Ken Anselment is the dean of admission and financial aid at Lawrence University and the father of a high school senior. One of his favorite pieces of advice to share with families going through this process is to set aside one (and only one) time per week when you as a family will talk about college.
“Maybe it’s a couple hours every Sunday afternoon (our family pick; hence “Sundays with Ken”). Maybe it’s Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Whatever. Pick a day and time, and agree that you as a family will reserve serious college talk only for those times. All other times during the week that college might come up (and that’s pretty much the remaining 166 hours), park it and save it till your next meeting. The exception, of course, is if it is urgent. (And it’s usually not urgent).”
You can learn more about the benefits of this in-house policy, and Anselment’s successful implementation of it within his own house, in his piece “Making Space for Sanity in the College Search.”