The letters have arrived. Some of the news may not be what was hoped for. Hopefully, most of the news was good. Your student has been accepted — perhaps to multiple schools. As stressful as the wait may have been, those letters arrive with a new kind of stress. Your student now has options. The decision is now in your student’s hands. The ball is back in their court. They must now decide which offer to accept.
Recent research on both the relationship between students and their parents and on communication between students and their parents tells us that that in the vast majority of families, parents will help students make this important decision. Your student wants to hear your opinion and values your input. However, it is important to remember that as overwhelming as it may seem, this must be your student’s decision. They will need to feel good about this decision, live with this decision, and make the college experience work. It is your job to be a helpful passenger on this journey, but not a back-seat driver.
So what can you do to help your student as they face this decision dilemma? This may be an ideal time to begin to practice some of the good communication skills that you and your student will need throughout the college years. Here are a few suggestions: