will be gone in just three short months and won’t see you again until parents weekend? Before the rejection turns into anger, it’s not personal. This is his way of coping with the huge change that is about happen. His friends represent stability and many of them will be leaving for college as well. It only seems natural that he would want to be with them.

What can you do to carve out some time?

Schedule dates. Plan family outings. Go on dorm shopping trips. Then let him have his time with his friends. He will always be your son and it’s not personal, it’s just the nature of teenagers. Make those memories and treasure them. And often, given the space, he will come to you asking for that time. Reverse psychology can be your friend!

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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