It's hard to believe but 2019 is here which means your children are one year closer to going off to college. As exciting as this might be, it is also bittersweet and for many, foreboding. As we start 2019, we wanted to share some of our favorite New Year’s Resolutions which we hope will reduce the angst and keep your homelife calm and stress-free (or at least, as stress-free as possible considering you're raising teenagers).

  1. Resolve to make the dinner table a college free zone. It’s very easy to fall in the abyss of constantly talking about colleges, applications and the the ubiquitous topic of  “who is applying where” and "who was accepted where." Give your kids a break by banning the college talk at the table and instead focusing on sports, movies, or even something just plain silly.  

  2. Respect your child’s right to privacy by keeping their GPAs and test scores private. Likewise, don’t ask other kids (or their parents) about their test scores or GPAs either. If your teens are inclined to share their information, that’s their prerogative, but it’s something that should be done on their own accord. It’s also a good idea to remind your kids to be sensitive about this topic as it's likely they will have friends who might prefer to keep their information private as well.

  3. Be prepared for tremendous high’s and low’s. The college application process is an emotional roller coaster; getting “accepted” is exciting, validating and makes all the hard work seem worth it. On the other hand, getting denied can be discouraging, embarrassing and can sometimes leave your child feeling like a failure. For many of our kids this is the first time in their lives that they will have to deal with rejection. As tough as it is to see our children face disappointment, it is an important developmental milestone. So let them grieve, scream, cry and then learn to get over it. Facing rejection will only make your kids stronger in the long run as building resiliency and learning to accept disappointment will help them find greater success as adults.

  4. Stay on track. If you child gets accepted to her dream college, congratulate her, celebrate the accomplishment and then encourage her to get back to work. “Senioritis” is a real thing and can be detrimental if your child’s grades begin to precipitously fall. Colleges reserve the right to withdraw offers should poor grades and / or discipline problems arise. Remind your kids that a college acceptance letter does not mean they can start blowing off school.

  5. Be gracious. As awesome as it is to get accepted to a school, it’s also important to note that there are many other kids who did not get in or were deferred. Remind your teens to be sensitive to their friends and refrain from bragging, boasting or talking about their new school non-stop. It might be difficult to contain the excitement, but graciously accepting victory builds character.

  6. Stay away from social media. Sure you want to boast and brag about your children’s acceptance letters, but it can be a disservice, especially if you child is still waiting to hear from additional colleges who might see the posts as off-putting and/or a sign that your child is no longer interested in their school.

  7. Take time to enjoy your family. Like it or not, your family dynamic is changing, and in just a few short months your child will no longer be living at home. Make time to have fun during these precious few months by scheduling quality family time. Whether it’s movie nights, board game parties or Sunday night dinners, now is the time to be present and enjoy your children.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy 2019!