Applying to college is always stressful. After all, this is a very important step in anyone's life, and everyone wants to be accepted to the best university or college possible. This is why supporting your child is essential for them to feel and perform at their best.
Here are four ways you can support your children as they apply for college.
1. Understand and support their decisions.
I know that you know what's best for them, but they probably don't know that. Please, don't be one of those parents who are not-so-lovingly called "tyrants" for how they treat their children — trying control their lives even when they are way past their teens.
Instead, listen to the advice for emotionally intelligent parents and tolerate the sometimes off-kilter things your child may think. Help them realize why they are making a decision, encourage them to make a better decision, then support what they ultimately decide.
2. Encourage them to reach out to admissions officers
One thing you should know is that you must forget everything you thought you knew about applying to college. It's different now, so most of your advice will fall flat. However, there is someone who will give you valuable advice about your child's application — and that someone is the admissions officer. Encourage your kid to reach out to them and get as much information as possible about the application process.
3. Separate discussions around college from day-to-day talk
"College is a tricky topic. I always try to separate it from our day-to-day discussions, as it requires more focus and a completely different tone. I try not to talk about it while we are out or having dinner or whatnot," Neightan White, a mom and writer at Supreme Dissertations, told me.
Indeed, separating discussions around college is crucial to keep your child from being constantly stressed. They need space! Don't force them into college talks unless you are having a serious conversation about it, or taking action. Otherwise, such conversations prompt worry for no reason.
4. Set realistic expectations
Last but not least, setting realistic expectations is essential for you and your child to continue being optimistic about the application process. You can read about the power of realistic expectations, in case you don't believe it is that important. Make sure that your child primarily applies to the colleges they have a chance to get into. It's okay if they want to apply to one or two universities that are more demanding and have a smaller acceptance rate, but they must still have a backup plan in case they don't get in.
There is nothing worse than having your expectations shattered into a million pieces, so setting realistic expectations from the very start will eliminate such a possibility. Just remember that the well-being of your kid, especially emotional one, is your top priority and you must make sure that they never get depressed or overly stressed about applying to college.
All in all, supporting your kid must be your number one priority no matter what colleges they get accepted into. You know that — make sure they know it, too.
Marie Fincher is a content writer with a background in marketing, technology, and business intelligence. She also does some editing work at WOWGrade. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people.