How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

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How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Andrew BelascoCEOCollege Transitions LLC

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Higher education is a big investment, and deciding where to attend college is a very important life decision; so, I can empathize with some parents’ tendency/desire to micromanage their child’s college-going process. That said, it is important that students take initiative–for their personal benefit and for the benefit of their admission prospects. If a parent exhibits overbearing behavior, I am obligated to reveal how such a domineering approach may prevent students from developing the assertiveness, wherewithal and relationships that facilitate college admission and success. I do so indirectly, by stressing the importance of students assuming responsibility for their own applications, essays, correspondence, etc. I also encourage that families work together to make college-related decisions that ultimately benefit the student. After all, it is the student who must attend college and it is he/she who will reap the benefits or consequences of his/her college-related decisions.

Ellen [email protected]OwnerEllen Richards Admissions Consulting

Sometimes a hobby does not have to be a child’s college degree

Every parent will admit that the college admissions process does not resemble the same college application procedure they experienced. The feeling of having no control tends to influence their actions and sometimes it seems like they cannot control themselves. Often private counselors take on a dual role as they mediate between the student and the parents. Many times parents worked diligently to afford the lives they have offered their children works against them rather than in their favor. In fact, many want for their children what they wanted for themselves, but this often leads to adolescent rebellion. The best way to handle the situation is respect a parent’s opinion and listen to them (after all, one cannot expect to be heard unless he or she is listening) because they might have valuable insight to add. At the same time, be sure to remind parents that this is ultimately a personal college experience that belongs only to the person attending college and it is important that they respect that process. Always keep in mind that parents want what is best for their children and their input comes from a place of concern and caring.

Andrew BelascoCEOCollege Transitions LLC

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Higher education is a big investment, and deciding where to attend college is a very important life decision; so, I can empathize with some parents’ tendency/desire to micromanage their child’s college-going process. That said, it is important that students take initiative–for their personal benefit and for the benefit of their admission prospects. If a parent exhibits overbearing behavior, I often feel compelled to reveal how such a domineering approach may prevent students from developing the assertiveness, wherewithal and relationships needed to facilitate college admission and success. I do so indirectly, by stressing the importance of students assuming responsibility for their own applications, essays, correspondence, etc. I also encourage families to work together to make college-related decisions that ultimately benefit the student. After all, it is the student who must attend college and it is he/she who will reap the benefits or consequences of his/her college-related decisions.

Natalie Sanchez CamposOwnerNext Step LLC

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

In my experience, overbearing parents are really just loving parents. I ask them what their biggest fear is and then I help them notice the specific ways that the reality is much more friendly and kind. This usually helps their stress levels.

Natalie Sanchez CamposOwnerNext Step LLC

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

In my experience, overbearing parents are really just loving parents. I ask them what their biggest fear is and then I help them notice the specific ways that the reality is much more friendly and kind. This usually helps their stress levels.

Joyce Vining MorganFounder and college counselorEducational Transitions

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I don’t deal with them, happily. But for a student, the best way is to make clear to your parents that you need to get a good sense of the atmosphere – which you are better at than anyone else (since this is about you and your education) – and that they can help best by checking out those things that they can assess better than you. They will not be interviewed or take part in the interview – that’s the student’s job (and parent interference will NOT help), but they can have a much more informative meeting with the financial aid office than you, asking the sharpest questions and learning how the college handles aid and billing for expenses. On the tour, ask your parents to take notes on the conditions of building, on anything they observe, and let you ask the questions (and you should ask some!). In general, put them to work gathering information you can use; that can be a real help, and all parents should want to be really helpful.

Joyce Vining MorganFounder and college counselorEducational Transitions

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I don’t deal with them, happily. But for a student, the best way is to make clear to your parents that you need to get a good sense of the atmosphere – which you are better at than anyone else (since this is about you and your education) – and that they can help best by checking out those things that they can assess better than you. They will not be interviewed or take part in the interview – that’s the student’s job (and parent interference will NOT help), but they can have a much more informative meeting with the financial aid office than you, asking the sharpest questions and learning how the college handles aid and billing for expenses. On the tour, ask your parents to take notes on the conditions of building, on anything they observe, and let you ask the questions (and you should ask some!). In general, put them to work gathering information you can use; that can be a real help, and all parents should want to be really helpful.

Lora LewisEducational ConsultantLora Lewis Consulting

The College Process is Tough for Parents, Too

The college admissions process can be a challenging time for families. Both parents and kids often aren’t prepared for the surge of conflicting emotions that can arise around choosing and getting into the right college. Parents have the best intentions: They want their kids to be ell educated, happy, and have bright future opportunities. Sometimes, though, their anxiety and over-involvement can become detrimental to the admissions process. I often remind parents that college is the first major step young people make toward adulthood and self-sufficiency. It’s important that they support their kids, but that they resist the urge to try to steer or control the process. As a private consultant, I’m frequently a “buffer” between kids and parents, addressing the concerns of each individually and serving the needs of both parties while still focusing on the primary client, the student. I use the analogy that we are running a race as a team: In the beginning, we’re all running along together. Some distance into the college process, the parents drop off the the sidelines and the kid and I run together. By the end, I’ve also stepped aside and the student is running on his or her own, empowered by having successfully navigated the road to college and bolstered by newfound confidence in his or her ability to tackle a challenging rite of passage and make good personal decisions. Parents need support through this time of change and letting go. I encourage them to take care of themselves and their emotions by talking with other adults who’ve survived the college craziness. I also remind them that this is the last year they will live in their same house with their child full-time…and that stress and conflict shouldn’t compromise this special stage of life. The more they can relax, trust, and offer non-judgmental support and resources to their soon-to-be college student, the more peaceful and productive the admissions process will be for all involved.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Blackhawk Down!

Parents of children applying to college these days are called “helicopter” parents, and many admissions officers, counselors, and teachers find that their jobs are made infinitely more difficult because of parental interference. But what do you do if one or both of you parents are of the Blackhawk variety? You can’t escape them, and they seem to have their hands in everything from your homework, backpack, phone, web history, and of course your college applications. Here’s our two-step process for dealing with hovering parents: 1. Be Understanding: college application time is stressful for everybody in the family. For students — the pressure is obvious since it is their future on the line. For parents — this time of their lives is an enormous period of transition as well. They have dedicated so much of the past 2 decades raising children — and now it’s time to say goodbye. And even though they shouldn’t feel that their child’s college choice is a reflection on their parenting achievements — many parents do. They feel like they haven’t done their “job” well if their child doesn’t go to the best school possible. So — try to be understanding that parents are under enormous stress at this point in their lives. Try to see the good intentions behind the annoying nagging. (You can’t change them — but you can change the way you see them!) 2. Be Responsible. Another great way to deal with parents is to show that YOU are on top of the process. Show them that you are aware of deadlines and are planning accordingly. Show them that you are working on your essays and speaking with teachers about recommendations. Show them that you can handle the process and let them know that you will come to them with any questions. The more you take control of the process and show them that you are capable, the less anxiety and the more PRIDE your parents will experience!

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

parents are the major force in college admissions counseling. they prepfer to work with structure and scheduling. counselor can make a difference by working closely with the student.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Blackhawk Down!

Parents of children applying to college these days are called “helicopter” parents, and many admissions officers, counselors, and teachers find that their jobs are made infinitely more difficult because of parental interference. But what do you do if one or both of your parents are of the Blackhawk variety? You can’t escape them, and they seem to have their hands in everything from your homework, backpack, phone, web history, and of course your college applications. Here’s our two-step process for dealing with hovering parents: 1. Be Understanding: college application time is stressful for everybody in the family. For students — the pressure is obvious since it is their future on the line. For parents — this time of their lives is an enormous period of transition as well. They have dedicated so much of the past 2 decades raising children — and now it’s time to say goodbye. And even though they shouldn’t feel that their child’s college choice is a reflection on their parenting achievements — many parents do. They feel like they haven’t done their “job” well if their child doesn’t go to the best school possible. So — try to be understanding that parents are under enormous stress at this point in their lives. Try to see the good intentions behind the annoying nagging. (You can’t change them — but you can change the way you see them!) 2. Be Responsible. Another great way to deal with parents is to show that YOU are on top of the process. Show them that you are aware of deadlines and are planning accordingly. Show them that you are working on your essays and speaking with teachers about recommendations. Show them that you can handle the process and let them know that you will come to them with any questions. The more you take control of the process and show them that you are capable, the less anxiety and the more PRIDE your parents will experience!

Michelle GreenAdmissions ConsultantMy College Admissions Coach

Helicopter parents

It’s tough to deal with parents who won’t allow their children ownership of the college applications process! The stakes are high and I understand their concern. I have also been a parent who has sent kids off to college, and will do it again, soon. It’s an emotional time and I understand how the parents worry that their student does everything right. Most of them mean well, and are simply trying to help manage their child’s journey into college. The best thing I can tell them is to enjoy their time with their kids, keep the channels of communication open with their student and their counselor, and to relax. I always ask parents to fill out a questionnaire to help me understand their child when we begin working together. I also ask them for input via email/phone and texting about issues that are of concern. The most difficult parent is the one who has unreasonable expectations about the student’s admissions chances. A student who doesn’t meet the typical admitted student profile is going to have an uphill challenge if all the schools on his or her list are reaches. The student and I work as a team to come up with reasonable schools in which they will be perfectly happy to attend, if offered admissions. Another difficult challenge is when parents want their students to apply to TOO many colleges. Even with the Common Application, managing the process can be overwhelming if there are too many schools on the student’s list. Keeping parents in the loop about what is expected of their child, especially during the crunch time before applications are due is always helpful and tends to put many of my demanding parents at ease through the process.

Scott WhiteDirector of GuidanceMontclair High School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Students should set up one day a week (and ONLY one day a week) that college can be discussed. This brings the stress level way down.

