This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on helping blended families navigating the college planning and application process.
Children of divorced parents tend to avoid conflict when it comes to applying for college. How co-parents manage their relationships with their exes can have a tremendous impact on the child’s ability to forge their own path.
Although they may believe it’s helpful to avoid choices that may hurt the feelings of one parent or another, this can actually stunt a teenager’s ability to find their path to self-acceptance.
Conflict and mistakes are a part of life. Knowing when to “check yourself” and take a step back so that your teenager can flourish is crucial to their well-being. College planning should remain centered around your student. This week, I’m joined by Jayna Haney, founder of The Bridge Across for Single Parents and Stepfamilies, to share some tips to help blended families navigate the college application and transition process.
More Tips for Blended Families Navigating College Planning & Application
Because this is such a big topic to which so many families relate, we have had experiences working with all types of families. And we at Bright Futures have developed tips for blended families navigating college planning and application.
Get The Birkman.
Part of reducing the conflict and keeping the focus on the student is for you and your co-parent to understand your students’ needs well. The Birkman keeps the focus on the student. Learning and taking into account the personality of your teenager can empower you, the parent, to support and empower your child in taking ownership of their own life. This can also help mitigate the arguments.
You need to find balance in everything. To do this, you need to release some of your control. Your high school student should be owning their homework, discussions, and teachers. That’s not your job as a parent anymore. If you don’t loosen the reins of control, your child may leave and never come back.
Start New Traditions.
New traditions are so important in blended families. Holidays, transitions, and starting school are all opportunities for growth or for disaster. And college is the first big life transition. Exes need to figure out how to make this transition peaceful because it sets the stage for upcoming transitions – college graduation, weddings, babies, etc. This is just the first one!
For the blog version of this episode, click here.
- When tensions are high, talk through your fears and emotions. Help your child understand where you’re coming from.
- Keep the focus on your teenager when you’re talking about college. Remind all parties involved of that!
- Explore the Birkman Assessment here. For a very limited time, we are running a Birkman special – helping you give the gift of self-discovery this holiday season. Contact us to take advantage of this special.