Senior year can be crazy, hectic and overwhelming, especially for parent.
If your student is stressed, your stress is multiplied. Here are my best tips for parents of seniors.
These can help you power down, prepare to prevent panic, and drink all the excitement in.
1. Do the prep work
Get ready for the mounds of catalogs, test prep booklets, flyers and email reminders. Start your filing system now, create a landing zone for all college-related materials, start adding tasks on a calendar.
2. Do your best to control your emotions
It’s going to be an emotional time for both you and your student. Angry words will be spoken if you don’t make a conscious effort to bite your tongue.
3. Prepare for rejection
The upcoming year will most likely mean that your student (and you) will have to deal with rejection. It’s not personal, but you will feel like it is.
4. Decide what role you will take
Please. I beg you. Do NOT be the parent that shoves, manipulates, and actually does the work for their student. Be the parent who encourages, supports and offers help and advice when needed.
5. Prepare for emotional outbursts
This is one of the most stressful times in your family. There will be emotional outbursts as the stress intensifies. Your student will say things she does not mean. You will lose your temper and wish you didn’t.
6. Discuss the money
If you want to avoid disappointment when offers of admission arrive, have the “money talk” before your student applies to colleges. Decide what you can afford, what you will be willing to contribute toward the costs, and what you expect your student to contribute.
7. Accept there will be consequences to actions
Your student will most likely fail or mess up at some point during senior year. Rescuing your kids all the time only makes them into dependent adults and colleges aren’t impressed with those type of students or the parents that come with them.
8. Be open to all possibilities
Be open to any college choices your student might make. You will not be the one attending the college and it’s not up to you to choose for her.
9. Don’t push-it simply won’t help
If your student is unmotivated, it’s not going to help to nag her and push her to do the college prep work. If there is one thing I learned with both of my kids (and clients), if your student is not invested in the college process she won’t be invested in college.
10. Enjoy the journey
This is an exciting time in the life of your teenager. She has worked hard and will be planning her future. Enjoy the next year, even when you feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Check out my guide for parents: Parents Countdown to College Crash Course