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Top ten things parents can do to stay sane

1. Take "we" out of it.  "We" are not applying to college, your child is.  Admissions officers see this as a sign that you are a "helicopter parent."

2. Designate college free nights.  Your child is surrounded by college talk, college worries, and college plans.  You can greatly reduce their stress by having a few evenings a week where you talk about other things.

3. Focus on realistic expectations.  One of the greatest fears that kids have is not living up to their parents' expectations.  So don't point out every Harvard sticker on the back window of a car or focus time and energy wondering how that kid down the road got into Tufts.  

4. Hold up your end of the bargain.  Set aside time to visit colleges.  Fill out all of the high school guidance department paperwork in a timely manner.  File your FAFSA and CSS PROFILE on time.  

5. Have the "what we can afford" discussion now.  Don't let your child apply to college, get in, and then decide that you cannot afford it!

6. Bring up the rear.  On a campus tour, let your child walk up front and ask the questions.  The same goes at college fairs, interviews, and when talking with coaches, musical directors, or faculty.

7. Offer your help.  Most kids need help with this process.  Arranging trips, mailing thank you notes, sending SAT/ACT scores, etc. "I am here to help; you tell me what you need," is a great message to send.

8. Speak second.  After each college visit, ask for their impressions before you offer your two cents.

9. Help them discover their greatness.  Remember, all students have unique and wonderful attributes.  Focus on the positive and on what will get them into college, not what might keep them out.

10. Call us.  If all of the above are getting you nowhere... call us.  We can help!