Helen Cella

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I tell them that it’s great that they’re interested, but ultimately their child has to make the decision about where they go to college or they will be unhappy.

James LundgrenPartnerCollege Planning Solutions

Divide and Conquer

I have plenty of tasks for both the students and parents to accomplish during the college planning and funding process. Many times the students have their distinct appointment hours for their benefit and parents have their own on separate dates and times.

Suzanne ShafferOwnerParents Countdown to College Coach

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Sit down and have “a talk” with your parents and let them know that while you do need their help, you want to “drive the car” during the process. Ask them to help you with organization and advice, but explain to them that you are trying to become an independent and responsible adult. Tell them that colleges expect YOU to “own” the process and you want them to see that you are capable of just that. Thank them for their help and support and assure them that you can handle this important task on your own.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Overbearing parents

If you are asking how you should deal with your overbearing parents, I assume you mean that your parents are all over you about applications and essays and which schools you are applying to, that they are causing issues at home and potentially with college visits or interviews. This generation has so many many helicopter parents! You need to sit down with mom/dad and have a talk. Explain to them how you feel, and ask how they feel. You can work it out to a happy medium, hopefully. In my opinion the applicant needs to drive the application process within the parameters parents set, but parents need to allow the student to be responsible for due dates, essays, etc. Talk, talk, talk is my answer.

Gail GoetzEducational ConsultantPrivate Practice

overbearing parents

When I initially meet with a student and parents, I emphasize that is the student going to college, NOT the parents. While the parents know their child well and have a definite say regarding costs, the student really needs to figure for herself/himself the parameters that would make a college the “best fit”. I encourage students to “own” the process.

Pamela Hampton-GarlandOwnerScholar Bound

Overbearing parents:

Parents’ are not overbearing they are freightened that their precious child will wonder into a world without mom and dad’s guidance. I provide parents with as much support as possible in the way of insisting that they attend the college tours, confirming that what they have taught their child for 17 or 18 years will not be forgotten when they leave home, and assuring them that they will have full access via the social media outlets, cell phones, and even skype to pretty much have an idea of what is on their child’s mind 24×7. Additionally, I always remind them that they can visit and their young student will not want to disappoint their number one cheering squad (their parents). Most parents find comfort from a counselor who has recently experienced the empty next “overbearing” stage and are able to relax a bit knowing that this is the time they have been working for and it has arrived because they did something right in rearing a child that wants to go to college.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Overbearing Parent or just Misguided?

I find most parents only want what is best for their student. Still, this can often lead to tension on the home front during the college search process. I find a division of labor can be most productive: one parent is the travel agent for college visits, one parent tackles the financial piece and the student is in charge of all things application related. I try to impress on my clients that we are preparing the student to handle the independence that comes with college. It is important to allow the son/daughter to own the admission experience. I also keep the parents in the loop with articles tailored just for them. Unigo’s website can keep them busy and content for hours! Healthy doses of praise for all they are doing to support their child in this transition from high school to college can also go a long way. Mom and dad are struggling just as much as Junior at the thought of what the future will bring. I find that a sense of humor, along with a checklist of tasks to keep everyone busy and focused, can be the ideal solution for the helicopter parent.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I try to help them deal with their anxiety by giving them information, resources and tasks. My parent resources include books and articles about the college application process as well as links to blogs and web resources. I also ask them to organize the college visits with input from the student. I also patiently emphasize that the student must take personal and primary responsibility as they must feel that they own the process.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Overbearing Parent or just Misguided?

I find most parents only want what is best for their student. Still, this can often lead to tension on the home front during the college search process. I find a division of labor can be most productive: one parent is the travel agent for college visits, one parent tackles the financial piece and the student is in charge of all things application related. I try to impress on my clients that we are preparing the student to handle the independence that comes with college. It is important to allow the son/daughter to own the admission experience. As an independent educational consultant, I also keep the parents in the loop with articles tailored just for them. Unigo’s website can keep them busy and content for hours! Healthy doses of praise for all they are doing to support their child in this transition from high school to college can also go a long way. Mom and dad are struggling just as much as Junior at the thought of what the future will bring. I find that a sense of humor, along with a checklist of tasks to keep everyone busy and focused, can be the ideal solution for the helicopter parent.

Jamie Reich

Dealing with overbearing parents

Understanding parental anxiety is critical. Parents want the best for their children, but often try to live vicariously through them. Gently yet firmly, I try to encourage them to be reality- based. One of the most critical points that I try to drive home with parents relates to their child’s success at college. It is not all about getting in, but staying in and graduating as an independent thinker on a path that will lead to a career that will be nourishing in all regards. Aside from academics, becoming a well-rounded, social and non-judgmental person is vital.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

Helicopter Parenting 101

As a parent myself, I do not fault parents for the tendency to want to be the dominant force in the college search and application process. In my work, I invite parents to the initial consultation, the meeting when a student has decided on the final list of colleges to which he or she will apply as well as the initial brainstorming session for essays. The latter allows parents to chime in on the all of the proud moments and accomplishments their child has achieved. Ultimately parents should have a say in the college list as they will likely be bankrolling the child’s education to the extent that they are able. In the event of a stalemate, I suggest that the student have permission to apply to one school of the student’s choosing and one school of the parents’ choosing. Compromise goes a long way in this regard. In setting the tone that there are meetings in which parental feedback is welcome and invaluable as well as meetings that the applicant need attend only, parents are given implicit permission to take a step back and allow the student to take the lead. If the student cannot own the process, they cannot own the outcomes.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Overbearing Parent or just Misguided?

I find most parents only want what is best for their student. Still, this can often lead to tension on the home front during the college search process. I find a division of labor can be most productive: one parent is the travel agent for college visits, one parent tackles the financial piece and the student is in charge of all things application related. I try to impress on my clients that we are preparing the student to handle the independence that comes with college. It is important to allow the son/daughter to own the admission experience. I also keep the parents in the loop with articles tailored just for them. Healthy doses of praise for all they are doing to support their child in this transition from high school to college can also go a long way. Mom and dad are struggling just as much as Junior at the thought of what the future will bring. I find that a sense of humor, along with a checklist of tasks to keep everyone busy and focused, can be the ideal solution for the helicopter parent.

Tyler BurtonPresident Burton College Tours

Trust your child

I remind parents that this is their child’s first journey into adulthood and that their love is guidance. Giving a child the chance to explore campuses on a Burton College Tour or to brainstorm their own essay topics are good places to begin. I make sure that the student has a list of schools that has been generated from both the student’s and parent’s observations about what will be a good academic, social and financial fit.

Francine SchwartzFounder/ PresidentPathfinder Counseling LLC

Overbearing Parents

I try to help parents understand that the student needs to be the center of the process and also must take the responsibility for completing all of the steps. That is not to say parents should not play a role. Taking my own three children on college visits was a bonding experience. We spent long hours in the car and we could laugh about me getting lost in rural VT or even the time my daughter injured her foot while practicing for track and we had to go to the emergency room! Parents can be great sounding boards for listening to final versions of essays. And of course parents and students should sit down very early in the process and have a frank discussion about college finances.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

Take Control Professionally and Confidently

The best way to manage overbearing parents is to take the reigns. Demonstrate that you are managing the process by setting up college visit appointments and logistics yourself, posting a deadline chart of the fridge informing your parents of the plan for meeting deadlines, and thoughtfully listening to your parent’s perspective. While students should drive the process, parents are key stakeholders who deserve a voice. By showing your capability and preparation you will by their trust (which will help them back off). But, at the same time, managers of any operation know that you can’t risk upsetting a key investor. Identify ways for your parents be part of the process and keep communication lines open.

Kim GlenchurEducational ConsultantCollegesGPS

Avoid situations of too much stress

In general social circles, entry into the most competitive universities, where admission rates may fall below 10%, signals success in an uncertain world. In contrast, the individual collegian may discover that a brand name school can diverge from best practices in academic instruction, performance measurement, and connecting with its students. It’s best to avoid situations of too much stress in striving for good grades and pre-professional activities, which are important for getting hired or getting into graduate school.

Catherine McCarthy

I try to remember that parents are also facing a time of transition…

Parents just want to help. They’re concerned that their children make thoughtful, reasoned, choices when planning their future. But, in many ways, the college application process is irrational, unreasonable, and mystifying. Throw in teenage students who are both eager to step out into the real world and unsure of their future (Will they be accepted? Will they be happy?) and you have the ingredients for stressful communication between parents, children, and college advisors. Given this underlying situation, I encourage open conversations to discuss the expectations of every member of the student’s support team. Where can parental support be the most helpful? What parts of the decision will be completely up to the student? What level of financial support will the parents reasonably be able to provide? Every family will find a different balance point that works for them.

Jonathan DunnDirectorCreative College Counseling, LLC

How do youo deal with overbearing paprents during the college process?

Ultimately the college search and application process belongs to the student. I try to be as diplomatic as possible with parents and remind them that the process is really about their children, not them. Students need to be placed in a position where they will make their own choices. Encouragement and support of children is much more imporatant role for a parent than than orchestrating the entire process.

Melanie HayesEducational ConsultantGifted/Talented

Student is the Client

I always tell the parents that the student is my client and my first priority is to find solutions that are best for them. Even though the parents are usually paying the bill, my consulting efforts are focused on what the student feels he or she wants and needs. I think we often overlook students self awareness when designing a plan for the future. I rarely have parents complain about the end result, because as someone who is looking from the outside in, I provide a new perspective and can help design an approach that is unique to each student.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

“Stop! In the name of love!”

