We know how important your involvement is in your child's education - we also know how difficult it can be to stay on top of all of the important steps in planning and preparing for college.  

Below you'll find this month's content - LEARN (info to know), DO (action to take), and TIPS (insights for success)


JANUARY

LEARN

Are you a Helicopter Parent?

Swoosh.  Swoosh.  Swoosh.  That may be the sound of the blades from your parental helicopter. 

The term “helicopter parent” often means being knee-deep in every issue pertaining to your child – from academics to activities to friends…the entire scope of their life.   Parents are protective by nature – sheltering them from hurtful bullies, protecting them from emotional trauma, and shielding them from academic ramifications of a rough class or year. But when parents “helicopter” they are actually taking away their child’s ability to learn how to problem solve for themselves or potentially learn a valuable life-lesson. 

So the question is - Are you a helicopter parent?  You may be if you are regularly:

  • Paving the path to smooth success for your child
  • Removing all possible pain from your child’s life
  • Looking for ways to bend the rules for your child
  • Advocating for your child in situations when they should be doing it themselves

Most true helicopter parents don’t see anything wrong with their actions – they love their child(ren) and want life to be happy and painless.  What’s wrong with that?  But the reality is that being a helicopter parent now can make for a difficult transition to life in college and beyond. 

Once your precious little baby has left the nest, there is a good chance that you won’t be there to smooth over strict professors, bothersome bullies, relationship break ups, or difficult decisions.  If your child doesn’t have the skills or experience to handle these obstacles, they may find themselves in a much worse situation and act in ways that could legitimately damage their future opportunities.  If allowed to grow and self-advocate at an appropriately early age, they will have time to hone these adult-level skills while you’re still there to offer guidance and share wisdom. 

Every parent out there would jump in front of a car to shield their child.  But at some point, we have to teach them to look both ways so that they may learn to protect themselves.  

Allow your student to take ownership of some difficult situations that are age appropriate and give them the tools to find resolution on their own.  If you still need to jump in, of course, do so.  But show them that you have faith in them and they will learn how to properly approach difficult situations with confidence.

 


DO

Gradual Release of Responsibility

Your teenager is getting older, but there is still a part of you that wants to continue to be their everything. There is a fine line between parenting and helicopter parenting. Students find a flourishing life when parents gradually release appropriate amounts of responsibility to their teenagers.

It may be tough, but the more you allow them to learn responsibility now, the less you’ll be worrying later in life!

For a few more tips see this great article about 10 Ways to Avoid Being a Helicopter Parent.


TIP #1

High school vocabulary can be daunting: AP, IB, Honors, Core Courses....If you aren't sure what a term (or acronym) means, be sure to reach out to the high school counseling office for clarification.  Take the time to read through the high school course catalog or program of study – this document will provide you with much of the information that is necessary to help understand the language of high schools.

TIP #2

One way to help students get excited about their future is to check out a high school activity.  Now is a great time to catch some high school athletic events, concerts, or theater productions.  Most high schools have events every weekend – check out their websites and find an event that may be interesting to you and your student.  Seeing the excitement of high school can really boost motivation to do well to prepare for their future.  


Know a school that could use some college readiness support?

We also offer Student Curriculum to schools and provide Parent Education on College Planning.  Additionally, we work with schools and districts to increase the college readiness of their students.  Learn more by clicking here.