Has she always wanted to be a doctor? Has he talked about playing college football since he was a little boy? How do you help them decide what’s best for their future without taking your own feelings and needs into consideration?
This is the time for you to take a good, hard look in the mirror, pick up those scissors, and take your first swipe at cutting the cord. This is the time for parents and stepparents and even grandparents to come together as the best support system possible for this child making one of the biggest decisions of their life. The child who, up until now, has likely shied away from making even the most trivial of decisions (like what to eat for dinner tonight or what to wear to school yesterday).
This is a biggie. They’re going to need your help…your advice…your sincerity. You can do this, but not alone. If you are a blended family, SHARE the responsibility as you are all part of the parenting team. Talk about 5-10 options. Put together a wants / needs list. Talk about the why’s and the how’s and the where’s. Take tours. Ask questions. Be as involved as possible, but let your soon-to-be college student make the final decision. And make sure they know that whatever they choose – you’re okay with. They feel pressure. They feel disappointment. They feel financial stress. Keep those things to yourself – this is their time to shine before they have to go deal with those real-life issues themselves. This is their last chance to be somewhat of a kid before the world of REAL ‘adulting’ hits them like a brick wall.
And we ALL know what that feels like!!