Short Answer: How do I deal with overbearing parents? I put my hand out — just like Miss Ross — and sing “ Stop! In the name of Love!” Detailed Answer: I get it. Totally. But if a parent won’t stop talking for their child, I take control (professionally and with humor) and ask the parent/s to leave the room. I always insist on meeting with the parents and the student separately. When I tell them this, the parents always look stunned, and the student always looks panic-stricken. There is a feeling in higher education that a student straight out of high school should be dealt with as though he or she is an adult. But most of these kids are at a loss to know how to own themselves as an adult, because the research on adolescent brain development makes it clear that in no way are these young people able to be the “adults” we think they should be. That doesn’t mean that a student doesn’t know anything and can’t function and needs Mom and Dad to do everything for them. It just means that they are at a crossroads at a time when they need encouragement to find their voice and learn about their own needs and wants for their future. Many young people who seem to have no voice to express their own thoughts DO have their own thoughts. They simply haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise to practice expressing those thoughts. It’s my job to get Mom and Dad out of the way and give the student the opportunity to breathe and work through their inconsistencies and anxieties. This may be the first time the student has ever met with a stranger and had to advocate for him or herself. It’s a skill to be able to draw out a student, to get past their fears and get them to open up honestly, without their friends, teachers, and parents voices “crowding the room.” But it’s an important part of our job to be good at that. I’ll tell you a success story: A family I was working with was superduper educated – Harvard, Brown, the whole shebang — and the student is brilliant. The student could have graduated high school a year early and gotten into almost any institution. When I would meet with them, the Mom (a tenured professor at a major research university) did all the talking – and talking, and talking, and talking. And when Mom was out of the room, Dad took over for her. Their child never said a word. The family was preparing for college visits. They were going to meet with a counselor at a top, highly competitive private college with a stellar reputation that their child could very well be admitted to next year. I knew that in meeting with this counselor, this student would have to be able to speak on his own behalf, because in the conversations I’ve had with the counselor, it was very clear that what they look for is maturity. So before the family embarked upon their trip, I told the mother that I was going to meet with her son alone in the house to do practice interviews with him. She looked at me as though I had just grown horns. But ultimately she got it, and we did it. I put that kid through his paces, until I could hear HIM and he could hear himself. She called me afterward and told me that after I left, he looked like a deer in headlights, he was exhausted. When they returned from their trip, I met with them to see how it had gone. His Mom pointed to him and said, “Do it for her.” And – without hesitation or stumbling over his words — he proceeded to tell me about himself and why he wanted to go to that school, and told me the questions HE had asked. And he didn’t blink once. And Mom beamed with pride that she hadn’t said one word during the whole meeting. I almost cried with happiness. That’s why we do what we do. To watch a young person start to break free, blossom, and find himself or herself. Parents need to give their kids some credit. It’s OK to coach from the sidelines but stay out of the huddle. Ya’ll gotta learn sometime; may as well be now.

Corey FischerPresidentCollegeClarity

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Parents need to be a part of the process, but they need to allow the student to be in the driver’s seat. The best way for a student to deal with overbearing parents is to show your parents that you are being responsible and taking ownership of the process. Pay attention to deadlines and do everything early (do not wait until the last minute). Admission officers and coaches prefer to speak with the student rather than the parents, so let your parents know that you will ask them to call if you need them to, but please don’t without your knowledge. Bounce ideas off your parents so they will feel you value their perspective. When parents are kept at arms length they get nervous and intervene, so keep them informed.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

parents are the major force in college admissions counseling. they work well with counselors and can make a difference by allowing the counselors to work closely with the students.

Lauren CarterDirector of College CounselingLouisville Collegiate School

Ground your helicopter parents!

Parents have the best intentions. That I will say first of all. But if your parents are placing you in the back seat of this process and they are the drivers, then that is a problem. Explain to your parents that this is your future and you need to be the one directing this process. Also you may want to “ground” them from talking about college all the time. You should all agree on one day per week when you will discuss anything and everything college. But on any other day, there will be NO college talk at all. This will help your relationship so you can actually enjoy a conversation with your parents and not worry that all you will discuss is your upcoming SATs or essays or interview. You may also want to bring in some reinforcements. This can be your school counselor or a teacher or a family friend who your parents will listen to.

Lauren CarterDirector of College CounselingLouisville Collegiate School

Ground your helicopter parents!

Parents have the best intentions. That I will say first of all. But if your parents are placing you in the back seat of this process and they are the drivers, then that is a problem. Explain to your parents that this is your future and you need to be the one directing this process. Also you may want to “ground” them from talking about college all the time. You should all agree on one day per week when you will discuss anything and everything college. But on any other day, there will be NO college talk at all. This will help your relationship so you can actually enjoy a conversation with your parents and not worry that all you will discuss is your upcoming SATs or essays or interview. You may also want to bring in some reinforcements. This can be your school counselor or a teacher or a family friend whom your parents will listen to.

Lauren CarterDirector of College CounselingLouisville Collegiate School

Ground your helicopter parents!

Parents have the best intentions. That I will say first of all. But if your parents are placing you in the back seat of this process and they are the drivers, then that is a problem. Explain to your parents that this is your future and you need to be the one directing this process. Also you may want to “ground” them from talking about college all the time. You should all agree on one day per week when you will discuss anything and everything college. But on any other day, there will be NO college talk at all. This will help your relationship so you can actually enjoy a conversation with your parents and not worry that all you will discuss is your upcoming SATs or essays or interview. You may also want to bring in some reinforcements. This can be your school counselor or a teacher or a family friend–anyone whom your parents will listen to.

. .

Be Candid, Yet Respectful

Great question that comes up all the time. The first step in dealing with this issue is to take the following fact into consideration: An overwhelming majority of parents want their kids to be happy and successful. That said, when you start getting annoyed by mom or dad when they keep seemingly pressuring you to choose to attend Institution X, as hard as it might be, keep in mind that they generally have your best interests in mind. That said, even if parents want the best for their kids, they can definitely be inappropriately overbearing at times during the college search and application process. As a student, if you feel your parent is being overbearing, be candid with them and let them know that you appreciate all of their help and their looking out for your best interests, but that you are starting to fee overwhelmed with their behavior. As a parent, if you start to feel yourself becoming overbearing, try to step back and understand that the college search process is a wonderful time to promote personal development and healthy independence within your kid. For instance, let them research some schools online that they are interested in and then tell you about them, listing the pros and cons of each. Or, considering letting them go on a campus visit with their friends. This can be an empowering experience for them and you can always back with them at another time to check out the campus yourself. Sincerely, Mike Chapman, Owner Chapman College Admission Consulting www.chapmancac.com

Becky Checketts

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

College is a unique experience, and a critical step in a student’s life. The best part is it is where you gain your independence. You just need to know that parents do want the best for you, and they may seem overbearing at times. You just need to remind them that this is a time for you to become independent, and that you are an adult. My best advice is to go home no more than once a month if you moved away to go to school. My reason being is you will make more connections and friends on campus, especially on the weekends. This also makes your visits home more sentimental, and the parents are less likely to lecture you.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I think you need to define the term “overbearing parent”. I am always going to support parents that care about their children and want what is best for them. I am never going to discourage a parent for caring and doing everything they can for help. The two questions I like to ask parents who feel “stressed” through the college application process are: 1) Are you doing more for your child than you should. A lot of parents feel like they need to take control of the application process themselves and they end up doing everything for their child. As a parent, you are there to support, remind, ask and encourage your child. If you are sending in applications, calling colleges on behalf of your child or doing the research your child shoud be doing, you may need to re-evaluate your role in the college application process. 2) Are you concerned about things that are our of your control? If you, the counselor and your child have done everything they have needed to when applying to a college and you have applied to an appropriate number of colleges (reach, moderately competitive, safety), you need to give it to God. You have to let go and not keep asking, “is everything in?”, “Do you think my son/daughter will get in?”, “What could we do more?” These tend to be overbearing questions that even a counselor has a hard time answering.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I think you need to define the term “overbearing parent”. I am always going to support parents that care about their children and want what is best for them. I am never going to discourage a parent for caring and doing everything they can for help. The two questions I like to ask parents who feel “stressed” through the college application process are: 1) Are you doing more for your child than you should. A lot of parents feel like they need to take control of the application process themselves and they end up doing everything for their child. As a parent, you are there to support, remind, ask and encourage your child. If you are sending in applications, calling colleges on behalf of your child or doing the research your child shoud be doing, you may need to re-evaluate your role in the college application process. 2) Are you concerned about things that are our of your control? If you, the counselor and your child have done everything they have needed to when applying to a college and you have applied to an appropriate number of colleges (reach, moderately competitive, safety), you need to give it to God. You have to let go and not keep asking, “is everything in?”, “Do you think my son/daughter will get in?”, “What could we do more?” These tend to be overbearing questions that even a counselor has a hard time answering.

Kathryn Lento

Back off Mom & Dad

Believe or not, most parents would happily take a back seat if they felt their child was in the drivers seat. The most effective way to dial your parents down is to take the lead on your college process. Let your parents know that the timeline and deadlines are under control. Create a plan and share it with them and they should be less freaked out.

Barbara Jones

Overbearing parents in the college process

Be as polite as possible, but make them aware that their child has to sign permission in many cases to view grades and to provide input. Always direct your information to the student.

Alan SheptinOwnerSheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Parents need to be engaged in the process. A child going off to college will signify and very big change in a family dynamic. In some instances, this may be the first time a child will be independent for a stretch. There are two overarching reasons for “overbearing” parents: 1. They are living vicariously through their child: they have wonderful memories of college, and hope that similar ones will be in place for their child. To them, the process is reliving the best years of their lives. 2. They are concerned for their child. They know that, in a few short months, they will not have as much control over their child as they did when their child was in high school. To that end, they must cut the core, to some degree. The parents must be engaged in the process, and be made to feel as though they are an integral part of the process. To do this, I give them important tasks, such as researching schools, finding out about college parent associations, helping them combine the business part of the trip (looking at the colleges), with a pleasure part of the trip (finding a place of interest or a really good restaurant). If parents are accorded the respect they deserve, then the process goes so much more smoothly. If not, it can be a disaster for all involved.

