Stressed Parent? Try the Parent’s College Admissions Mantra

I'm reading through the Fiske 2008 Guide to Collegesamazon affiliate link. I enjoyed the previous versions, so I wanted to give this year's new version a read-through. So far, I have to say that I highly recommend it.

I just had to share the following (edited) gem from the Fiske guide, the "Parent's College Admissions Pledge":

I am a parent and I know nothing. I am serene.

Confronted with endless procrastination, my impulse it to take control - to register for tests, plan visits, schedule interviews, and get applications. And yet I know that everything will be fine if I can summon the fortitude to relax. My child is smart, capable, and perhaps a little too accustomed to me jumping in and fixing things. I will hold back. I will drop hints and encourage, then back off. I will facilitate rather than dominate.

I will not get too high or low about any facet of the college search. By doing so, I give it more importance than it really has. My child's self-worth may already be too wrapped up in getting an acceptance letter. I will attempt to lessen the fear rather than heighten it.

I will remain open to the possibility, however improbable, that my child has the most important things under control. I understand that my anxiety comes partly from a sense of impending loss. I can feel my child slipping away. Sometimes I hold on too tightly.

I realize that my child is almost ready to go. I will respect and encourage independence, even if some of it is expressed as resentment toward me. I will make suggestions with care and try to avoid unnecessary confrontation.

Paying for college is my responsibility. I will take a major role in the search for financial aid and scholarships and speak honestly to my child about the financial realities we face.

I must help my son or daughter take charge of the college search. I will try to support without smothering, encourage without annoying, and consult without controlling. The college search is too big to be handled alone - I will be there every step of the way.

In the spirit of this terrific advice, I have written a new article, What You Should Push Your Child to Do (and What You Shouldn't!).

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