Wendie Lubic: Hi! I am Wendie Lubic from the Parent Encouragement Program. I am talking to you today about how to smooth the transition between high school and college for you and your teenager. Now I am going to discuss 5 important things you can do while your child is still in high school, that will help the most with the college application process. The first step is to be available. We all lead very busy lives, but our time with our teens is very precious too. Make time for family dinners, and sporting events, and back to school nights. By being a presence in their school and in their life, teens learn that academics matter and so do they. Even better, include one on one time with your teen on your to do list. That sends the signal that your teen is just as important to you as some of you work contacts.
Step two, be organized. Model good organizational skills and help your teen sort things out when they get overwhelmed. There are lot of steps to this process and parents and help by teaching teens to set time-tables and work within deadlines. Academics get a lot harder in high school and balancing that with academic testing as well as filling out applications requires a lot of coordination.
Step three, set reasonable goals. A student getting Cs is unlikely to get into an Ivy League schools. This doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of other good options available. Some students need to be pushed and others will push themselves. By getting to know your child to do as an individual and understanding their goals, you can better help them achieve them. Step four, don't stress and stay positive. The pre-college process can cause a lot of stress, but it doesn't have to make everyone crazy. By practicing some stress management techniques everyone can stay calmer. One technique is to set aside time once a week for you and your teen to discuss college issues. That way it keeps the college process in a small corner of your life rather than taking over your entire life. Also as your teen is going through ups and downs throughout this process, remember, don't take it personally. It is not about you, it is about them and it is there process to deal with. Step five, don't takeover. I will be taking about the division of labor later on and the most important point is to give your teen ownership of this process. This sends the message that you trust your teen to make good decisions and while you can't write the essay for them, you can be researching scholarships and making time for college visits. In the next segment, I am going to discuss how our expectations and actions can influence the process of transitioning from high school to college.