Alan SheptinOwnerSheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Parents need to be engaged in the process. A child going off to college will signify and very big change in a family dynamic. In some instances, this may be the first time a child will be independent for a stretch. There are two overarching reasons for “overbearing” parents: 1. They are living vicariously through their child: they have wonderful memories of college, and hope that similar ones will be in place for their child. To them, the process is reliving the best years of their lives. 2. They are concerned for their child. They know that, in a few short months, they will not have as much control over their child as they did when their child was in high school. To that end, they must cut the core, to some degree. The parents must be engaged in the process, and be made to feel as though they are an integral part of the process. To do this, I give them important tasks, such as researching schools, finding out about college parent associations, helping them combine the business part of the trip (looking at the colleges), with a pleasure part of the trip (finding a place of interest or a really good restaurant). If parents are accorded the respect they deserve, then the process goes so much more smoothly. If not, it can be a disaster for all involved.

Alan SheptinOwnerSheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Parents need to be engaged in the process. A child going off to college will signify and very big change in a family dynamic. In some instances, this may be the first time a child will be independent for a stretch. There are two overarching reasons for “overbearing” parents: 1. They are living vicariously through their child: they have wonderful memories of college, and hope that similar ones will be in place for their child. To them, the process is reliving the best years of their lives. 2. They are concerned for their child. They know that, in a few short months, they will not have as much control over their child as they did when their child was in high school. To that end, they must cut the core, to some degree. The parents must be engaged in the process, and be made to feel as though they are an integral part of the process. To do this, I give them important tasks, such as researching schools, finding out about college parent associations, helping them combine the business part of the trip (looking at the colleges), with a pleasure part of the trip (finding a place of interest or a really good restaurant). If parents are accorded the respect they deserve, then the process goes so much more smoothly. If not, it can be a disaster for all involved.

Alan SheptinOwnerSheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Alan Sheptin, Sheptin Tutoring Group, LLC

Parents need to be engaged in the process. A child going off to college will signify and very big change in a family dynamic. In some instances, this may be the first time a child will be independent for a stretch. There are two overarching reasons for “overbearing” parents: 1. They are living vicariously through their child: they have wonderful memories of college, and hope that similar ones will be in place for their child. To them, the process is reliving the best years of their lives. 2. They are concerned for their child. They know that, in a few short months, they will not have as much control over their child as they did when their child was in high school. To that end, they must cut the core, to some degree. The parents must be engaged in the process, and be made to feel as though they are an integral part of the process. To do this, I give them important tasks, such as researching schools, finding out about college parent associations, helping them combine the business part of the trip (looking at the colleges), with a pleasure part of the trip (finding a place of interest or a really good restaurant). If parents are accorded the respect they deserve, then the process goes so much more smoothly. If not, it can be a disaster for all involved.

sally champagneownerBeacon Star Educational Consulting

Biting Your Lip….

Parents want their children to be happy and productive and the college process is often the first time when a parent has absolutely no control or input over the outcome. It’s difficult for parents — they want the very best for their child and it is hard for them to sit back and try not to interfere. As a former admissions officer, I understood their desire. I imagine many parents have bitten their lip more than once as they watched their child navigate the admissions process and I often found myself doing the same. No matter how well meaning (but overbearing) a parent might be, their actions would never taint their child’s application. I would always include the student in the conversation even though the parent might have been the one to ask the question. Parents were invited at end of an interview to ask questions or raise any concerns in the lobby — they were never present during the interview. If asked, I would encourage parents to let their child have the limelight — allow their child to stand in the spotlight and learn how that feels. Parents, for the most part, are not going to be packing up their bags and enrolling in classes on campus the next year so it is better all the way around if the student starts taking responsibility for their actions and experiencing independence.

Darryl JonesSr. Associate Director of Admissions, Coordinator for Multicultural Admission/Intercollegiate Athletics LiaisonGettysburg College

Dealing with Parents

It is important for parents to recognize that students have to be happy with the college choice, and that at some point, parents need to allow students to “fly free from the nest”. We separate the behavior of parents from what we know to be true about students, and we realize that overbearing parents are probably experiencing separation anxiety. We often mention that we like to have the college selection be a family process, but the STUDENT needs to be his or her own advocate! Good Luck! Darryl

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

To the Overbearing Parent: You Had Your Turn

One of the challenges of the college admission process is keeping the focus on the student. Increasingly (and too often) the process–and the results–are seen as a validation of parenting skills. It is not. It is about colleges making choices about the kind of community they want and about students seeking the right fit for who they are and who they aspire to be. Parents have a role, but it must be appropriately circumscribed and counselors may need to remind them—perhaps frequently–of their proper role. They have had their chance. It is now the child’s turn and that must never be forgotten.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

“Stop! In the name of love!”

How do I deal with overbearing parents? I put my hand out — just like Miss Ross — and sing “ Stop! In the name of Love!” I get it. Totally. But if a parent won’t stop talking for their child, I take control (professionally and with humor) and ask the parent/s to leave the room. I always insist on meeting with the parents and the student separately. When I tell them this, the parents always look stunned, and the student always looks panic-stricken. There is a feeling in higher education that a student straight out of high school should be dealt with as though he or she is an adult. But most of these kids are at a loss to know how to own themselves as an adult, because the research on adolescent brain development makes it clear that in no way are these young people able to be the “adults” we think they should be. That doesn’t mean that a student doesn’t know anything and can’t function and needs Mom and Dad to do everything for them. It just means that they are at a crossroads at a time when they need encouragement to find their voice and learn about their own needs and wants for their future. Many young people who seem to have no voice to express their own thoughts DO have their own thoughts. They simply haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise to practice expressing those thoughts. It’s my job to get Mom and Dad out of the way and give the student the opportunity to breathe and work through their inconsistencies and anxieties. This may be the first time the student has ever met with a stranger and had to advocate for him or herself. It’s a skill to be able to draw out a student, to get past their fears and get them to open up honestly, without their friends, teachers, and parents voices “crowding the room.” But it’s an important part of our job to be good at that. I’ll tell you a success story: A family I was working with was superduper educated – Harvard, Brown, the whole shebang — and the student is brilliant. The student could have graduated high school a year early and gotten into almost any institution. When I would meet with them, the Mom (a tenured professor at a major research university) did all the talking – and talking, and talking, and talking. And when Mom was out of the room, Dad took over for her. Their child never said a word. The family was preparing for college visits. They were going to meet with a counselor at a top, highly competitive private college with a stellar reputation that their child could very well be admitted to next year. I knew that in meeting with this counselor, this student would have to be able to speak on his own behalf, because in the conversations I’ve had with the counselor, it was very clear that what they look for is maturity. So before the family embarked upon their trip, I told the mother that I was going to meet with her son alone in the house to do practice interviews with him. She looked at me as though I had just grown horns. But ultimately she got it, and we did it. I put that kid through his paces, until I could hear HIM and he could hear himself. She called me afterward and told me that after I left, he looked like a deer in headlights, he was exhausted. When they returned from their trip, I met with them to see how it had gone. His Mom pointed to him and said, “Do it for her.” And – without hesitation or stumbling over his words — he proceeded to tell me about himself and why he wanted to go to that school, and told me the questions HE had asked. And he didn’t blink once. And Mom beamed with pride that she hadn’t said one word during the whole meeting. I almost cried with happiness. That’s why we do what we do. To watch a young person start to break free, blossom, and find himself or herself. Parents need to give their kids some credit. It’s OK to coach from the sidelines but stay out of the huddle. Ya’ll gotta learn sometime; may as well be now.

Lora LewisEducational ConsultantLora Lewis Consulting

The College Process is Tough for Parents, Too

The college admissions process can be a challenging time for families. Both parents and kids often aren’t prepared for the surge of conflicting emotions that can arise around choosing and getting into the right college. Parents have the best intentions: They want their kids to be ell educated, happy, and have bright future opportunities. Sometimes, though, their anxiety and over-involvement can become detrimental to the admissions process. I often remind parents that college is the first major step young people make toward adulthood and self-sufficiency. It’s important that they support their kids, but that they resist the urge to try to steer or control the process. As a private consultant, I’m frequently a “buffer” between kids and parents, addressing the concerns of each individually and serving the needs of both parties while still focusing on the primary client, the student. I use the analogy that we are running a race as a team: In the beginning, we’re all running along together. Some distance into the college process, the parents drop off the the sidelines and the kid and I run together. By the end, I’ve also stepped aside and the student is running on his or her own, empowered by having successfully navigated the road to college and bolstered by newfound confidence in his or her ability to tackle a challenging rite of passage and make good personal decisions. Parents need support through this time of change and letting go. I encourage them to take care of themselves and their emotions by talking with other adults who’ve survived the college craziness. I also remind them that this is the last year they will live in their same house with their child full-time…and that stress and conflict shouldn’t compromise this special stage of life. The more they can relax, trust, and offer non-judgmental support and resources to their soon-to-be college student, the more peaceful and productive the admissions process will be for all involved.

Judy ZoddaFounder and PresidentZodda College Services

Students – It’s Your Time to Shine!

Parent’s have taken care of everything for you since you were an infant! However, now that your a high school junior (a good time time to get started on your college search), you need to take ownership of your search, especially because college admissions offices/officers wnat to see that you’re capable of “running the show.” Parents need to step aside and assume the role of cheerleaders. It’s fine to help arrange the logistics of visitng colleges (getting from one to the other on time) and filling out financial aid forms, but trust that your student can and will do a good job, if they use the tools that are available to them, and will find the schools that are right for them to apply to. It can be an overwhelming task, but not if you break it down into bite size pieces that are spread out over time. You can’t go to college with your student, so this is a good time for them to show they can manage a lot on their own especially with the wonderful online resources that are availble to them. Unigo is one of these!

