How to Lovingly Guide Your Teen Through College Admissions…
…With or Without Heavy Drinking!
I try not to reinforce gender stereotypes. Whether it’s a child in my class or one of my own four kids, I attempt to be as equitable as possible. I encourage girls to play with trains and trucks while having long, patient conversations about why it’s okay for a boy to like a pink, sparkly sticker.
But there are times when all this seems for naught. Whether it is nature or nurture, some basic differences seem to manifest here and there. One example is late in high school, that time known as “college admissions.” Here our responsibility as parents is to help our little ones choose their after high school path.
I have spoken with several friends who report having similar experiences when it come to guiding their teenagers through the admissions process. In my own experience and that of my friends, often girls seem to have a different method for applying to college than boys do.
Therefore, I offer these two sets of instructions to help guide parents who may be wondering how best to help their nearly adult child enter the next stage of development:
How to Help a Teenage Boy Apply to the Colleges of his Choice
- Repeat the words, “Have you written your college essay yet?” six times per day until he informs you that essay is written.
- Repeat the words, “Email me your college essay!” fourteen times per day or until the phrase automatically punctuates the end of each of your sentences. Bonus points if you can remember to limit the request to the teenager in question.
- Ask several times per day if he has met with the school’s guidance counselor. Continue the interrogation until such time as you find yourself stalking the guidance counselor outside his office, the teacher lounge, and the teacher workroom.
- Attempt to ascertain boy’s interests via ESP unless he has accidentally dropped helpful hints into what passes as conversation. It is considered totally permissible to look for clues while cleaning boy’s room if that particular job has somehow fallen to you.
- Corner boy on any and all days off making “helpful” suggestions and further requests for the essay.
- Wander around your home and neighborhood muttering, “Email me your college essay!” to any animate object.
- Begin searching for colleges that offer strong courses of study in whatever areas you were able to divine under step #4.
- Casually mention to boy that you will no longer cook meals until such time as the teenage boy sits down with you to apply to one or more colleges.
- Send boy to the college most convenient and/or affordable for the parents.
How to Help a Teenage Girl Apply to Colleges of her Choice
- At her request, hand teenage girl your credit card for application fees.
I hope this will help you assist your child or children as they enter into this new and exciting stage of their lives! Please do not be afraid to borrow from the “boy” instructions for a girl or vice versa if you feel that the opposite instructions will better assist your child. Best of luck!
Jill Morgenstern is a wife, mother, and teacher. She has four kids ages 27 to three, 13 years of teaching experience, and a Master’s Degree in Teaching Reading, yet reserves the right to be wrong about everything. She writes about food, family, and the ridiculous at Do Try This at Home You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter
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