Why Parents Should Keep Their Student’s College Options To Themselves (At First)

Don't talk about your child's college options just yet

Flickr user Grace Flora

Most parents are struggling with whether or not they should reveal their student’s college options to anyone who asks. Should they go ahead and list all the schools that their child is applying to? If it is okay to do so, why do some parents seem to hesitate when it comes to talking about their child’s college options?

College Discussions

The first thing to understand is that there is no absolute right or wrong way to handle this and there is no one answer that is right for everyone. Different parents think differently about this topic and the students themselves think differently too.

Why You Shouldn’t Talk About It

However, for the most part, it is far better to refrain from talking about your child’s college options, at least during the early stages. This is because your child would be applying to several colleges, some of which are likely to be highly competitive institutions with a low chance of getting in. If they don’t get in to any of their top choice colleges and have to settle for a 3rd of 4th choice, they do not want everyone knowing about it. Teenagers are sensitive. They may see a college rejection as a personal failure and to them, the less people who know about it the better.

Outside Influences

Additionally, other people’s opinions might color your own, and therefore your child’s. Maybe the person you’re talking to had a friend of a friend that had a bad experience at your child’s dream school. It might give you doubts, despite the fact that it’s an ideal fit for your student.

Let Your Student Decide When and Who to Tell

When it comes to revealing their college options, let your child decide who they want to tell. Let it be their choice and their process. The best you can do as a parent is to support their decisions and their choices.

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