Ellen [email protected]OwnerEllen Richards Admissions Consulting

Sometimes a hobby does not have to be a child’s college degree

Unfortunately, part of this position requires counselors to deal with parents. Much of the time they are grateful and kind, but at the same time some others simply cannot let go of the process. Every parent will admit that the college admissions process does not resemble the same college application procedure they experienced. The feeling of having no control tends to influence their actions and sometimes it seems like they cannot control themselves. So often counselors must take on a dual role as they mediate between the student and the parents. Many times parents worked diligently to afford the lives they have offered their children works against them rather than in their favor. In fact, many want for their children what they wanted for themselves, but this often leads to adolescent rebellion. The best way to handle the situation is mediate, always reminding the student that as a counselor, you are on their side. Otherwise, you lose their trust.

John SpearDirector of College GuidanceNorthwood School

Top 10 Things for Parents to Remember

Ideally, parents are supportive participants in the college search and application process, but parental over-involvement is a huge issue, and can sour the process for students. If your parent is becoming overbearing, I suggest you share with them this link from Middlebury College, an outstanding liberal arts college in Vermont: http://www.middlebury.edu/admissions/start/parents

Vicky MoIndependent College CounselorUniversity of California, Riverside

Let them understand what you’re going through!

The best part about going to college, to me, is to finally experiencing the world without parents and be independent! And you can’t exactly do that when your parents are being overbearing. Be understanding that they’re just nervous about your leaving home and going to college, but let them know that this is a crucial part of growing up, really. I had a talk with my parents about this and made several promises. For example, I had to call them and update them every other day. See what would work with your parents!

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

Their child and their money!

I consistently remember the two most important things in their life is their money and their children, just like me, and it helps to put it into perspective and calm everyone’s nerves. By gently letting the child taking the initiative it helps considerably!

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

DEALING WITH OVERBEARING PARENTS DURING THE COLLEGE PROCESS This is a very difficult question to answer. A number of interpersonal aspects have to be taken into consideration. A lot depends on the student’s personality, the personalities of his/her parents, and the relationship which has developed between and among them over the past almost two decades, so it’s practically impossible to give an answer that will be a “magic” solution. Some parents are truly overbearing and want to call all the shots, manipulating their child/children into doing exactly what the parent wants. These parents are probably the most difficult to deal with. They typically are not listening to what their child wants or needs, but instead are envisioning a result in which all the pieces of the puzzle fit exactly where they themselves want them Watch “Dead Poets Society” if you want to see an extreme and tragic example of this kind of domination. Even when highly overbearing parents are listening to their children, they may be so convinced of the “rightness” of their own ideas and ways of doing things that they don’t want to turn the reins over completely to their child. Other parents, and I hope this is the majority, are simply highly interested and want to be helpful, but don’t quite know how they should fit into the process. They’ve made most of the decisions involving their child/children up until this time and don’t quite know how to let go and how much or how little they should be involved in the college application process. They want to be genuinely helpful, but their child/children may perceive this as being overbearing. Some parents may stay completely “hands off”, and I don’t know that this is the best solution, either. The application process can be very stressful and takes a lot of effective time management at a time when a student typically has many academic and extracurricular commitments in his/her high school, so parental support can relieve this stress considerably. My advice for a student who feels that his parents are being too overbearing (or who feels that he/she would like MORE parental support): – Schedule time to sit down for a discussion with your parent(s) about how you feel when everyone is calm and no one is in a hurry. This should not be done in the midst of or just after an argument about the topic. – Explain to your parents what you’re interested in, what you’re unsure about, what you’re excited about, what you’re worried about, what you might want to study, where you might want to study, etc. Let them see that you’re not just whining, but that you’re actively considering and developing concrete ideas about your future studies. – Discuss why it’s important for you to make the decisions yourself, but be willing to ask for and accept your parents’ advice – to the extent that you feel that their advice is helpful and not demanding or manipulative. You may find that they have some very helpful input! – Remember that, in most cases, your parents will be paying considerably toward your education, so it’s important that they are aware of financial implications. – Suggest ways that your parents can be helpful to you during the process – helping you brainstorm for essay ideas, helping you track deadlines, preparing the FAFSA and other financial aid documents, or other areas in which you feel some extra support would be helpful. – One or both of your parents may ask, “How can we help you?” Be ready with some suggestions (see above). – Thank your parents for being willing to let you take primary responsibility for your applications, but for also being there when/if you need them. If the above suggestions don’t work, and you still feel extremely upset by the overbearing way in which your parents are dealing with you during the college search and application process, it might be helpful to get an outside person involved – your college counselor, an independent college advisor, etc. I wish you success in solving this problem!

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

DEALING WITH OVERBEARING PARENTS DURING THE COLLEGE PROCESS This is a very difficult question to answer. A number of interpersonal aspects have to be taken into consideration. A lot depends on the student’s personality, the personalities of his/her parents, and the relationship which has developed between and among them over the past almost two decades, so it’s practically impossible to give an answer that will be a “magic” solution. Some parents are truly overbearing and want to call all the shots, manipulating their child/children into doing exactly what the parent wants. These parents are probably the most difficult to deal with. They typically are not listening to what their child wants or needs, but instead are envisioning a result in which all the pieces of the puzzle fit exactly where they themselves want them. Watch “Dead Poets Society” if you want to see an extreme and tragic example of this kind of domination. Even when highly overbearing parents are listening to their children, they may be so convinced of the “rightness” of their own ideas and ways of doing things that they don’t want to turn the reins over completely to their child. Other parents, and I hope this is the majority, are simply highly interested and want to be helpful, but they don’t quite know how they should fit into the process. They’ve made most of the decisions involving their child/children up until this time and don’t know how to let go and how much or how little they should be involved in the college application process. They want to be genuinely helpful, but their child/children may perceive their involvement as being overbearing. Some parents may stay completely “hands off”, and I don’t know that this is the best solution, either. The college search and application process can be very stressful and takes a lot of effective time management at a time when a student typically has many academic and extracurricular commitments in his/her high school, so parental support can relieve this stress considerably. My advice for a student who feels that his parents are being too overbearing (or who feels that he/she would like MORE parental support): – Schedule time to sit down for a discussion with your parent(s) about how you feel when everyone is calm and no one is in a hurry. This should not be done in the midst of or just after an argument about the topic. – Explain to your parents what you’re interested in, what you’re unsure about, what you’re excited about, what you’re worried about, what you might want to study, where you might want to study, etc. Let them see that you’re not just whining, but that you’re actively considering and developing concrete ideas about your future studies. – Discuss why it’s important for you to make the decisions yourself, but be willing to ask for and accept your parents’ advice – to the extent that you feel that their advice is helpful and not demanding or manipulative. You may find that they have some very helpful input! – Remember that, in most cases, your parents will be paying considerably toward your education, so it’s important that they are aware of financial implications. – Suggest ways that your parents can be helpful to you during the process – helping you brainstorm for essay ideas, helping you track deadlines, preparing the FAFSA and other financial aid documents, or other areas in which you feel some extra support would be helpful. – One or both of your parents may ask, “How can we help you?” Be ready with some suggestions (see above). – Thank your parents for being willing to let you take primary responsibility for your applications, but also for being there when/if you need them. If the above suggestions don’t work, and you still feel extremely upset by the overbearing way in which your parents are dealing with you during the college search and application process, it might be helpful to get an outside person involved – your college counselor, an independent college advisor, your school psychologist, etc. I wish you success in solving this problem!

Steven CrispOwner Crisp College Advising

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

My goal as an admission counselor was always to communicate directly with the student. After all it should be the students decision. At the same time you want to make the parent happy too so you answer the questions and concerns as well. I guess would also have to depend on the situation. In a face to face situation I would follow through as I mentioned before. If the parent is calling without the student I usually just answer the questions they have. If I am calling I always ask to speak to the student. However, I would never look at a student negatively because their parent(s) were overbearing.

Cheryl Millington

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

The best way to deal with overbearing parents do is to be honest and let them know that they are making this period difficult for you. Try to give specific examples of the behavior that is difficult for you. But don’t just complain about a problem, give a suggestion of how to resolve the problem. What do you want to be different moving forward? It’s also best to have this conversation sooner rather than later. If you wait until the situation becomes unbearable, you’re likely to explode and say things that you don’t mean and will never be able to take back. Remind your parents that it’s important for you to do this yourself. It will be your degree and you are the one who will eventually have to live with the decisions made. You appreciate their help but you want your application to be your application. It should be your voice. You want to continue to have a good relationship with your parents, not only during this period but while you’re in university and later in life. It’s also important to remember that you’ll need their financial and emotional support. So be nice and remember that they love you and only want the best for you!

Cheryl Millington

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

The best way to deal with overbearing parents do is to be honest and let them know that they are making this period difficult for you. Try to give specific examples of the behavior that is difficult for you. But don’t just complain about a problem, give a suggestion of how to resolve the problem. What do you want to be different moving forward? It’s also best to have this conversation sooner rather than later. If you wait until the situation becomes unbearable, you’re likely to explode and say things that you don’t mean and will never be able to take back. Remind your parents that it’s important for you to do this yourself. It will be your degree and you are the one who will eventually have to live with the decisions made. You appreciate their help but you want your application to be your application. It should be your voice. You want to continue to have a good relationship with your parents, not only during this period but while you’re in university and later in life. It’s also important to remember that you’ll need their financial and emotional support. So be nice and remember that they love you and only want the best for you!

