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Decision-making in college can be a daunting task for a teen. As a parent, you want to help your child make the right decision. The discussion can be tricky because you don’t want to create any tension between you and your child. Here are some ways to help your child with the college decision.

Encourage Your Teen

If your teen needs to write an essay for college admission, the first thing you must focus on is encouraging your teen. It is difficult for a teen to select a college because deciding which one to attend requires a lot of research and thought processes. Your child may struggle in deciding what would be best for them. They might also fear what if the decision doesn’t work for them. You need to support your child at this stage, and you should give them the encouragement they badly need. It would be best if you gave them the confidence that they can make the right decision, and you are there to support them in the process.

One effective way of helping your child in college decision-making is to encourage them to try some strategies. You should encourage your child to contact the high school counselor. High school counselors have a lot of knowledge about the acceptance process of college admissions. The counselor will guide your child in a better way. The counselor will also help your child in searching for the right college. In addition, they can help you in fulfilling test and application requirements. They can also provide your child with updated information about specific colleges. Encouraging your child to communicate with the high school counselor will help your child make the right decision. 

It would help if you encouraged your child to take a career test. Career tests can help your child choose the right college. These tests suggest the direction your child can take. These tests are designed to suggest paths by analyzing a learner’s learning styles, likes and dislikes, and interests. Learners can appear in various personality and career tests for realizing their potential. By encouraging your child to take these tests, you can help your teen with college admission.

Don’t Pressure Your Student To Pick a Particular School

The process of selecting a college can become more stressful for a teen when parents pressure their children to pick a particular college. A lot of the time, parents assert their preferences on their children. This can result in getting the teen more frustrated in the process. As a parent, you need to understand that you need to support your child in making decisions. By imposing your decision on the child, you will only worsen matters. Remember it’s your child’s right to make the decision and if you want to send your child to college, help them select the right one.

One of the best ways of handling the situation is to talk to your child. You should tell your child why you want them to join a particular college. You should support your arguments with valid reasons rather than just imposing your decision. It would be best that during the discussion you should listen more, let your children explain why they want to join a college of their preference.

Try asking them open-ended questions without giving your opinion to understand their point of view. Yes, as a parent, you are genuinely concerned, and you don’t want your child to have the wrong discussion but imposing your decision is not the way. Please let your children know that you believe in them and their ability to make the right decision. Let them know that you are more than happy to support them in the process, and they are free to make their college decision. Following are some facts that you should not do when helping your child select a college.

  • Make a list of colleges while consulting your child. Involve your child in making a list;
  • Assume that you know better than your child. Your child may have a better plan;
  • Manage the entire college search yourself. Involve your children so they can learn;
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of independent living skills. Teenagers need to learn independent living skills to survive difficulties in their life.

Be Supportive

Your children in college will be more successful if you support them in choosing the right college. Your support will give them the confidence to excel at their academics. You can support your children in the process of finding a college by helping them choose a major. Selecting a major will help in your search for the best college.

Knowing your children’s passion, strengths, and weaknesses, you can help them select a few majors. Once your child chooses the major, you can start looking for colleges that offer this major. You should then help your children select the best college that will help them improve their potential.

Don’t Compare Your Child to Others

Most of the time, parents get their children under stress by comparing them with their friends. Please don’t pressure your child to take admission to a college where his friend has also applied. You need to understand that you don’t need to impress others by telling them where your child is admitted. What is important is that your child gets admission to a college, which can help your child explore his potential. Comparing your child to others will not help them make the right decision.

Discuss Affordability in Detail

One way of helping your child make the right decision about their college is to discuss affordability in detail. It would help if you talked about the finances with your child. This will help them view the cost of their studies from the perspective of a worthy investment. They would know that their decision will have financial implications, and they will give it a due thought process before making the decision. It would be better to help them by discussing the matter in detail.

It would be best to ask them to consider expenditures of their room, tuition fee, and cost of transportation before they select their college. You can also discuss whether they would opt for a student loan and their responsibilities after getting the loan. You can ask your child to look for colleges that offer significant financial aid and scholarships to their students. Good colleges inform students and their parents about the net cost by sending the selected students a financial aid award letter. Parents and teens should compare the award letters they receive from different colleges to decide which college offers the best deal.

Ways To Help Your Teen With the College Decision

You must put your child’s interest first while helping your teen make the decision. You should support your child in the process and have confidence that they can make a wise decision. Helping your child make the right decision will help them excel in academics.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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