Dear Mom and Dad,
Welcome to a unique phase of your son’s life: the college search. He is no longer a kid but is not quite ready to be a full-fledged adult. This continues to be an in between time where high school students will begin (or in some cases continue) to try to test their independence. Parents, including many who are accustomed to doing things for their child must begin to realize that this is the time to take a step back and let their children experience some failure and do things on their own. Students who have always relied on their parents to clear the way will be in college soon and will need to step forward to chart their own path at that time. The high school years can continue to serve to be a great proving ground for that next step in their development and that is really where I spend a lot of my focus. My goal is not only to help you find the right place for your son to go to college and play baseball, but it of “utmost” importance to me that he graduates from that college after an amazing experience. I am always watching and working to find the right fit.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. Any parent can try this idea but when there is a chance for the chips to be down for their child the urge to step in and make sure things will be right can be overwhelming. Remembering and believing in the idea that failure is a part of life and this stage is a proving ground for making good decisions later in life is extremely important. Without failure at this stage your child will most likely have a tougher time dealing with it and having the ability to weigh and make good decisions later in life. We are all products of our experiences so if they don’t have any experiences to pull from it becomes very difficult to make a good decision when you are not around. Don’t be afraid the stretch the limits and test the waters a little.
I will try to help students take charge and parents understand their vital supporting role. This phase of the college planning search has its share of stress but when things get intense, remember the big picture. It certainly shouldn’t be about winning or losing but preparing your son on a path to success and happiness. As long as parents stay grounded in this reality and honestly look at their child’s passions, their strengths, their weaknesses and continue to give their child as many chances to succeed as they do chances to fail and learn from both, I feel he will make it through this phase in a good position to have success at the next level.
In looking ahead briefly to college, you can plan all you want and set all the goals you want, but if you (or your child) do not believe he can reach the goals set or believe in the plan, it’s useless. Give him the freedom to dream big about his future, regardless of what career he chooses as long as he is passionate about it, then he can accomplish it.
Hope this helps, the fall will get very stressful on many levels, but as we go through this remember I am right here, I have been through it with (literally) thousands of families and two of my own boys so if there is ever anything you are unsure of - please just reach out.