Woodrow DunnAcademic CounselorFreedom High School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

There is no easy answer for this one, however you may want to sit down and let them know that you are an adult (or will be shortly), and you need to be making decisions (as well) involving your university studies. Let them know that you cannot promise them that you will study what they want you to and that you will need some time (maybe two years to decide). Try to be diplomatic and not lose your temper. Remember that this may be a difficult time for your parents, as they are concerned about your safety and well-being. (The use of a guidance counselor, who can act as an intermediary is a good choice). Allow your parents to make some choices. but attempt to be firm, but polite on decisions that are extremely important to you)! Good luck!

Kerrie TrosethCollege Counselor

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Overbearing parents can be a very difficult situation. It is time for compromise, though. Tell them that you appreciate that they want to be involved in this process; however, it is very important for you to take the lead in this process. You will welcome their input, but they also need to respect your pace and choices. Ask them to make a list of colleges they would like you to attend, and you will make one as well. See if there are schools that match both of your lists. Parents with high school students are facing the fact that their child is becoming an adult. They have spent the better part of 17 years watching over you and making decisions for you. Eventually, you will need to let them know that you need to be able to make some decisions in order to become independent of them. A really good book for your parents is called “Letting Go” by Karen Levin Coborn and Made Lawrence Treeger. If anything, buy the book and ask them to read it (especially Chapter 1).

Joseph FreemanDean and College CounselorRandolph School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Parents can cause a lot of stress in the college process, and students need to remember that their anxiety often comes from wanting the best possible outcome for their children. Sometimes, that desire can get overwhelming, particularly if a parent’s expectations are unrealistic. Here are a few tips for handling overbearing parents: – Mutually agree upon days and times when college is an open topic for discussion. Setting boundaries in this way can make conversations less combative and more productive. – Resist the urge to lapse into arguments. If you (or your parent) lose your temper, step away from the conversation and calm down. – Treat your parent as a partner, not a burden. Remember that they have a vested financial Internet in your decision. – Be firm but flexible. Your parents should know your hopes and dreams in the college process, but they might have difficulty accepting your aspirations. Your life will soon be your own, but you should listen, and in some cases, accept the limits they might place on your search. Your parents might be uncomfortable with you going too far away, and they might not be in a position to support you financially. Listen to their concerns and limitations, and work to either overcome them or to accept them. – This process is emotional. Realize that your parents love for you and your desire to please them and gain your independence from them can cause a wide range of emotions. Anticipate difficult and painful moments, but don’t hang onto that emotion. – It’s okay to seek help and mediation. If you have reached an impasse in your vision and direction or you feel that a parent is being unreasonable, find a trusted and impartial adult to help mediate the conversation. Guidance counselors are professionals in offering this assistance, but a family friend, neighbor, relative, or minister could also serve this purpose.

Kerrie TrosethCollege Counselor

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Overbearing parents can be a very difficult situation. It is time for compromise, though. Tell them that you appreciate that they want to be involved in this process; however, it is very important for you to take the lead in this process. You will welcome their input, but they also need to respect your pace and choices. Ask them to make a list of colleges they would like you to attend, and you will make one as well. See if there are schools that match both of your lists. Parents with high school students are facing the fact that their child is becoming an adult. They have spent the better part of 17 years watching over you and making decisions for you. Eventually, you will need to let them know that you need to be able to make some decisions in order to become independent of them. A really good book for your parents is called “Letting Go” by Karen Levin Coborn and Madge Lawrence Treeger. If anything, buy the book and ask them to read it (especially Chapter 1).

Chuck SlatePresidentCollege Advisors,LLC

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

1. One way is to know from prior experiences with other similar parents who mean well, but flunk the dress rehearsal. I know the usual entry points about where I anticipate them acting up and I PRE-ADVISE them in advance. The old western movie scene where we “head them off at the pass”, sort of. This provides a level of joint expectation. 2. A second less subtle approach is to talk with them when the student is NOT PRESENT (out of respect) and I play my PARENT-to-Parent card. We have to remember that normally they love their kids but the whole college thing can be highly stressful on everyone involved.

Patty Finer

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

These sources are a good place to start, however, you should not rely on these sources alone. Guidebooks such as FISKE are a good source to start the process with. Relatives have a lot of emotion attached to their decisions often and it does not mean it is right for the student.. for example the parent went to that school, or worse, a parent wants to keep a student close to home, but the right fit is 3,000 miles away and the child picks the parent’s choose school only to funk out…As for rankings, there are several things that the ranking look at the probably have no baring whatsoever on what you are to study at a school… Here is what I tell students are the 25 top reasons for mistakes in college choice * Decide that there is only one “right” college. * Only look at colleges your best friend is looking at. * Choose a college based on the quality of their athletic teams. * Rely on the rankings in news magazines. * Go to college where your girl/boy friend is going. * Choose a college because it is the last place mom or dad want you to go * Apply to colleges that you don’t really like because you think it will make your parents proud or impress your friends. * Go to the college with the best party scene. * Choose a college without investigating campus safety. * Look only at colleges within 50 miles of where you live. * Too shy to ask questions. * Don’t examine who you are and what you want from a college. * Consider the cost of the college in deciding where to apply. * Don’t visit a college or a similar type of college before applying. * Assume that all colleges are the same. * Consider only colleges that mom or dad attended. * Let the choice just happen instead of taking charge of your future. * Choose a college based on whether the student body is attractive. * Believe that the harder a college is to get into, the better it must be. * Apply only to prestigious colleges. * Rely on someone else’s opinion. * Rely on a college’s advertising. * Misjudge your ability to get admitted to a particular college. * Ignore the resources you have available to help. * Don’t adequately investigate your college choices.

Patricia AviezerPresidentInside Track To College, Inc.

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Hellicopter or Steamroller? Parents that is… Really, parents are just trying to make sure they are doing their best to assist with the college process and just need to understand where they can be most helpful. I put my emphasis on convincing the student that the sooner they “take the driver’s seat” in the process the better the match-up between them and the college will be. Taking the lead, also helps parents understand that timelines will be met, paperwork will be completed and the student is taking ownership of their “life” decision. They are relieved and tend to back-off. This is a long process, however, and it helps to clarify roles periodically and to answer questions from the parents and the students promptly to avoid unnecessary anxiety. Working as a team, I find as an independent counselor, allows everyone to contribute their expertise and insights as we move along without anyone dominating.

Richard Hazeltoncollege advisorConnecticut

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Parents are overbearing due to the anxiety of “not knowing” and feeling overwhelmed by all of the details in the process– visits, applications, recommendations, financial aid forms, etc. They feel a lack of control because it is the student’s process and not theirs. The best advice for students is to be proactive with your parents. The student should take control by telling his or her parents that there will be one day a week at a specific time that he or she will sit down with them and review his or her progress in the college process. This will eliminate the constant questions and nagging by providing the parents with a specified time and means to gain the information that they need.

Sarah ContomichalosManagerEducational Advisory Services, LLC

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

The college application process is very stressful for all involved. An important part of my role as a counselor is to try to bring down the stress levels of both parents and student by giving them information and reminding them there are many options in any given situation. It is not my job to sort out family politics or solve long standing family issues. Often family members have different views of acceptable outcomes and the most challenging part of the job is to encourage family members to share their views and listen to each other. I also make sure the student applies to at least two colleges which in my view are a good match and there is a good chance of admission. Finally, I remind parents that it is not productive to compare their child with others. Each student presents specific strengths and weaknesses which may not be obvious to others.

Alan Duesterhaus

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

This may be the first time you are making a significant decision in your life. For most parents their overbearing attitudes are an attempt to protect you and hopefully give you the best outcome. That being said, it is you who will be attending the college and therefore you need to be satisfied with the choice. As you gathering colleges that interest you be open to adding the colleges your parents suggest. It doesn’t mean you have to attend, just be willing to give them a fair look. When you start to narrow your list be prepared to explain why a particular college or university doesn’t meet your needs or interests. If your interests and needs are in conflict with your parents try to come to a mutual understanding and hopefully agreement. The big issues I have seen revolve around the college major and affordability. If you want to major in something your parents do not see as worthwhile or they are pushing you to major in a particular area it is important for you and your parents to understand that the average college student will change their major three times. Also, your undergraduate degree does not have to be a limitation on what you chose to do in your career. The key is to major in something that is of interest to you as that will lead to higher grades which opens more opportunities. If this remains an issue look for a college which offers the major you are interested in as well as the major your parents are interested in. Many parents are concerned about how to afford a college education. Sometimes this will lead parents to setup parameters in the college choice process such as “You can only apply to state colleges”. Don’t allow the sticker price (what is on the college’s website or in their viewbooks) to be your deciding factor. The only way you will know what it will cost to attend a given institution is to apply for financial aid and review the institution’s award letter. Many colleges provide generous aid to students. Just remember that your parents want the best for you even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment!

Richard Hazeltoncollege advisorConnecticut

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Parents are overbearing due to the anxiety of “not knowing” and feeling overwhelmed by all of the details in the process– visits, applications, recommendations, financial aid forms, etc. They feel a lack of control because it is the student’s process and not theirs. The best advice for students is to be proactive with your parents. The student should take control by telling his or her parents that there will be one day a week at a specific time that he or she will sit down with them and review his or her progress in the college process. This will eliminate the constant questions and nagging by providing the parents with a specified time and means to gain the information that they need.

John Happs

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I think the committee of “We” needs to have bounderies. Yes parents are the ones that raised the student, and I hope they allow their child to make choices. It is through good information, research, and choices that “good college fit” happens. And there are no promises when it comes to admission. The college gets to make that decision.

Jessica BrondoFounder and CEOThe Edge in College Prep

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Keep in mind that your parents always want what’s best for you, whether it seems that way or not. If they are pushing you to do something you really don’t want to, ask them why they think that’s the best path you can take. Explain to them what you want, but be clear about why you want it. Be calm. Getting angry with them only makes you seem immature, reinforcing in their minds all the reasons they feel they need to do the whole process for you. Being as adult and open with them as you can about what you and want and why you want it is the best way to show them you don’t need them every step of the way. – Failing this- do what you know you want. If they try and rewrite your college essay, tell them thank you and then submit your own- they’ll never know. Apply to the schools they want, but also send in that RISD application- when you get in and they see how much you really want to go to art school and not engineering school, they’ll relent. – Remember that they love you when you get angry. In their minds they are helping, so always be calm and friendly. They’ll be happy to help, so telling them the best way to help is by clearing off for a bit might just do the trick.

