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Expert advice is so very valuable when you are parenting teenagers

Parenting the College-Bound: Advice From an Expert

Expert Advice on Parenting High School and College Students

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Parents with college and pre-college students often feel like they are swimming upstream in a raging river. Their intentions are good and their will is strong, but students in their late teens and early twenties are still growing and trying to figure out who they are and what they will become and as a result, are often floundering. In raising my own kids (13, 20, and 23), I appreciate and take to heart the wisdom of College Parenting Expert, Wendy David-Gaines

Wendy’s latest article, “The Problem:  Is College Wasted on the Young? Part 1” shares facts about the growing minds and maturity levels of students in college and those ready to enter the world of higher education. Becoming aware of what our students are experiencing is a huge part of dealing with the issues that all parents face as their children leave the nest. Read Wendy’s article and stay tuned for part 2:



If youth is wasted on the young, is college wasted on young adults? The facts are scary. Only 55 percent of those who started a four-year bachelor’s degree program in 2008 earned their degree within six years.  Millions of the college-bound start but don’t finish their college careers. However, college grads earn over $800,000 more than their diploma-less peers making higher education a necessity for many to have a good lifestyle and career. The pressure is on families to find a great college choice, necessary support, and a solid commitment by students to follow through, regardless of their maturity.

This two-part article identifies the specific problems in Part 1 and provides solutions in Part 2 so college is not wasted on young adults.

College follows high school in the education hierarchy to provide academics and extracurricular chances for intellectual and career development. Teens on the verge of adulthood are applying for higher education admission. Most of them aren’t ready to pick their life’s path but colleges rely on this ability. That’s why schools place such importance on leadership skills, signs of maturity, and course of study.

The college process itself can get in the way because it is complicated, costly, and crowded with a lengthy to-do list.

It can be overwhelming for parents and stressful for students. The high anxiety level may lead to poor choices just to relieve the pressure. Colleges may be chosen because a friend is applying, majors may be selected based on a fleeting interest, and credits may be lost when students transfer to another school when the original choice doesn’t work out.

Compounding the problem is teens are still cooking. As young adults, they continue to grow from the beginning of high school through college graduation. Their interests can change often. The disconnect between starting and finishing their education must be avoided or else both time and money can be wasted.

Stayed tuned for The Solution: Is college wasted on the young? Part 2 is full of suggestions for parents and students. Please share your views in the comments section about the question, “Is college wasted on the young?”

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Is college wasted on the young?

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