Ignore Your Child on College Visits

Ignore Children on College Visits, College Visits, University Visits

We encourage parents to pretend they don’t know their children on college visits. And vice versa.

Yes, you read that correctly. Ignore your child on college visits. There’s a good article up on “Forbes” by Chris Teare entitled “How To Invest In Your Child’s College Tour” that we figured we’d share with our readers. The piece focuses on what students and particularly parents should do when visiting colleges. Teare offers some great advice — from advising parents to not ask too many questions on college tours for fear of upsetting their children to being prepared to totally scratch a college off the list of intended schools to which to apply simply because a student doesn’t feel it to hanging back and letting students do their thing.

We take this all one step further. We’ve long advised parents to pretend that they don’t know their children on college tours. Upon arriving at admissions, parents should enter at least ten seconds behind their children. Preferably thirty seconds. They should not at any point make eye contact with their children. And they should certainly not address them in any way. Remember, no eye contact. In this way, come the time for college tours and info sessions, parents can ask whatever questions they’d like and their children won’t be embarrassed in the least, since they have no association with them. This is a game we’ve long encouraged because we know how embarrassed teenagers are around their parents, especially in this kind of scenario. We know how parents become reluctant to ask questions for fear of getting the stink eye from their children. So hang back, pretend you don’t know your child, and then feel free to let loose.

But not too loose. We were once on a college tour in which a daytime television star asked what it would cost to donate a library. His child happened to be standing right next to him. But even if they were playing the game of pretending not to know each other, don’t ask silly questions like that. Your tour guide likely doesn’t know the answer to this certainly leading question anyway. But the development office sure does…


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