Parenting Information

6 Signs You're A High Maintenance Parent

The children of Baby Boomers, the Echo Generation, are entering college in increasing numbers. Getting into the best schools is increasingly competitive. Having good grades, a great SAT score and participating in extracurricular activities is no assurance that your student will get into the school of their choice.

Because of that phenomenon, parents are taking a much more active role in their children's college admission process. But for some parents, participation in their child's college search has led to a troubling development that college admissions officers are seeing more frequently.

It is the High Maintenance Parent (HMP). And college admissions officers are reporting it more and more. If you answer yes to any of these six questions, you may be a High Maintenance Parent.

1. Does your child barely know what's on their college application but you can quote every word in their personal essay (because you wrote it)?

Students who don't take an active role in their college planning and admission process tend not to be successful in college. Students need to take ownership of the process because it's their future on the line. It's time to cut the umbilical cord and let little Johnny fail or succeed. In the end it's a disservice to your child if you do the work for him.

2. Is the admissions officer at the school of your choice on your speed dial and recognizes your voice or phone number when you call?

You want your child to be memorable, not you. Don't be a pest. It can count against your child.

3. Are you asking (or telling) your child to apply to schools that they are not interested in just so YOU can brag that they got into Harvard, Stanford, etc?

It's hard enough for your child to do everything necessary to apply to college without the added stress of completing applications for schools they don't want to go to. This is not the time to relive your past or try to out-Jones the Joneses'.

4. Is your "back-up" strategy for financial aid to tell the financial aid officer that your child is so smart, talented, etc that they should pay you to LET your child attend XYZ University?

By knowing your expected family contribution before applying, you save yourself from the potential surprise of getting an award letter with less aid then you were expecting. And make sure you research the college's financial aid policy to know if you have a circumstance that would cause the school to revisit your award letter.

5. Have you talked to your attorney about suing your child's high school because she did not get the special attention she needed in high school, and thus, will not be able to attend the university of her choice?

Be an active parent throughout your child's education, don't start in her senior year as she applies to colleges. The reality is, at that point it's too late. If she needs special attention in high school make sure she gets it.

6. Have you asked the guidance counselor at the high school to purge evidence of cheating, truancy or other discipline problems from your child's record in order to increase their chance of getting into the college of their choice? If so, you are DEFINITELY a High Maintenance Parent!

You put your child and all other students applying from that high school at risk by asking guidance counselors to lie by omission. If admissions personnel find that student records are being sanitized, they can refuse to admit anyone from a particular high school.

College admissions is a competitive process with each party looking to get the best result. Admissions officers are responsible for admitting a diverse student body. They want students that will reflect the values of the institution and who will be a positive contribution to the student body. Now, while they are still in your house, is the time to impart those values and position your child to be an asset to the student body.

Balanced against the school's needs is the student's desire to be admitted. The best way for you to help your child is by being an advocate and mentor, but realize, ultimately the decision and experience of college will be up to your child.

Copyright © 2004. All Rights Reserved.

Felicia Caldwell Gopaul, CFP, CCPS specializes in late-stage college funding planning utilizing unique tax, financial and academic strategies that can dramatically lower college costs and still enable parents to save for retirement and other financial priorities.

If you are confused or overwhelmed by the college planning process and want more information on how to get started, call (201) 453-9875 or visit



Yahoo Parenting

Why Parenting Advice Is So Hard to Take
Yahoo Parenting
At the same time, more than a few have their own stories of becoming infuriated by parenting advice offered by a friend or family member. They recall with rage that time their mother-in-law tried to advise them on breast-feeding, or the friend who was ...

13 Tips For Parenting When Screens Are Everywhere
Huffington Post
When I started writing a column about parenting and screen time this spring, I talked to a lot of people about technology and young children, from academic experts to friends and former colleagues. I wrote about what I learned in a feature about the ...

and more »

Slate Magazine

College-Age Depression Is Increasingly Tied to Helicopter Parenting, Studies ...
Slate Magazine
A 2012 study of 438 college students reported in the Journal of Adolescence found “initial evidence for this form of intrusive parenting being linked to problematic development in emerging adulthood ... by limiting opportunities for emerging adults to ...

Hollywood Life

Kourtney Kardashian Was Fed Up With Scott Disick Dumping All The Parenting ...
Hollywood Life
Was a split inevitable for Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick? The mother of three was fed up with Scott's party boy behavior and for dumping all of the parenting responsibilities on her, a new report says. Kourtney Kardashian, 36, had the last straw ...
Kanye West 'fulfilled parenting duties' for Scott and Kourtney after 'split

all 634 news articles » (blog)

There's A Dangerous New Downside To Helicopter Parenting (blog)
New studies are finding that there are much more serious side effects to over-parenting than just annoying your kids every once in a while. The growing mental health crisis on college campuses has been a cause for concern in recent years, with ...

People Magazine

Teen Mom 2 Star Jenelle Evans Opens Up About Beating Addiction and Co ...
People Magazine
Teen Mom 2 Star Jenelle Evans Opens Up About Beating Addiction and Co-Parenting with Her Ex. 0SHARES. Reprint. subscribe now. Teen Mom 2: Jenelle Evans Talks Overcoming Addiction, Co-Parenting. Jenelle Evans. Getty. By Jodi Guglielmi and Emily ...
Jenelle Evans: 'I'm More Active In My Children's Lives' After Dropping The DrugsThe Inquisitr

all 61 news articles »

Huffington Post

4 Key Parenting Lessons I Learned From My Unusual Childhood
Huffington Post
I was raised mostly by my father -- my mother was rarely home. She worked full-time and got a PhD and law degree while my sister and I were growing up. My father, as a college professor, had a more flexible schedule, so did the day-to-day tasks of ...

Huffington Post

Do The Pressures of Upper Class Parenting Create Anxiety?
Huffington Post
Parenting in general causes anxiety, but imagine the pressure of a "mommy bonus" riding on your tail or your child getting into the most elite school in Manhattan. This is a lifestyle some live, according to Wednesday Martin, author of "Primates of ...

and more »

Brooklyn Vegan (blog)

Mike Birbiglia got parenting advice from President Obama, doing 'Dream' show ...
Brooklyn Vegan (blog)
Mike Birbiglia, who you may have seen on Season 3 of Orange is the New Black or at this year's Del Close Marathon, will be doing one of his "Mike Birbiglia's Dream" shows at UCB Chelsea on Wednesday (7/8) where he enlists a "dream cast" of improvisers ...

The Albany Herald

TOM PURCELL: Free-range parenting getting costly
The Albany Herald
#There is another motivation for today's obsessive parenting: sensationalistic news stories and 24/7 coverage about children who have been abducted. According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, about 115 children are abducted each ...
Free-Range Parenting Getting Costly | TOM PURCELLBainbridge Island Review (subscription)

all 3 news articles »

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved.