By Ann Imig of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER and Listen Life Coaching
No matter how motivated, scholarly, or planful your high-schooler is, parenting through the information firehose of senior year can make your head spin and your heart race.
Your mailbox fills with brochures, as does your kid’s email. College applications quickly become an all-consuming task, piled on to your student’s course load, family/household commitments, extracurriculars, and all the athletics, lessons, community service, etc. that got them to this moment.
The information firehose sapped my son’s energy from the start. He had no idea where he wanted to go to school, nor what he wanted to study. Every time we sat down for a working session, something undermined his progress. For example, many applications ask you to state your intended major. No one asked for a commitment, but even the question overwhelmed him and shut him down. Then I’d start nagging.
I had no idea how much nagging I would end up doing; nagging about essays, nagging to get letters of recommendation requested, nagging about thank you letters for help with said essays and letters of recommendation. Nagging does not make for impactful parenting, nor does it create self-sufficient young adults.
He stressed over decisions and to-dos. I stressed trying to guide him, without adding to that stress. I quietly dreaded his leaving our nest. Like having a baby in the first place, the enormity of preparing to launch that baby isn’t something you can comprehend until you experience it yourself.
Fast-forward through the emotional whirlwind of college applications/admissions, high school graduation, and moving into his dorm. My son is now beginning his freshman year at the University of Minnesota’s School of Science and Engineering.
Whether your child ends up at an elite school, a Big 10 school, a technical college, a trade school, or no school at all next year– you do not need to become an anxious nagging parent! What’s more, you don’t have to go through any of this alone. I haven’t relied on other parents to this extent since sleep-training and parenting toddlers.
In addition to peer support, I now use positive psychology tools plus a daily system that helps me tap into clarity and ease. I wish I’d had this system a year ago, and I’m sharing it with my loved ones and my coaching clients, too. My son’s school seems like a great fit for him. If it isn’t? I have a new approach — not only for parenting but for life — and one with much less nagging!
My coaching colleague Laraine Ray (educator of 40 years and developer of parent education programs) and I designed a group coaching program around this system to help you. Click here for more information and enrollment.