Your Teen Media Helps Parents Prepare Their Kids for College
She Media Partner Your Teen Media helps parents prepare their kids for college. After noticing a lack of content made specifically for parents of teenagers, founders Susan Borison and Stephanie Silverman set out to create Your Teen Media – a digital publication providing expert advice and nonjudgmental support for parents. In addition, they regularly host events and webinars where experts share advice and insight on college preparation.
Ahead, Susan Borison shares four mistakes she made when her kids were starting college and tips that can help parents avoid making them too.
4 Mistakes I Made When My Kids Were Starting College
By Susan Borison
Mistake #1 – Not Starting Early
When it came to college planning, we were chill. So chill that we had no idea what needed to be done. Maybe a little too chill. Apparently, all the other kids had already started to go on on-campus visits. Our chill suddenly turned to panic. Had we had missed the memo—or all of the memos—about college planning? We realized quickly that we’d made our first mistake in getting our kids happily settled at college. We would soon realize it was just the first of many mistakes.
Mistake #2 – Making it All About You
We decided that my husband would take our daughter on her first tour, and then I would take her to our alma mater. After the first tour, they called to tell me all about it. Most of the story focused on a mom who was an alum of the school. She spent the whole time speaking over the tour guide talking about her experience while on the campus.
The tone of retelling emphasized how annoying this mom was. And I was so grateful for the call because I felt warned to not be that mom at the next school visit. There was just one problem: They had told me the story for a reason. Without saying it point-blank, they hoped I would get the message to Not. Be. That. Mom. Ouch.
Mistake #3 – Don’t Meddle in Their Social Lives
After I’d already sent four children to college and was sending my fifth, you’d think I’d be done making mistakes. Nope. Dropping off our last baby at college, I was very, very sad. Twenty-nine years of day-to-day parenting was ending. My son’s freshman room was set up but he was dragging his feet when we were ready to leave. I felt his loneliness, but I misread the solution. Another boy on his floor was alone in his room. I asked him his name and then introduced him to my son.
But consider yourself warned: Those two boys both looked horrified. And I learned at the end of freshmen year that they never spoke again the entire year. Ouch – my bad.
Mistake #4 – Don’t Skip Responsibilities
In my defense, things keep changing at colleges. By my last two kids, colleges and universities had started to tend to parents. While the kids were at orientation, the parents were invited to parallel programming. I looked at the agenda and wanted to cry. I have never skipped a class in my life, but this time I wanted to. So I took off. Before checking out, I had made plans to meet up for dinner with a mom I’d just met. At dinner, I quickly understood that good parents stayed for the programming. (The other mom hinted at that.) But worse, my kids read my absence as being a terrible mom, too. Ouch.
Mistakes Are Inevitable – Or Are They?
We should have known these mistakes were coming. After all, I’ve been making mistakes but I’ve also learned to figure things out and be a great parent. That’s the whole reason we created Your Teen Media in the first place, to help parents feel less alone and to share our ups and downs, and our tips and advice, with one another.
That’s also the reason we’re now offering our second annual parenting series called Destination College, which starts March 8, 2022. This series is designed to help parents navigate the college admissions process in an easy and affordable way. We hope that parents can learn from our mistakes—and get all the great advice, empathy, and expertise we wanted when we were sending our kids to college. That way, maybe you won’t have to make all the mistakes I made. But if you do—call me, and we’ll laugh about it together!
Sign up for the Destination College Series
Susan Borison is Editor in Chief and Co-Founder of Your Teen Media. She has raised five children to adulthood, but she is probably not done making parenting mistakes.