Parent/student roles

Parents, as college decisions arrive for your applicant in the house, eliciting everything from jubilation to (temporary) despair, the single most important thing I can remind you is this:

It’s not happening to you. It’s happening to your student.

You may feel thrilled, upset, angry, confused, frustrated, etc. on their behalf. That’s completely normal considering you’ve spent the last 18 years raising this young person. And I would never recommend that a parent disengage or present as if they’re unaffected by any of the news.

But please remember your job during this potentially stressful time is to be the parent of a college applicant. To do that job effectively requires that you distinguish between two very different roles—the parent and the applicant.

To play your role well, you have to let your student play theirs.