Last year, we asked psychologist Michael Thompson, author of The Pressured Child, to weigh in on what parents can do to constructively advise -- and motivate -- their junior students as they begin the application process. Good advice never goes out of style -- and Thompson is the best -- so we wanted to run these posts again for all of those out there who are wondering what to expect when your child applies to college. Please read on to learn how to avoid jumping at the bait of your teenager's negativity and how not to unwittingly crash into a seventeen-year-old psyche, as well as what Monty Python has to do with any of this!
The Pressured Child
Beginning today and throughout the next week, we'll be posting reflections, advice and practical guidance for students and parents on all things decisions -- from strategy, decision-making and coping through how to talk about your news with parents, friends and nosy neighbors. We begin with the always excellent advice of psychologist Michael Thompson, author of The Pressured Child. We have always found Thompson's wisdom and sound bites to be indispensable for both turning points and moments of truth in our family life. We asked him how he got so smart about all of this -- and believe me, he is -- he told us, "Hey, I’ve been working with teenagers for forty-four years. Some lessons they just insist you learn." Read on to benefit from those lessons so you can support your teenager and seize the moment -- in the best possible way.
Yesterday, psychologist and author Michael Thompson joined us to provide a window into the adolescent psyche and how that can affect the interactions between parent and teen as the college application process begins. Today, in Part 2 of Thompson's post, he has some excellent recommendations – and support – for parents so that they can put these insights into action and meaningfully advise their sons and daughters.
With all the developmental observations and warnings from my previous post in mind, here are eight suggestions for motivating your high school junior to focus on the college process.
1) Start with yourself. Before you approach your child, go to a friend whose child has gone through the process. Choose someone who is reasonable and honest, who will explain what worked and who will also confess to mistakes. If you have a parent/friend you respect to walk you through the process, it will arm you and calm you.
Everywhere we speak across the country, we hear from families concerned about or in distress over 11th graders who are in avoidance/denial mode about the college application process. We asked psychologist Michael Thompson, author of The Pressured Child and Homesick and Happy, for his insight into the teenage psyche and his advice about putting those insights into action. Thompson has a talent for translating the science of psychology and anecdotal experience into vivid action items for parents. One of our favorites? Thompson's recounting of advice from a principal that illustrates the danger of becoming an expert on the process before your teenager does. ""If you get too far out in front of your troops," he said, "they may mistake you for the enemy." Join him here today, in part one of his two-part guest post, as he addresses how to have a meeting of the minds with your 11th grader and where Monty Python figures into the process.