Nicholas Umphrey

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Really, the key to any type of counseling is understanding the needs of the people speaking to you. In the case of parents, every student is different and so is their family dynamic with their parents. By the time kids are seniors in high school, the student has the words to tell their parents when they are being overbearing. In short, I try not to get involved in these conversations because discussing the facts with them usually is all the reality check they need. Most of the time, parents, like students often have their own anxiety about the situation and that is natural. It is most prevalent with the oldest child in the family. They are “old pros” about this process when the younger kids have their time with this process.

Tony TsoHeadmasterTerasmanna Oikademy

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Just tell mom and dad to back off because this is your life and YOU will pay for everything yourself. You will be amazed at how willing they are to let you plan your own future and stay out of your hair. But you can’t say that because you need them to help pay or at least co-sign the loan papers. In that case, your parents are not overbearing. They are investors protecting their investment…and I’m NOT referring to the money they will spend on your college education but what they have invested in your life up to this point and perhaps for another 4 more years. Nothing like gratitude and expression of appreciation free parents to step back and give their children space to grow and take responsibility for their decisions. The first step to make mom and dad sit back and relax, is to sit them down and share with them what aspirations you have then ASK for their input, their guidance and their wisdom. You might not think this way but they really DO know much more than you do about colleges, higher education and career, even if they never went to college. Either they have been there and/or are familiar with their friends’ experiences. To reject your parents’ input at this critical juncture would put you right where most American youth are, foolish beyond measure. If you learn to see things from their perspective, they won’t feel compelled to make you see their point of view. Obviously! And you don’t even have to agree with them! You just have to know and convince them that you know AND understand.where they are coming from. Then, you are ready to offer your perspective for their consideration. No parents want to live their children’s college choice for them (and have them come back to blame them). If you fight with your parents over college app and the decision making process, it only reveals how immature and childish you are and as parents, they will be alarmed and want to bear down on you.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

“Stop! In the name of love!”

Short Answer: How do I deal with overbearing parents? I put my hand out — just like Miss Ross — and sing “ Stop! In the name of Love!” Detailed Answer: I get it. Totally. But if a parent won’t stop talking for their child, I take control (professionally and with humor) and ask the parent/s to leave the room. I always insist on meeting with the parents and the student separately. When I tell them this, the parents always look stunned, and the student always looks panic-stricken. There is a feeling in higher education that a student straight out of high school should be dealt with as though he or she is an adult. But most of these kids are at a loss to know how to own themselves as an adult, because the research on adolescent brain development makes it clear that in no way are these young people able to be the “adults” we think they should be. That doesn’t mean that a student doesn’t know anything and can’t function and needs Mom and Dad to do everything for them. It just means that they are at a crossroads at a time when they need encouragement to find their voice and learn about their own needs and wants for their future. Many young people who seem to have no voice to express their own thoughts DO have their own thoughts. They simply haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise to practice expressing those thoughts. It’s my job to get Mom and Dad out of the way and give the student the opportunity to breathe and work through their inconsistencies and anxieties. This may be the first time the student has ever met with a stranger and had to advocate for him or herself. It’s a skill to be able to draw out a student, to get past their fears and get them to open up honestly, without their friends, teachers, and parents voices “crowding the room.” But it’s an important part of our job to be good at that. I’ll tell you a success story: A family I was working with was superduper educated – Harvard, Brown, the whole shebang — and the student is brilliant. The student could have graduated high school a year early and gotten into almost any institution. When I would meet with them, the Mom (a tenured professor at a major research university) did all the talking – and talking, and talking, and talking. And when Mom was out of the room, Dad took over for her. Their child never said a word. The family was preparing for college visits. They were going to meet with a counselor at a top, highly competitive private college with a stellar reputation that their child could very well be admitted to next year. I knew that in meeting with this counselor, this student would have to be able to speak on his own behalf, because in the conversations I’ve had with the counselor, it was very clear that what they look for is maturity. So before the family embarked upon their trip, I told the mother that I was going to meet with her son alone in the house to do practice interviews with him. She looked at me as though I had just grown horns. But ultimately she got it, and we did it. I put that kid through his paces, until I could hear HIM and he could hear himself. She called me afterward and told me that after I left, he looked like a deer in headlights, he was exhausted. When they returned from their trip, I met with them to see how it had gone. His Mom pointed to him and said, “Do it for her.” And – without hesitation or stumbling over his words — he proceeded to tell me about himself and why he wanted to go to that school, and told me the questions HE had asked. And he didn’t blink once. And Mom beamed with pride that she hadn’t said one word during the whole meeting. I almost cried with happiness. That’s why we do what we do. To watch a young person start to break free, blossom, and find himself or herself. Parents need to give their kids some credit. It’s OK to coach from the sidelines but stay out of the huddle. Ya’ll gotta learn sometime; may as well be now.

Raolat RajiSchool Counselor/ OwnerOHHS/Good Counsel College and Career Services

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Well this is a very loaded question because it depends of what you consider overbearing. Without understanding the details I would say communication is the only way. You have to talk with your parents about college to ensure that you both understand each others expectations. When each side clearly understands each other expectations can be understood.

Deb Kalikow PluckFounder & DirectorNew Path to College

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Really it is time to stop labeling parents…………..The college search and admission process has become complicated and way too stressful. I believe we should be helpful as possible to answer parents’ questions and provide guidance as requested.

Wendell Spiva

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Be sure to acknowledge your parents, their sacrifices, support and direction throughout your life and always show appreciation. You must then expain to them that if your going to be successful in college you can no longer be treated like a high school student. If you can not verbalize this position to them write a letter indicating your feelings. One of the best ways to not alienate your parents is to honor their wishes and be the best student you can. That requires the proper and adequate amount and brand of support. Do your best to communicate this to your parents. This may require you to seek assistance from a trusted family member or friend, who could support your position.

Patricia KrahnkePresident/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

“Stop! In the name of love!”

Short Answer: How do I deal with overbearing parents? I put my hand out — just like Miss Ross — and sing “ Stop! In the name of Love!” Detailed Answer: I get it. Totally. But if a parent won’t stop talking for their child, I take control (professionally and with humor) and ask the parent/s to leave the room. I always insist on meeting with the parents and the student separately. When I tell them this, the parents always look stunned, and the student always looks panic-stricken. There is a feeling in higher education that a student straight out of high school should be dealt with as though he or she is an adult. But most of these kids are at a loss to know how to own themselves as an adult, because the research on adolescent brain development makes it clear that in no way are these young people able to be the “adults” we think they should be. That doesn’t mean that a student doesn’t know anything and can’t function and needs Mom and Dad to do everything for them. It just means that they are at a crossroads at a time when they need encouragement to find their voice and learn about their own needs and wants for their future. Many young people who seem to have no voice to express their own thoughts DO have their own thoughts. They simply haven’t been able to get a word in edgewise to practice expressing those thoughts. It’s my job to get Mom and Dad out of the way and give the student the opportunity to breathe and work through their inconsistencies and anxieties. This may be the first time the student has ever met with a stranger and had to advocate for him or herself. It’s a skill to be able to draw out a student, to get past their fears and get them to open up honestly, without their friends, teachers, and parents voices “crowding the room.” But it’s an important part of our job to be good at that. I’ll tell you a success story: A family I was working with was superduper educated – Harvard, Brown, the whole shebang — and the student is brilliant. The student could have graduated high school a year early and gotten into almost any institution. When I would meet with them, the Mom (a tenured professor at a major research university) did all the talking – and talking, and talking, and talking. And when Mom was out of the room, Dad took over for her. Their child never said a word. The family was preparing for college visits. They were going to meet with a counselor at a top, highly competitive private college with a stellar reputation that their child could very well be admitted to next year. I knew that in meeting with this counselor, this student would have to be able to speak on his own behalf, because in the conversations I’ve had with the counselor, it was very clear that what they look for is maturity. So before the family embarked upon their trip, I told the mother that I was going to meet with her son alone in the house to do practice interviews with him. She looked at me as though I had just grown horns. But ultimately she got it, and we did it. I put that kid through his paces, until I could hear HIM and he could hear himself. She called me afterward and told me that after I left, he looked like a deer in headlights, he was exhausted. When they returned from their trip, I met with them to see how it had gone. His Mom pointed to him and said, “Do it for her.” And – without hesitation or stumbling over his words — he proceeded to tell me about himself and why he wanted to go to that school, and told me the questions HE had asked. And he didn’t blink once. And Mom beamed with pride that she hadn’t said one word during the whole meeting. I almost cried with happiness. That’s why we do what we do. To watch a young person start to break free, blossom, and find himself or herself. Parents need to give their kids some credit. It’s OK to coach from the sidelines but stay out of the huddle. Ya’ll gotta learn sometime; may as well be now.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Choosing a college can be the first real big decisions you and your child make together. Managing expectations, finding the right schools and honing in on the proper academic program are no easy tasks—especially when you’re negotiating the deal with an eighteen year old child. Please keep in mind that you and your child are allies in the search not on competing teams. Work together, find out what they are looking for in a college and share with them what is important to you during their college experience, there can be a healthy balance. I would encourage the college dialog to at least begin after your child’s sophomore year. This way they will grow accustomed to hearing the word “college” and believe it or not this will cause them to start thinking about it as well. Set a time-line for your family. Remember that college applications are mostly due by April of their senior year (the prior December if you are interested in early decision). So, work backwards.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Choosing a college can be the first real big decisions you and your child make together. Managing expectations, finding the right schools and honing in on the proper academic program are no easy tasks—especially when you’re negotiating the deal with an eighteen year old child. Please keep in mind that you and your child are allies in the search not on competing teams. Work together, find out what they are looking for in a college and share with them what is important to you during their college experience, there can be a healthy balance. I would encourage the college dialog to at least begin after your child’s sophomore year. This way they will grow accustomed to hearing the word “college” and believe it or not this will cause them to start thinking about it as well. Set a time-line for your family. Remember that college applications are mostly due by April of their senior year (the prior December if you are interested in early decision). So, work backwards. Setting up a structured time-line for you and your child will help everyone involved understand the process more thoroughly as well as reduce burnout. Your child needs to manage their time and energy to have well developed and competitive applications completed by deadline. Most importantly, listen to your child and their wants when it comes to choosing a college. Remember, it is going to be the next four years of “their” life. This may be one of those times when the old at edge “mother knows best” may not apply. Work with your child, this can be a great experience for both of you.

