January 7, 2008
College angst overwhelming
Does this sound like your child? It sounds like a lot of people I knew in high school.
If so, read the response from the Washington Post. A free subscription may be necessary to view the entire article.
With College Looming, Teen’s Focus Diminishes
By Marguerite Kelly
Friday, January 4, 2008; C03
Q. How much do I push my 17-year-old son about college? He’s a bright kid but he must be undermotivated or under-confident because he seldom focuses on his future. He doesn’t go online to look at colleges; he has no idea where he wants to go or what he wants to study and he seems frozen whenever he has to think or talk about it.
I know it’s stressful for him to map out his college plans while he’s still in high school, but I think his dad and I have the right to help him keep those plans on track. He gets tense and impatient when I try to talk with him about them, however, and even gives short-cut answers to my neutral questions, such as “What did you do today?” or “How is your girlfriend?”
And yet we don’t interfere all that much except to ask him to cut the grass once in a while and to keep his room clean. We give him money if his part-time summer job can’t cover something he needs, we pay his car insurance and we let him play baseball all year — rather than have him work while he’s in school — in hopes that a college will give him some tuition help next year.
But how much do we hold our son’s hand to keep him on track? Do we say, “Just do it already!” Or do we simply give up and let him live with the results? I hate to see opportunities pass him by, but I don’t know what we should do differently.