Advice about visiting colleges was posted on the Pediatric Behavioral Health Web site www.pbhealth.org
Dr. Goldberg’s Helpful Tip
WHEN SILENCE IS THE BEST POLICY
When your take your child or adolescent to visit and tour a potential school or college, you probably have a long list of questions that you would like to ask.
If there is an information session for parents only, asking those questions is fine. You can gather as much information as possible to see if the particular school or college is a good fit for your student.
However, if you attend an information session with a group, allow your student and the other parents to ask the questions. Your child or teenager will probably be embarrassed if you ask about meal plans, dorm life, weekend activities, sports, difficulty of classes, tutorial help, and most other topics. If you have burning questions, you can always call or send an Email when you return home. Let the focus of the school or college visit be on your child’s reactions and questions, not your own.
I learned this the hard way when my daughters were visiting colleges. Every time I asked a question, I received a withering glance from my older daughter. I noticed her moving farther and farther from me and closer and closer to the other students on the tour. I realized that she wanted to listen to the tour guide, view the surroundings, and meet the other students. At the next college, we followed the “LESS IS MORE” rule for our questions, and we all were a lot happier. Our second daughter, of course, benefitted from our previous experiences and did not have to endure our embarrassing questions.