The time has finally come! Although you could’ve sworn that they just started high school yesterday, suddenly now your child is going through college application processes. No doubt, this is one of the most pressuring, stressful, and difficult times in any child’s life. With many make-it-or-break-it moments ahead, they’re blessed to have you around to guide them. Now, it’s only a question of the best ways to do so.The time has finally come! Although you could’ve sworn that they just started high school yesterday, suddenly now your child is going through college application processes. No doubt, this is one of the most pressuring, stressful, and difficult times in any child’s life. With many make-it-or-break-it moments ahead, they’re blessed to have you around to guide them. Now, it’s only a question of the best ways to do so.

As a mother, there’s no doubt that you’re already used to constantly imparting your wisdom and sharing what you know with your child. So, at this point in their lives, it makes sense to act like their mentor, guiding them during challenges you’ve already been through. Whether they’re considering your Alma Mater or not, try to recount your college experience to them such that they’ll be able to relate from their perspective and take it all into consideration. Your advice based on your own college encounters? Your opinions on all the different colleges? Even you and your friends’ old college stories? Now is the best time to share them all. They’ll appreciate all this knowledge now more than ever.

What matters more than the knowledge you can impart is the support you should provide for them. With all the stress, anxiety, and self-doubt going on in their heads at this time, be their constant source of reassurance, positivity, and comfort. Let them know you’re proud of them no matter what happens, tell them that you have full faith in them, acknowledge that they’re doing well; as cliché as it all sounds, these seemingly overused phrases can make a huge difference in your child’s mindset. More than being available when they ask for your help, be sensitive enough to know that they need you even without them saying a word.

Finally, this is a crucial time for cultivating independence. One of the best things you can do for your child during their college application processes is to trust in them. As you go through each task, ensure that you aren’t overstepping your boundaries. You might not have noticed that you’ve exceeded the amount of help that is necessary. Whether you’re filling out a form or proofreading an essay, it’s easy to get carried away, and eventually you end up checking all the boxes to your preferences and editing a few paragraphs to the point that the entire page has turned into your work. Ask your child if they need help, but don’t do too much for them. This can be tricky because there is a thin line between “enough” and “too much,” but now is the time to strike a balance. Trust in your child and allow them to make their own decisions, to become their own person.

So, take a step back. Evaluate what you’ve done. Going further, consider what your child has accomplished. Isn’t there so much to be proud of on what you’ve worked on together? But don’t put the pen down just yet. Though you might both be fighting this battle well, remember that the war is yet to be won. After all, once you get through the CET period, you still have four or five years of college to go.

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