Kris HintzFounderPosition U 4 College LLC

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

A college consultant provides a neutral third party, who can moderate conflict between parents and teens in this intense process. I meet with parents and teen in the beginning to work on the initial college list, and then with just myself and the student as we move into the essay part of the process. In the parent-teen phase, I do a great deal of listening, and offer my expertise to answer questions that both parties have. Often, parents don’t know as much about the college process as they think they do, and having a consultant in the room helps them to back off and become better listeners themselves. I try to help the parents listen to their own teenager, and sometimes they gain a new perspective on the strengths and goals of their own child. I also help the student to see that the college process is not just a form of torture made up by his parents, but is a necessity in ushering in the next phase of his or her life. Sometimes I feel ilike more of a shrink than a college consultant!

Jennifer GustafsonPrivate CounselorJenni Gustafson

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Overbearing parents during the college application are referred to as “helicopter parents”. They are often very helpful during the admissions process, as long as they respect your wishes and keep YOUR goals and interests in mind. If your parents are supportive, I would encourage you to use them as a valuable resource; noone knows you as well as your parents. They will give you advice on the pros/cons of the various schools you are considering. However, if your parents are trying to live vicariously through you, focusing on their wants and needs versus yours, I would suggest the following: 1. Have a heart-to-heart explaining (respectfully) that this is your decision and you would like them to support you. 2. If they are not receptive to this, they are still your parents. I would suggest, in order to keep family peace, that you listen to what they have to say, and then go ahead and do what YOU want to do. But at least listen to them. They might have a point or two to offer. If not, listen to them anyways, and keep in mind that they are excited for you. If they want you to apply to a school that you don’t want to attend, I would suggest doing it anyhow, if they are willing to pay the application fee. If the school has an intensive application process, such as Auburn (multiple, lengthy essays), negotiate and apply to a different school they are pushing. For every 3-4 schools of your choice, apply to one of theirs. It can’t hurt.

Stephenie LeePresident/Educational ConsultantLee Academia

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Unfortunately, overbearing parents are involved during the college process . Much of the time they are grateful and kind, but at the same time some others simply cannot let go of the process. Some parents will admit that the college admissions process does not resemble the same college application procedure they experienced. And their feeling of having no control tends to influence their actions. So counselors must mediate between the student and the parents. Many times parents worked diligently to afford the lives they have offered their children works against them rather than in their favor. The best way to handle the situation is mediate, always reminding the student that as a counselor, you are on their side. Otherwise, you lose their trust. And counselors need to reassure parents that they are kept in the loop of their child’s college process.

Andrea Shupert

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

As a parent, I understand the desire to be involved in the college process. And yes, your parents’ input might be valuable. However, you and your parents need to establish boundaries during the process. You are the one going to college and thus you need to have a big part in determining where you will go. However, hopefully, your parents have some idea of who you are, who you are becoming, and the type of school where you will flourish. If you are the first in your family to go to college, your parents may be “hovering” because college is an unknown and unknowns are often scary. So, what can you do? First of all, try to figure out why they are hovering. Have they asked you to fill out applications and you haven’t? Are you not returning phone calls? Are your grades slipping? Or, is it their pattern to hover? If you can’t figure it out, ask them – what are you scared of? Learning to have a mature conversation with your parents may be the first step toward them starting to let go more. Secondly, become more responsible. If you are exhibiting foolish or immature behavior, your parents may have good reason to be hovering. Offer to take more responsibility at home or complete assignments and tasks in a timely manner. Finally, realize that hovering is often born out of love. If your parents are hanging on, they are showing interest in your future. Soon, you will be at school and perhaps wishing they were around more! So, do what you can to alleviate their concerns, become more responsible in the college process, and relax. The next step is almost here!

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

All parents just want what’s best for their son or daughter, so we immediately have that in common. Relationships are important, so it’s worth taking the time to establish a positive one with them. When they know that the counselor cares, and they come to trust him or her, the counselor can educate them and speak more frankly about what helps and hurts their child’s chances in the process. Parents want a role in the process, too, so it’s good to spell out specific things they can do to contribute that will help rather than hinder. It’s also good to keep everyone in the loop with regular updates and meetings. Sometimes confrontation is necessary, but working together works better. Honey vs vinegar.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

The best way to manage overbearing parents is to take the reigns. Demonstrate that you are managing the process by setting up college visit appointments and logistics yourself, posting a deadline chart of the fridge informing your parents of the plan for meeting deadlines, and thoughtfully listening to your parent’s perspective. While students should drive the process, parents are key stakeholders who deserve a voice. By showing your capability and preparation you will buy their trust (which will help them back off). But, at the same time, managers of any operation know that you can’t risk upsetting a key investor. Identify ways for your parents be part of the process and keep communication lines open.

Brett RoerCollege 101 Teacher / College AdvisorCollege 101 Consulting, Founder

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Always remember that your parents want what is best for you, and that their actions are done with the nest of intentions. That being said, overbearing parents can often make the college application process very stressful. Try to keep in mind that your parents have made many important decisions in their lives, and that experience can be very helpful to you when making what could be your first major life decision. I advise students who are going off to college who say they want to be treated like an adult to start acting like it first, so you give your parents reason to believe in your ability to live on your own. Just like how many students have an easier time talking to their counselors and friends about the college admission process, your parents might find it very hard to speak to you directly about college, even though they want to very much discuss it. However, your friends and counselors won’t pay for your college, your parents will! Also, when you need help or advice in the future, your parents will be there for you, just like they have so far. This can be very tough for parents, that their children are now adults who will be moving out very soon. Try to treat your parents with respect during this process, and talk to them less emotionally and more rationally then you may about other subjects, because if you want to be treated like an adult, you need to grow up too! Ultimately, you are the one going to college, and you should feel good about where you study, and the earlier you and your parents can find common ground in the college application process, the more satisfying and rewarding it will be! GOOD LUCK!

Ellen [email protected]OwnerEllen Richards Admissions Consulting

Sometimes a hobby does not have to be a child’s college degree

Unfortunately, part of this position requires counselors to deal with parents. Much of the time they are grateful and kind, but at the same time some others simply cannot let go of the process. Every parent will admit that the college admissions process does not resemble the same college application procedure they experienced. The feeling of having no control tends to influence their actions and sometimes it seems like they cannot control themselves. So often counselors must take on a dual role as they mediate between the student and the parents. Many times parents worked diligently to afford the lives they have offered their children works against them rather than in their favor. In fact, many want for their children what they wanted for themselves, but this often leads to adolescent rebellion. The best way to handle the situation is mediate, always reminding the student that as a counselor, you are on their side. Otherwise, you lose their trust.

Elysa StahlPresidentAdmissions Avenue

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I like to involve the parents in the beginning and try to set limits with regard to their involvement. I like to explain that it is the student who is the applicant and it is of utmost importance for the student to be the one who is most involved in the application process. I would encourage support from the parent for the student.

Elysa StahlPresidentAdmissions Avenue

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I like to involve the parents in the beginning and try to set limits with regard to their involvement. I like to explain that it is the student who is the applicant and it is of utmost importance for the student to be the one who is most involved in the application process. I would encourage support from the parent for the student.

Ashley BartonSchool Counselor, NCCBig Picture Magnet High School

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

I would remind the parents that once the students are in college, they will have to be independent and learn how to manage their couresework, dormlife, and eveerything else that college entails on their own. As a senior a student needs to begin to learn how to become independent so tha when they are out on their own at colllege, they can remain a successfull student!

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

As best you can, but don’t put them in a corner so they’ll refuse to make the college of your choice a reality. Placate them if necessary, but under NO circumstances should they FORCE you to attend any particular college or only colleges on THEIR list. If so, seek out a counselor and have them talk to your parent(s). Your future is at stake, and you surely don’t want them to really screw it (you) up!

Aurora BonnerEducational ConsultantBonner Educational Consultants

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Send them to me! Between the academic strain that senior years puts on you, and the emotional strain of ending your time in high school, the last thing you need is to feel smothered. However, your parents are probably feeling just as anxious as you! What you both need are answers and someone to help you get through this highly stressful time. By putting your parents in direct contact with your guidance counselors, teachers and college consultants, you will be involving them in the college admissions process (which is probably what they want) and you won’t be taking all the heat.

Aurora BonnerEducational ConsultantBonner Educational Consultants

How do you deal with overbearing parents during the college process?

Send them to me! Between the academic strain that senior years puts on you, and the emotional strain of ending your time in high school, the last thing you need is to feel smothered. However, your parents are probably feeling just as anxious as you! What you both need are answers and someone to help you get through this highly stressful time. By putting your parents in direct contact with your guidance counselors, teachers and college consultants, you will be involving them in the college admissions process (which is probably what they want) and you won’t be taking all the heat.

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