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High School Parents: Are You Acting Appropriately?

If you are in the process of hiring an educational consultant, make sure that the consultant is willing to individualize the college admission process for your teen and your family. This is the first step toward to healthy, respectful relationship. The consultant’s goal should be to help your child find colleges that fit who they are as learner and as a person. To accomplish this, the consultant should ask questions to determine if you and your teen understand your distinct roles in the admission process. If the roles aren’t clear, your consultant should be able to educate you regarding what is appropriate and what is not.

To do this, consultants need to understand the dynamics of each family they work with. They should look at each member of the family separately, as well as the family as an entity, to truly comprehend the role each member plays. The consultant must recognize that communication is one of the keys to a functional family – consultant relationship. They need to be aware of, respectful of and value each family’s or family member’s differences, regardless of whether these are cultural or circumstantial. Consultants should recognize that some parents are unable to, or have difficulty, balancing their need to remain close while giving their teen independence. Part of the consultant’s role is helping parents to do this.

Parents, if you are not sure if you are doing a good balancing act, answer these seven simple questions.

Do you use the royal “we?”
Do you speak for your teen?
Do you tend to monopolize a conversation or information session or ask lots of questions while touring?
Do you state your point of view before giving your teen time to voice his?
Do you sign in for your teen at the admissions office?
Do you have private conversations with your teen’s college counselor?
Do you tell admissions officers how wonderful your teen is or how much smarter she is then her sibling?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should change that behavior. I know that your intentions are good, but you are doing your teen a disservice.

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