Wednesday’s Parent: How parents and students can be on the same page

Parents and the college-bound should be on the same page. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

Parents and the college-bound should be on the same page. Photo by Wendy David-Gaines

“Parents and children often think differently about money. They have differing experiences and points of view. They are at dissimilar life stages.” I said this referring to one of 3 essential parent-student talks before college. The truth is, parents and students are often on different pages on a whole host of issues besides college costs for these same reasons. For example, families may be at loggerheads with college choice and field of study that can determine future life styles including finances, location and opportunities. Disagreements also get magnified because there are so many important decisions to be made during the college process that affect the entire family. That’s where a different dialogue framework can help.

Even though parents and students can have different ideas and mindsets (teen brains are still developing), they can start on the same page. They both want the goal of student success. They can think as one by agreeing to the process and procedures for airing issues, too.

Have a formal agenda including old and new business, a routine time and place to meet, and a way to allot speaking time for participants. Mix business with pleasure by bringing a joke or playing a game before or after the parent-student conference to add some family fun.

Forming a parent-student team to address college prep issues in a business-like manner tempers emotions. It sets the stage for transition from parent-child discourse to parent-adult child communication. It won’t make family members agree all the time but it will create a habit of listening to each other’s position and understanding the reasons for each other’s views.

Gaining perspective and bonding from a fair hearing goes a long way and may even change varying opinions to being on the same page. Until the next topic comes up.

Read Suzanne’s postParent vs Student Reasoning

READ more:

Prioritizing through the college maze

Wednesday’s Parent: Best ways to manage college prep time

Survey finds parent-child communication changes in college

Parents and college-bound emergency plan


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.