Parent College Coach Tip #86: Don’t Make These 5 Scary Parenting Mistakes


scary mistakes

Halloween–the time for jack-o-lanterns, kids (and adults) dressed up in costumes, trick or treating and all around good fun. The holiday brought to mind some of the scary things parents do to their college-bound teens.

Some of them simply embarrass them, others destroy their confidence, and the worst ones squash their dreams.

Here’s my list of the 5 scariest mistakes parents make with their college-bound teens.

Have you make any of them?

  1. Speaking for them during interviews, tours and counseling sessions–Let your student have a voice. Colleges look poorly on those students who can’t speak for themselves. Learning to speak up and self-advocating is an important part of becoming an adult.
  2. Allowing them to attend a college that will put them in debt after graduation–Your student may want to attend an Ivy League college but if the money’s not there, don’t do it. Bragging rights aside, allowing your student to incur overwhelming debt to attend a high-priced college is just poor parental guidance.
  3. Hovering over their every moveHelicopter parents are always around to swoop in when their teens are struggling. Don’t be so quick to intervene. Let them solve the problems on their own; teach them to live with consequences and reap the benefits of wise decisions.
  4. Talking and not listening–Take the time to listen to your teen; let them share their frustrations, problems, hopes and dreams. Rather than asking questions and giving them the first degree, listen to them talk. You will be surprised how much you can learn about their lives from a simple conversation.
  5. Not allowing them to dream–Whatever your college-bound teen may want for their future, allow them to dream (and dream big). Don’t squash those dreams by telling them it’s impossible or improbable. They will never know what they are capable of until they try.

Your college-bound teen is moving toward the most exciting time of their lives and you can either be a hindrance or a loving encouragement.


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Check out my guide for parents: Parents Countdown to College Crash Course

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