When all you can do is the best you can do

Parents, imagine that you’ve just applied for ten new jobs at different organizations around the country. You’ll be receiving decisions from all of them in the next 30 days. Each opportunity has its own pros and cons. And each will require that you make a significant life change—new responsibilities, new co-workers, maybe even a new location. You’re nervous, you’re excited, and you’re uncertain. People in rooms together are making decisions about you and your life, and now that you’ve applied and interviewed, there’s nothing else you can do to influence those outcomes. You’ve just got to sit and wait.

That’s not unlike what seniors are experiencing as they wait to hear back from colleges.

The best way to support your teens during this time is to remind them through words and actions that you’re in their corner, that you just want them to be happy, and most importantly, that you love them no matter which colleges say yes. Don’t inject more gravity and anxiety into these forthcoming decisions by talking about them incessantly, rethinking the application approach, or preemptively strategizing to work around bad news that hasn’t even arrived yet.

Just wait with them and live your lives. It’s really all you can do, but it turns out it’s also the best thing you can do you.