Students across the country are now back in school, and for many families, conversations about life after high school are just beginning.
Ned Johnson has some advice for parents as they help guide their children through the college search and selection process. Johnson and William Stixrud, who together penned The Self-Driven Child, shared tips in a recent article published by U.S. News & World Report.
One takeaway for moms and dads: Resist the urge to micromanage.
“The best way for parents to help kids succeed during their college search is for them to act less like directors and more like consultants—advising, but not controlling,” Johnson and Stixrud write. “After all, if a teen can’t handle being in control of the admissions process, then she will likely struggle when navigating college.”
Putting students in charge of the college search presents an opportunity for growth, they note.
“Choosing a school is a process in which kids can really learn to better understand themselves – and get valuable practice in making important decisions on their own,” Johnson and Stixrud write. “As a parent, you send a powerful message when you let your child know you trust him to make good choices. It encourages him to think honestly about himself and to seek advice from other knowledgeable people.”
Johnson has also created a to-do list to help students stay on track throughout their high school career. It includes advice for high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.