We're saying our goodbyes and congratulations to our Collegewise Class of 2011, a class that's attending over 100 different colleges. And I've noticed a few things about the Collegewise parents who seem especially excited for their kids and happy with the outcome.
1. They were happy and excited about the college process from the beginning–those emotions weren't tied to a particular outcome.
2. They cheered from the sidelines. They were encouraging and supportive, but let their kids take charge of their own college process. They didn't jump in and do everything for their kids.
3. It was more important to them to see their kids excited about their college choices than it was to see their kids go to prestigious schools.
4. They wanted to enjoy this time as a family and have some college fun. They bought t-shirts at every college they visited. They embarrassed their kids by threatening to move into the dorm room next door to them. They didn't want to be like other families who treated the college process like an arduous ritual they just hoped to survive.
5. They knew they'd raised good kids and that everything was going to be fine no matter which colleges said yes.
The families who did those things enjoyed the college process with their kids. They're all still on speaking terms at the dinner table. And they're all proudly wearing the sweatshirts of their kids' new colleges, from Penn State to Princeton, University of Michigan to University of British Columbia, Amherst to Agnes Scott, Brown to Bentley.
You can do it, too. Attitudes like that are free and available to any family.